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Live the Complete Christian Life: Weekly Message for 07-12-16
Dear Fellow Digital Pilgrim, pax Christi:
One highlight of my ministry this year has been producing our whole series of Retreat Guides on mercy, in honor of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Having this digital platform has enabled us to support the Holy Father’s initiative in a direct and consistent way all year. I sincerely hope you have found the Mercy Retreat Guides useful and enriching – and there are more coming in the fall (keep your eyes peeled!).
Another highlight was finishing a book that I consider to be the third in a three-part series: Go! 30 Meditations on How Best to Love Your Neighbor as Yourself. Almost ten years ago we published the first of the series: The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer. Last year we published number two: Seeking First the Kingdom: 30 Meditations on How to Love God with All Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength. You may be wondering why these three books form what I am calling a “series” – almost like a trilogy. Let me explain.
If I were to put a name to the trilogy, I would call it, “The Complete Christian Collection” – something that I am sure we all long to be. The Better Part is all about encountering Christ in a personal way by meditating on the Gospels. But encountering Christ isn’t enough. We then need to follow him, to become his disciples, to allow his truth and grace to reshape every sector of our souls and every aspect of our lives. We need to become his disciples. That’s what Seeking First the Kingdom is all about. But we don’t just encounter and follow Christ, we also get to share in his mission: he invites us to be his messengers and apostles. What is that mission all about? What does it look like? How do we do it? That’s the topic of book number three: Go!
Encountering Christ, becoming his disciple, and sharing in his mission. These are three essential aspects of being a truly mature Catholic Christian. And because we can never grow spiritually unless we have the fellowship of other believers, we wrote these books to be used either for personal reading and meditation, or for small-group study and discussion. Each chapter has discussion questions and questions for personal reflection.
Encounter, discipleship, mission, and fellowship. These are characteristics of the Complete Christian. I encourage you to make a personal project out of this series – pray through the short chapters in each book, or discuss them together with some friends. Now more than ever the New Evangelization needs complete Christians, mature Christians. And this “trilogy” can help. You can find out more about The Complete Christian Collection here: http://www.catholicword.com/complete-christian.html. And if you want to get a quick start, you can also check out our Complete Christian Retreat Guide: http://rcspirituality.org/the-complete-christian-a-retreat-guide-on-the-calling-of-the-twelve-apostles/.
Thank you for giving us a chance to live our mission.
Keep counting on my prayers for you and all our digital pilgrims and missionaries.
Yours in Him,
Fr John Bartunek, LC, SThD