The Linked Parishes of Pope John XXIII & Christ The King
2020-21 Faith Formation Program
Session 5 - Faith, Hope & Charity
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We receive these gifts at Baptism, which is the sacrament from which we become a child of God and enter into the Catholic Church community…
These virtues flow from God and in turn, flow back to God. They are all interconnected, and each gets its source of strength from one another.
These virtues are graces that draw us into a deeper knowledge and relationship with the Holy Trinity
Grace is a “favor,” - meaning that it is a gift from God, a gift we cannot earn on our own.
Grace is the gift of God’s life within us and the help God gives us to live as his children.
"Grace Got You"
by Mercy Me
Have you ever met those who
Keep humming when the song’s through
They’re living life to a whole different tune
Have you ever met those that
Keep hoping when it’s hopeless
They’ve figured out what the rest haven’t yet
The second you realize
What you have inside
It’s only just a matter of time
So the back row hears you
‘Cuz walking just won’t do
You don’t have to know how to
Ever since ever since
Grace got you
‘Til your whole side’s hurting
Like you just got away with something
‘Cuz you just got away with something
Ever since ever since
Grace got you
These virtues are also known as Theological virtues.
They are all interconnected, and each gets its source of strength from one another.
Theological Virtues are God's direct gifts to us. The theological virtues are primarily gifts of God’s grace, as He Himself is their source
Let's take a closer look at each of these virtues
FAITH means much more than a passive belief in God. Faith is expressed by our actions, and attitudes. In fact, if we do not demonstrate our faith by our actions, our faith can be classified as just wishful thinking or a great philosophy or view of life.
Faith is NOT something that we can profess to be true one day and abandon the next. Faith requires commitment and courage to continue to grow in a better understanding of God.
We're all different and we each have our limitations that make achieving a goal more difficult for some than for others.
Some have extraordinary gifts, for example some people are very gifted in math, or art, or music or sports.
This is true when it comes to faith too.
Some are able to express it better than others and some are more willing to enter into the journey of deepening one’s faith than others.
This is because it takes work, patience, endurance, and a willingness to enter into a relationship with God.
What would you think of someone who declares that they are a doctor, but has not spent time learning all about the human body and how it works; the many diseases, how to treat them and the medicines that are used.. Would you go to such a person? Why?
Or how about an athlete... What does it take to be a great basketball, football, player, or gymnast? Would just spending one hour a week working out, just learning about the game and techniques enable a person to become competent in their chosen sport?
The same can be said about our faith. In order to enter into this faith journey we must commit to it long term. We must take the time and effort to grow in knowledge and understanding of God, and the Catholic Church.
Faith is an inner knowledge, a deeper understanding of God. It is an ownership, and a commitment to stick with it, even when things get confusing. Too many times when people no longer feel excited or uplifted by spiritual things, or when God seems far away, they abandon their spiritual journey because their faith is based upon emotions.
Faith, our relationship with God can never be based solely upon emotions. A good example of this is Mother Teresa….
Faith is a gift. God never forces this gift on us. We can accept it or reject it. And it is a life journey that matures and strengthens as we progress.
Think about your faith journey...
What things are easier to understand and accept?
What things do you find more difficult?
What do you think you need to do to overcome these obstacles?
HOPE means to desire; to long for God. It is like a magnet; an inner sense of being drawn to a truth beyond ourselves.
This grace enables us to keep God in our focus
Hope, in the Christian sense, is often misunderstood. It is not the same as optimism. It is not the blind faith that we will go to heaven to avoid the troubles of this world. It’s more personal than that. Fr. Mike Schmitz explains what it is and why we need it.
Hope helps us to overcome being discouraged with the things of this world, and when things spiritually are getting fuzzy.
Hope, together with faith enables us to be confident in our journey in this world and the world to come, which is heaven. Faith and hope work together, reinforcing each other.
We cannot hope or desire something that we know little to nothing about. You cannot desire to become an astrophysicist if you have no idea what it is.
Have you ever felt like you just had to do something, that not doing it would make you feel like you missed out on something worthwhile?
Psalm 71: 1-6
is a song of HOPE
CHARITY - If there is such a thing as a spiritual glue, or the grace that holds everything together this is CHARITY. It is also known by another name
and that is LOVE.
Love is at the very heart of faith and hope. Without it faith and hope cannot exist.
LOVE is perhaps the most misused term in the English language, so it is important to understand what love is, and is not…
Love does not have conditions. It is not here today and gone tomorrow. It is not self- centered. It does not wish harm upon others, even if people have hurt you or have done very evil things. It seeks rather a conversion of their hearts, and souls.
Love is not envious. Love does not seek out pleasure at the expense of others. Love does not put oneself above others, but sees everyone as being important and worthy of life, respect and dignity. LOVE is not fixated upon things, but looks at others as God sees them.
In what ways do you see the idea of LOVE misused and presented today?
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1 Corinthians 13:1-8
The Catholic Church celebrates the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes each year on On February 11. It recalls a series of 18 appearances that the Blessed Virgin Mary made to a 14-year-old French peasant girl, Saint Bernadette Soubirous.
Bernadette is a great example of living the theological virtues.
To can read more about St. Bernadette by clicking on the link
You can watch a full length movie by clicking on the image of Bernadette.
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS
Soon we will be entering into the season of Lent. (ASH Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. It is on February 17th, and is the day when we receive ashes, which represent our sinfulness and need for repentance. It is also a day when we fast … eat small meals and no snacks, refrain from eating meat and go to MASS).
Lent is a time of spiritual awakening, reflection and a time of repentance. It is a time of taking a really hard look at our selves, and our relationship with God. As you get older, more will be demanded of you. You are at the point in your life when you are truly responsible for your spiritual well being. Unless effort is put into it, you will get little to no benefit. So what can you do?
Lent is more, much more than giving things up. Those things are easy. Rather, it is DOING!
Think about your prayer life….
Think about your attendance at Mass on Sunday (in person on live streamed)……..
Think about how you treat others…………
Think about your willingness to help out…………………..
This Lent, consider examining your relationship with God.
Look things up on the computer, read books, articles, or watch things on the Catholic TV network (EWTN) Channel 285 (FIOS); Channel 44 Time Warner?
Lives of the Saints
Check out our monthly PLAYLIST for more ideas to explore