A Personal Relationship With Jesus
We talk about having a personal relationship with Jesus. Or working on our personal relationship with him. Or desiring that relationship to grow. This concept of having a personal relationship with Jesus sometimes sounds too “Protestant” to some Catholics. That simply isn't true, it is as. Here's what the Bible says about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Take a second to describe your relationship with Jesus (and with God).
The same goes with Jesus. But, many are unsure about what this is all about.
If you are one who is not sure how to do this, it is simple: As with any relationship, you choose how close you want to be with someone. It is a choice only you can make.
Nor can the Church as a whole. Many who are Catholic and other Christians also have merely an intellectual or emotional connection to God, but not a personal one they have chosen in faith. Once you choose Jesus in faith, you have to do it again and again.
This relationship is lived out primarily in prayer, participating in the Sacraments, growing in virtue primarily love of God and othersservice to God and others, and to help others come to know, love, serve, and follow God.
Jesus is Lord of all and as a servant to our King, we must serve Him and others. This is what He commands of us.
How can I have a deeper relationship with Jesus?
We have been using the language long before our Protestant brothers and sisters were ever around and the universal Church has never lost touch with this language, even if some individuals or communities have. For example, here are some quotes from some of our most recent Popes and one from the Catechism and one from Vatican II: If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms.
We fall in love, we commit, and we promise to live out that commitment for the rest of our lives. Love is the anchor — in marriage and faith — that holds us in place when dryness, boredom and suffering set in. The initial consolations of both earthly and divine love fortify us for the future and ripen our souls for the richness that is to come. Mature faith — like mature friendship, love and marriage — is a complex, organic entity, always growing.
And just as human relationships vary in character, so will relationships with the Divine. Catholicism is a universal faith, lived and expressed in numerous ways. Witness the varying forms of spirituality, whether Benedictine, Dominican or Franciscan, among others.
The Church approves them all. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ can look very different from one individual to the next.A Personal Relationship with Jesus
Do Catholics need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? We can agree that a personal relationship is necessary without worrying about rigid illustrations of what that relationship looks like.
From the charismatic college student to the elderly woman steadfastly praying the Rosary, from the hipster who loves chant or the middle-aged Knight of Columbus, personal relationships with Christ are unique, varied and impossible to label from the outside. At its foundation, our connection to Jesus Christ is one of love. Christians, especially Evangelicals, import this language into their faith as well. We talk about having a personal relationship with Jesus.
Or working on our personal relationship with him. Or desiring that relationship to grow, to deepen, to become more intimate. Christianity is not about a personal relationship with Jesus. The phrase is never found in the Bible.
And the whole biblical witness runs contrary to it. Our life with Christ is communal, not personal or private or individual. When the Scriptures speak of believers, they are part of a community, a fellowship of other believers.
- How To Have a Personal Relationship With Jesus
Christianity is about a church relationship with Jesus. I know this runs contrary to what many modern believers think.
What does it mean to have a personal relationship with God?
In an age when we are more isolated than ever, when our worlds often shrink to the size of a phone screen, talk of community sounds like a radical departure from the norm.
But the norm of the Christian faith is not isolated believers, little islands of spirituality, but a continent of Christians banded together by the Spirit. We are baptized into one body, the body of Jesus.