Okay, so I know I have failed at these in the past… but this time, this is something different, and I am going to try and see this one through at least 6 months.
I am starting a new blog series… thing..
First, a little story.
Once upon a time, there was a girl who went to visit her grandma’s house for New Years.
While she was there, she went to church with her Grandma, and found a book.
This book was called Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic.
She was intrigued, and took the book home.
This past Sunday she suggested to her Mom that the family start religious reading on the twenty minute ride to mass.
Her Mom happened to have a copy of the same book with her, and started reading.
Now, this book, coupled with a certain sermon about living Christian lives and showing people through our actions what makes us Catholics given by her parish priest that day, made this girl determined to do something she hadn’t previously done much of before.
Sharing her faith.
She’d been bouncing around the idea of starting another blog series, this time something to help her in her own life as well, not just spout off information.
Thanks to a new book, and a priest’s sermon, she found her topic.
Therefore, readers, I unveil to you today the title of a new blog series I shall be starting as of this Friday.
As part of the new year, I am going to work on establishing a deeper relationship with my Creator.
And you all get to come along for the ride!
Allow me to describe my goals, and what this chain will be about, by quoting Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly. I shall endeavor not to post the whole prologue, as that would be tedious to do, and take ages to type.
- Transforming people one at a time is at the heart of God’s plan for the world.
- Continuous improvement is a long-term approach that seeks to achieve small, incremental changes. Each change can be so small and simple that, at the time, it seems insignificant, but as you add these changes together over time they become enormous.
- Highly engaged Catholics have four things in common, the four signs of a Dynamic Catholic.
1. Prayer: Dynamic Catholics have a daily commitment to prayer.
2. Study: Dynamic Catholics are continuous learners.
3. Generosity: Dynamic Catholics are generous.
4. Evangelization: Dynamic Catholics invite others to grow spiritually by sharing the love of God with them.
- You don’t stumble into great things, or even worthy things. They have to be sought out with intentionality.
So what does all that mean exactly?
Well, the first bullet point up there *points with digital laser pointer* essentially means that we are not born perfect. God’s plan for us involves us transforming into the Christians we are called to be.
The second point is that long term goals are best achieved with small steps, mini goals, if you will. tiny points of change that when added to over time becomes a complete transformation.
The third is the “four signs” the most engaged and inspired Catholics display; Prayer, study, generosity, and evangelization.
The last one states that you can’t just stumble around blind and hope to wake up one morning the model Catholic. You have to work for it, and set a goal for yourself. Make a flight plan.
That is what I hope to accomplish with this blog series.
I’m not going to dive right in and set some big goal like making it to daily mass, or praying a rosary once or twice a day… I’m not spiritually strong enough for something like that.
So, what am I doing?
Well, this book suggests a plan that I think sounds pretty good.
1. Spend ten minutes in prayer with God every day.
2. Read five pages of a Catholic book each day.
3. Now, for generosity, they suggest giving 1 percent more of your income to the church then you did the previous year. Clearly, this was not meant for unemployed 18 year olds who haven’t even graduated High School yet.
So instead, for generosity I plan to be more generous with my time. Do one big time sacrifice a week for someone else. Like, fold laundry even if it’s not my laundry day. Just something that helps someone else, but may not be the most convenient thing for me, or is just something I don’t want to do.
4. Do one thing each week to share the genius of Catholicism with someone else.
For prayer I hope to start doing the Lectio Divina again. This is prayer that’s centered around bible readings, especially the gospels. I enjoy it, but never seem to find the time to sit down and do it.
For reading I have plenty of catechism and saint books I meant to read last year.
And lastly, for evangelization, this blog series. It hit me when my Mom first read about doing just one thing a week. Blog post. Not only will it give me a reason to post each week, it will keep me accountable… and help spread God’s love to all you lovely people of course. 🙂
So there you have it. Faithful Fridays will hopefully kick off this Friday, the 9th of January.
And who knows, maybe if I can keep this going for the next couple weeks, I’ll be inspired to start a regular Monday post as well. 🙂
In the mean time, to quote the ever seasonal Tiny Tim, “God bless us, every one!”
And let me know in the comments below if you would like to join in the 4 Signs challenge, and join me in following the above plan to help not only yourself grow spiritually, but help those around you as well!
And even if you aren’t Catholic, have no interest in Catholicism so much so you won’t even let yourself learn about it, you can absolutely still do these things. The important part of this challenge (for lack of a better name) is imitating Christ. You can still pray, study Christ’s life, and be generous. there’s no rule that you HAVE to be Catholic to do those.
So take a chance, and see what God will do for you this year if you make an effort to give him your attention, and spread his love!