Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.


Thessalonians 5:16-18

   

               
 


A Relationship with Jesus
 
 
 
In the Beginning...
 
For any single person to begin a relationship with Jesus, it must start with a desire to know God as He has revealed Himself to us.

One of the many errors man 
is tempted to embrace is the desire to worship God however we choose. 
In seeking a relationship with God we must understand that God chose us before we did. He loves us without compromise but not without conditions.

We must recognize that God, in order to fully reunite man with Himself, took on flesh, born of a virgin and walked among 
men.

His name is Jesus the Christ who was and is and shall always be eternal. He came to earth for the work of salvation and willingly suffered and died on a cross so 
that the cost of man's sins may be fully paid on our behalf.

But as I said, there are conditions in a relationship with Jesus just as there are conditions in a marriage.
 
These conditions may seem difficult but for those who will take the "road less traveled" will be met with eternal rewards.

Let us therefore begin on the conditions the 
Lord of Hosts has placed before us so that we may know, love, and serve Him in this life so that we may rest in eternal joy with Him in the next. 
 
 
Conditions with Unconditional Love
 
I do not want to confuse you when I said there are conditions to have a relationship with Jesus yet He loves you "unconditionally". Likewise, a father loves his 
son no matter what his son does but in order for his son to have privledges, he must obey his father's wishes.

In the same way, God loves us without limit and wants  nothing 
but our complete and total adoration and respect but there are things we must do in order to fulfill His wishes.

The Bible says the relationship between Christ and His Church 
is like a groom and his bride. In a mystical way, Christ is married to His Church and therefore anyone that is of the Church is in this mystical union with Jesus.

What first 
we must do if we have no relationship with Christ nor in His Church, we must first seek to enter into the Church He established. Christ established the Catholic Church and in the Catholic Church, so that Original Sin (from the fall of Adam and Eve from grace) may be wiped away and reborn (or born-again) into Christ's kingdom on earth is 
through Baptism.

With clean water, baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son and of the Holy Spirit are you brought into His Church and thus begins your deepening 
relationship with Christ. 
 
 
"I Believe as to Understand" - St. Augustine 
 
The righteous will live by faith therefore we must seek Christ in faith. Because we are brought into Christ's Church, we must do all that we can to learn about who Jesus is.

This is why before we begin study of Christ and His Church, we must begin with the trust and openness of a child. To simply live any way you wish and say 
that you know and love Jesus is a path that can surely lead to self worship and a false understanding of the things God meant for you to know about Him.

This is why Jesus 
told us that if we love Him, we follow His commandments. Do not be taken back by this as if this were some sort of controlling statement but recognize the simplicity in this directive.

In the same example of the father and son, the son should listen and obey his father if he is to fully understand him and show his father that he cares about 
his father's words.

In the same way, we are to study Christ's commandments so that we may grow to understand Him as our God and show Him that we love Him.

There are many 
Catechisms out there that may assist in the study of Christ's established faith, one of the most famously and traditionally used is the Baltimore Catechism as it is theologically sound without any moral or doctrinal errors. 
 
 
Pray without Ceasing
 
Without a strong prayer life, we cannot hope to know Jesus. For how can it a marriage work if the spouse only loves the other by word and not by deed?

Prayer is 
not just words that are uttered but an altering lifestyle that affects everything you do and everyone you talk to. In praying, we should not be deceived that it is meant 
to obtain earthly things which are vanity, but rather to petition God for graces to become holy.

However, it is not wrong to pray for temporal things as God knows that you 
need certain things in order to live and take care of your family and others.

Just becareful that your prayers are not centered on earthly things but rather seek first 
to know and love Jesus so that He may work through you. And by working through you, Jesus can help you pray for all people, even those that mean us harm. 
 
 
Do Not Be Ashamed 
 
Never fear because Christ has already overcome the world! There will be many who will reject you because you not only worship Christ but you promote the spread of His kingdom. 

Do not be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it is the good news for salvation to all who will accept it.

For they that hate and despise you for 
speaking Christ's truth, understand that it isn't you they hate but rather Christ. If any person is to rage against a Christian, he does not rage against one but the whole Church as St. Paul did in his days of persecuting the Church before he converted.

Take courage and pray often for the graces to withstand all manner of wicked 
forces arrayed against you because you are a Christian, you are in the world and not of it! Amen.






 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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