“Christian, recognize your dignity and, now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return to your former base condition…
Never forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of the Kingdom of God.”
(From a Sermon by St. Leo the Great, quoted in paragraph 1691 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church)
“Christian” seems to mean many things. The word “Christian” used as an adjective refers to things related to a religious system, a philosophy, a moral code, an infrastructure of human institutions, an approach to sociology, an approach to business, etc. The word ‘Christian” can modify and therefore more clearly define anything paired with it.
But “Christian” as a person becomes personal. And “Christian” for a human speaks of being a human being. Being a “Christian” means embracing, coming to know, living by, and finding one’s identity in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Being a Christian involved with a relationship with God situates an individual into relationships with other Christians. Together, Christians seek to live by faith, with hope, and in love. Christians understand that while espousing high ideals they don’t know it all. They are learners who are continually seeking to follow Christ and the “way” that is the Church. Christians live by a deep conviction in God’s grace, making sense of the world with forgiveness, justice and mercy. Christians continue to be converted into greater humility and greater wholeness by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Christians practice prayer, study, and worship individually and together as Church. Catholic Christians experience grace and blessing, meaning and being in Sacraments which unite God, heaven and earth. Worship and praise of Christians, particularly divine liturgy, unites all Christian peoples from every age around the mysteries of salvation.
So this got deep pretty quickly. It sounds complicated. And it is as complicated as human experience coming into contact with God’s reality. But being a Christian starts as simply as recognizing a yearning to get more out of life, fill a void, struggle with meaning, or simply tired of guilt, mistakes and brokenness. Simply say a little prayer to God, in your own sincere way, with just a bit of faith and a lit’ bit of hope. That’s how everybody starts being a “Christian”.
If you’d like to chat a bit more about all of this, feel free to contact the parish office, or send an email. Fr. Reynold, Fr. Mike or Fr. Thanh-Tai would be happy to sit down and talk.
If you’d like to know more about being a Catholic Christian click here.