Living In The Real World

     Now days it is common in ecclesiastical movements for self-proclaimed “doctorates” to start their own works. The same is true in other professions such as scientific investigations, medicine, and journalism. Voices everywhere make great claims to wisdom, truth, and “all the answers you need.” They all seem to lack a very important formation process that serves to validate their work and deeds. Transparency, preparation, authenticity, and credibility, these are four words is succession that I believe are most important for success in vocation, ministry, and life in general.
     Education and signs of outward growth in life is important. It allows others to see the fruitfulness in one’s life and grow comfortable with that person’s ministry or vocation. The formation process for ministry or vocation is clear by the apostolic tradition, and we sheep can gather formation principles for our lives, no matter what we do in life. We might not enter the priesthood or monastic service, yet, as Christians we are to grow and transform into the image of the Almighty. (1) I believe there is a logical and spiritually principled way on the road to Christian formation.
     First, there is Transparency. It is the first and most difficult obstacle to cross on our journey in formation. It is scary to show others and God who we really are. Fear stands at the door of our mind and heart, blocking the way to light. Yet, we are to begin to ask ourselves about ourselves, and then open our hearts to God for direction and share it with others. That is when we can begin to find the path to our future, where were headed and what we are to do in life. Only then can we effectively begin to take the next step: preparation. (2)
     Preparation can be many different things to many people. For some it may mean time in college. For some it may mean the Peace Corps or the mission fields. Others may find themselves spending time in isolation, taking time to reflect on life. At the center of it all is the process that God uses to develop character and social skills that we need in life to be successful witnesses of the Gospel “With-God life.” A transparent person who is prepared is well on the way to serve our living savior with authentic charism.
     Authenticity is the step in life when others can recognize the work and fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. (3) It is the opportunity for us to share genuine love in Christ in His power and with His gifts. It is the chance for others to really know us, recognize Christ in us, and realize the mystery of the living gospel. When these things occur, then we gain credibility with others.
     Lately, when I see T.V. “miracles” and hear the “full gospel preaching”, when I hear the prognostications and denunciations, and I realize there is no credibility available with them, my heart sinks for the millions who may have a shallow experience with Jesus Christ. Post-modern evangelism must conform to tradition of the apostolic tradition of Spiritual Discipline. We must move the Catholic Church, (our universal body), into a new movement of renewal, as the French say, “renovare.” As individual Christians, let us muster up the courage to focus our hearts on Christ first, and made like Him. This is the Divine plan from the beginning of Alpha eternity…

1. “(GW) this is true because he already knew his people and had already appointed them to have the same form as the image of his Son. Therefore, his Son is the firstborn among many children. (HNV)  For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  (ISV)  For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:29
2. “(MKJV) Study earnestly to present you approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. (MRC)  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. (MSG)  Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.” II Timothy 2:15

3. “But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Gal 5:23 humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these. Gal 5:24 and those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires. Gal 5:25 The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives”

Most High
Glorious God,
Enlighten the darkness of my heart
And give me
True faith
Certain hope,
And perfect charity,
Sense and knowledge,
That I may carry out
Your holy and true command.

St. Francis, the Prayer before the Crucifix
Francis of Assisi: The Early Documents, Volume I
(New City Press, 1999), p. 40

About Friar Timothy, Franciscan Urban Mission, INC.

Disciple of Jesus Christ with a Progressive Message, Author, Franciscan Friar, Musician, Social Activist, and Urban Missionary View all posts by Friar Timothy, Franciscan Urban Mission, INC.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: