Many Catholics lack practical advice on how to make their faith work for them. They go to Mass, try to pray and do the right thing, but they don't know how to integrate their faith with their daily life.
Maybe they've developed a few personal prayer traditions or remembered a few family devotions from their childhood, but life has been too hectic to pay much attention to their spiritual life. They think they should go on a retreat or give more time to develop their spiritual life, but it just doesn't happen.
This weekly newsletter will help with that. Each week I will publish a couple of short articles on how to be a practical Catholic. The articles will help you apply your faith in everyday life.
I'll write on prayer, personal relationships, Bible study and family matters. I'll offer some advice on good books to read, good websites to visit and how to get the most out of Mass. I'll add a few articles on the basics of the Catholic faith and how to lead a joyful, positive and dynamic life in the Spirit.
I hope you'll enjoy receiving this email, and that you'll tell your friends. I'll provide links to my blog, tweets and Facebook page for more information and reading. You can also use those pages to interact, ask questions and be in touch.
The Holy Fire at the Easter Vigil is a powerful symbol of the resurrection of Christ, but it also represents the Holy Spirit. At Baptism you were given the first gift of the Holy Spirit. The original sin you were born with was washed away and a little seed of the Holy Spirit was planted in your life.
As you advanced in the faith you learned more and nurtured the seed of the Holy Spirit. At Confirmation you received the fullness of the gift through the ministry of Christ's Church. When the Bishop laid hands on your head the gift of the Holy Spirit was confirmed in your life.
However, to live within the fullness of the Holy Spirit we have to co-operate with God. Think of it like this: at Baptism you were given a car with a full tank of gas. At Confirmation you were given the keys to the car. But you still have to decide to take the risk of driving the car. You have to get into the driver's seat, turn the car on and set out on the journey.
So it is with the life of the Spirit. God provides everything we need, but we have to drive the car. We have to work with God to complete the long journey to heaven. Living a life that is full of the Holy Spirit is the work of a lifetime. Day by day and week by week through all of life's joys and sorrows we move further and further into that fullness that was given to us through baptism and confirmation.
You might ask, "If I am filled with the Holy Spirit why don't I feel and know it more?" Too often being "filled with the Holy Spirit" has been equated with a wonderful religious experience. These experiences are fine as far as they go, but if you want to see what being filled with the Holy Spirit is really like you should study the lives of the saints. They sometimes had wonderful mystical experiences, but more often they simply got on and lived their lives in the Spirit with a kind of supernatural power that welled up within them day by day.
And what happens when things go wrong? To continue the analogy of a car journey, stumbling into sin is like the car breaking down or taking a wrong turning or having a road accident. We mess up. We need help. We have to call roadside assistance, the tow truck and the mechanic. That's what confession is all about.
Do you long to live this Spirit filled life? This newsletter will help you live that kind of life. With practical advice and pointers for the journey of faith, it will help you grow stronger day by day.