How do I grow in my relationship with Jesus?
We are all called to be disciples, which essentially means we are all invited to follow Jesus and to grow in our relationship with him.
‘Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.’Pope Benedict XVI
Here are some key steps we can all take as we come closer to Jesus as disciples….
“For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.”(Mark 10:45)
Jesus calls us to serve others. To grow as a disciple of Jesus, to follow on his path, it is vitally important that we learn to serve others, generously and freely. Christ-like servants serve for the benefit of others. Isn’t that the sort of person that in your heart of hearts you want to be – someone who makes a difference in the lives of others..? There are many ways of serving others in your family and your neighbourhood and in our parish. Many of our parishioners serve others through our parish teams.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still and trust in me.”(John 14:1)
Jesus needs us to trust him. Jesus showed his complete trust in God by giving his life on the cross. There’s nothing that will help us to grow in trust as much as giving, including our money and possessions. God is generous. God is a giver and we can use our giving to become more like Him.
‘We are never completely ourselves unless we belong to a people.’Pope Francis
Faith is personal but it’s not supposed to be private. It needs to be lived out in a community of people. We all need friends in faith who strengthen and support us in our relationship with Christ. When we can build accountable and faith-filled relationships with others, we are more likely to succeed in our faith commitments than we are on our own. We need people around us who can encourage us. We need to engage with others for mutual support on our journey in faith.
We have a team committed to accompanying you on this journey. If you would like to engage with others in deepening your faith, contact our discipleship team.
‘Prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.’St Teresa of Avila
To grow as a follower of Jesus we need to talk to Him and listen. The most important element of a relationship is communication. We need to learn to hear his voice and recognise it. That happens in a daily time of quiet in which we’re talking to Him and allowing Him to talk to us.
Jesus taught his followers to pray to God affectionately and intimately, as children to their loving father. He also told his disciples to ‘pray to your Father who is in that secret place’ (Matthew 6:6).
As we grow, our prayer may change and we may find different ways of praying help us at different times. But don’t go it alone – there are groups within the parish that would love to help you to grow in new ways of praying: contact us and we’ll put you in touch.
Then there’s your weekly worship with the community at Sunday mass (or even more often if you can). Here we receive the Word of God who gives Himself in Scripture and Holy Communion. Your weekly worship will be far richer and more rewarding, more nourishing and encouraging if it’s matched up with daily quiet time with God. The Eucharist then becomes the source and summit of a life lived with prayer.
Staying close to the sacraments fills our lives with grace.
The St Peter & The Winchester Martyrs monthly prayersheet – download it here.
Pray as you go – A great ten minute podcast for daily guided prayer
One great way of praying is to use the Bible.
We can grow in our relationship with Jesus by learning about his teaching and hearing him speak through the gospels.
‘To read sacred scripture means to turn to Christ for advice.’St. Francis
However, the Bible can be quite daunting and it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some great tools that were created to make the Word of God accessible to you.
Bible in One Year – a great daily commentary on scripture from the makers of Alpha
Universalis – The go-to online source for the Catholic readings of the day, including the readings for Mass everyday. Also available as an app.
Scott Hahn’s gospel reflections – Scott Hahn is a world renowned scripture expert and his reflections on our weekly gospel readings are uniquely insightful.
Sister Hyacinthe podcast on the Rosary