Monday, November 22, 2010

To New Catholics

I follow the thoughtful blogs of a couple of new Catholics, marveling at their spiritual growth (most often faster than mine), and having sympathy for their difficulties, both with certain teachings and (unfortunately) sometimes with less-than-understanding friends. I offer this post, today, to any new Catholics who may happen here.

Today I read something in the Office of Readings, in the Liturgy of the Hours. I thought it spoke to all who sometimes need encouragement in their faith journey. It was taken from The Second Letter of the Apostle Peter, chapter 1, verses 1-11. I’ll just type the lines which I have underlined in my book, with comments I wrote there in parentheses:

May grace be yours and peace in abundance through your knowledge of God and of Jesus, our Lord. (Best blessings wishes).
Make every effort to undergird your virtue with faith, your discernment with virtue, and your self-control with discernment; this self-control, in turn, should lead to perseverance, and perseverance to piety, and piety to care for your brother, and care for your brother, to love (How to love: start by self-control)

(You want to know God?) Qualities like these, made increasingly your own bear fruit in true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(My call is to Him: Lord, help me to do your will.) Be solicitous to make your call and election permanent, brothers; surely those who do so will never be lost.

The Liturgy of the Hours from which this is quoted is a 4-volume set of books which all Catholics, indeed all Christians, are encouraged to read. I find it to be like Scripture (in fact, much of it is Scripture), in that I seem constantly to find something new and relevant for me almost each time I read it. I have been using these books for daily readings, especially in mornings and evenings, for approximately 25 years.

For you new Catholics, or for any newly married people, your vows are just the start. In Matrimony, the vows are just the start of growing in love, there is much still to be gained in marriage. For the newly converted, or those seeking God, their commitment is also just the start of a journey, a faith journey. Both journeys are to last a lifetime, of growing in holiness through these partners you have been joined to. I’ve found these daily readings help me prepare for and understand my journey. Perhaps you may find them equally valuable.

I wish you a safe and blessed trip.

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