The "Path" of CONVERSION

 

"Reflections" regarding THE PATH OF CONVERSION

 

Prayer ~~  "Come Holy Spirit!  Come and transform the hearts of all your people!  Come quickly, so we may at long last "see" the new heavens and new earth!"


As Our Lady of Guadalupe assisted in the conversion of seven million pagans in eight years, more than 450 years ago,  she has lovingly "taken us by the hand" and led us to the "path" of our own personal conversion.  Let us continue to reflect upon the words of Pope John Paul II in the written work of love, THE CHURCH IN AMERICA.

 The urgency of the call to conversion

St. Peter reminds us, "Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out." (Acts 3:19)
 AND
 Jesus, Himself reminds us, "... The time is accomplished and the kingdom of God is at hand:  repent, and believe the Gospel."  (Mark 1:15)   
 

As we proceed through this year GREAT JUBILEE year, we read the words that Jesus spoke to his Apostles right after He had instituted the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper.  He was emphatically telling them,  "I AM THE WAY  THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE," 
AND
that no one can come to the Father except through Him.  (John 14:6)   
He promised them that
if they followed Him and His teachings that they would be granted eternal life.  

Once again, Jesus is "calling out" to all of us through His servant, Pope John Paul II.  He is asking us to examine our lives 
 AND
 
to change what is not good!  
All of us are being strongly urged to conform our life styles to the teachings of Holy Scripture
because 
as St. Paul tells us, "It is time now to wake from sleep, because our salvation is closer then when we first became
believers!" (Romans 13:11)

 

Conversion is not only for those who do not "know" Jesus Christ but also for the faithful who know that He exists and believe in Him.  We are all sinners, and it is our chance to REPENT of our sins 
and BELIEVE! 

Pope John Paul II reminds us, time and time again that "...true conversion needs to be prepared for and nurtured    

through the prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture and the practice of the 

SACRAMENTS of

RECONCILIATION
                   
AND

HOLY EUCHARIST.

As Christians, we are being "called forth" in order to walk the "path" of conversion also. 


This conversion strengthens our faith and love for Jesus 
and must become part of our daily lives, as we learn to walk in holiness and love,  following the footsteps of the "Living" Jesus Christ ~~ Who is the WAY!

 { At this time it would be good for us to read the entire 1st Letter of St. John in Sacred Scripture as this entire letter is about LOVE!  }                                                                                                          During this  Great Jubilee year, we are being summoned to testify to the "Living" Jesus Christ  ~~  Who is the TRUTH!  Our beloved Pope reminds us that being over 500 years since the first evangelization of the continent of America and 
 

2000 years since the birth of Christ,  

we are all called to 
a more  personal conversion and faithfulness to the

TRUTH of the Gospel.

 It also calls us to a deeper sense of our Christian vocation, or life's work.  Once we have "encountered" the "Living" Jesus Christ, we cannot help but be "called to conversion."

Remember, we are not talking about a "physical" change, but a change of our "heart" and our "mind."  Our dear Pope uses the word, metanoia  which is a Greek word meaning conversion of the heart.    

It means abandoning our selfishness and living "more and more" according to the teachings of our Lord.  It means a changing of the reasons behind our actions as is reflected in the Gospel teachings!  

   We have to remember that before we are able to advance in the way of GOD'S GRACE and LOVE, we must first be grounded firmly in our FAITH! 

The knowledge and acceptance of Christ and the fullness of His Gospel must come first in order to accomplish any works of LOVE! 

 LOVE COMES FROM GOD because 

 

GOD IS LOVE!

 In order to have God's light burning bright in us, we have to prepare ourselves through our own personal conversion. 

When our neighbors see a  

 

"light"

shining from us when we perform our daily works, deeds, and sacrifices, what they really see is the "light" of God's LOVE!  

If a true conversion has taken place, that conversion leads us to a physical and spiritual communion with our human brothers and sisters, REMEMBERING that Christ, Himself, is the head of the Church and our "community family."  

 

Once we experience this CONVERSION and COMMUNION, we are urged to a SOLIDARITY in our thinking, and actions  ~~ 
because what we do "...to the least of our brethren...,"  we do unto Christ. We must act upon what we read in the Bible, in order that we may become true disciples of the "Living" Jesus Christ
~~

Who is the LIFE! 

 JESUS IS "ALIVE" THROUGH US!

True conversion means that there is no longer separation between what we believe and what we do!  

Jesus reminds us, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven:   but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven ~~ he shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven."  (Matthew 7:21) The words alone, "I BELIEVE," will not get us into Heaven if we do not back the "belief" with actions filled with faith and love  

We must do "works of mercy" for others and these works must be done with love!   

In order to show someone that we care what happens to them, we must be willing to give of our time, money or talents in order to help. 
 This, of course,
means sacrifice.  
We must forget our own sufferings and  "lend a hand" to others who are in need of our help.
 
 
When we do this, we are doing God's WILL.

THEN

We will find ourselves "living out" our FAITH in a total self-giving way ~~ 

martyrdom being the ultimate act of self-less LOVE!

 

New Message of Hope 

The Encounter with The Living Jesus Christ

Encountering
Jesus Christ in America Today
The Path of Conversion

The Path to Communion

The Path  to
Solidarity