Week Three Review
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
If you are choosing to participate at home only, you can set aside an hour a week to complete the video and questions, or you can break it up into 15-30 minutes a few times during the week.
I added some questions for personal prayer for anyone wanting to reflect a bit more on the Paschal Mystery this week!
WELCOME to WEEK THREE!
“I’m spiritual, but I’m not religious.”
How many times have you heard someone say something along those lines? In our day and age, that stance is popular, especially among people who have stopped attending church but who continue to believe in God (or at least a “higher power”). When someone tells us that they just don’t want to be tied to rules and regulations, or that they prefer to have a “personal relationship” with Jesus, but that they don’t need the Church, what should be our response?
Merely telling them that they are wrong isn’t going to be convincing. We have to take the time to explain how religion and spirituality are intricately interwoven, as well as how Jesus never expected us to follow a spiritual path without a community: the Church. We need to point out that the truly spiritual life is, as Jesus himself said, like a vine in which he is the trunk and we are the branches. We are interconnected through our beliefs, our worship, and our desire to know and understand the truth. And once we understand the truth, we realize that it is as impossible to be spiritual without being religious as it is to swim without getting into the water.
Follow the plan outlined to progress through the session. If you prefer, you can follow session nine of the Participant Guide below.
Session Nine appears on pages 58-62.
The Catholic Faith Explained Participant Guide.pdf
\Watch the video below -
Watch the full video at once: 45 min.
You may prefer to break the viewing into 2 parts:
Part One 15 min;
Part Two 30 min
Why Do I Need the Church? The Mystery of the Catholic Church
Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained | Season 1 | Episode 8 | 45min
Though Jesus saves us as individuals, he calls us to live out our salvation as members of a communion of believers. But that can be hard if we don't understand what the Church is and what it is meant to be. Why does the Church claim to have authority over what Catholics believe? How do we reconcile both the divinity and humanity of the Church that Christ himself created? Why is the Church essential to the life of every believer?
Video: The Catholic Church
REFLECTION QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL PRAYER THIS WEEK
Spend a few moments reflecting on all that you learned about the Catholic Church, and Jesus' desire for us to participate fully in the life of the Church he established. Write down your thoughts to the following questions:
1. In the video, we we heard that Jesus wants to have a personal relationship with us in his Church, but not a private, individualistic relationship. What are the differences between a personal relationship with God in his Church and an individualistic relationship with God?
2. Reflect on the following quote:
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you".
Jesus described himself as the vine and we, united to him in the Church, are the branches. In what ways can you "remain" in Jesus? What comes to mind when you read Jesus' promise that if we remain in him, we will bear much fruit? What kind of fruit would you like to bear in this life?
3. Even though most Americans claim to believe in God, more and more embrace the idea of being "spiritual" but not belonging to an organized religion or church. One of the fundamental reasons for this attitude, according to the presenters in this video, is that we don't like the idea that there is something outside of ourselves with an objective standard that has the right to guide, inform, and correct our beliefs and behavior. Some people might want the benefits of being "spiritual", but they don't want the challenges that come with real growth and transformation. Are there ways that you keep the Church and her teachings at a distance because you don't want to be challenged or have to change your life? What would you have to change or give up to fully embrace all the teachings of the Church? How might your life be different if you gave yourself over completely to Christ and His Church?
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
Catechism of the Catholic Church
on Friday, June 26 at 2:00PM