The "Path" of CONVERSION
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!"
The social dimension of conversion
Pope John Paul II reminds us that true "brotherly" love means attending to all the needs of our neighbor!
He is continually
reminding us of the DIGNITY
of every person!
Because we are made in the image of Christ, that is why he also continually urges us to become politically active in order to help bring to fulfillment, social change
which would reflect all that is found within the pages of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He cautions us that we must be careful that this activity always be in union with the teachings of the Catholic Church and not guided by our ~~ many times incorrect ~~ individual consciences.
As quoted exactly from the Douay-Rheims version of the Bible, in 1st John Chapter 4, verse 20,
And in 1st John 3:17, "If any one has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him."
How are we able to truthfully say that we are Christians and love God, if we do not love others?
WHERE IS GOD'S LOVE WITHIN US?
The " LIGHT" OF GOD'S LOVE
does not shine from us if we are in the darkness!
In order to emerge from the darkness, we must first convert.
He also reminds us that
conversion is a life-long
which is never fully accomplished during our lifetime because of our constant exposure to temptation! It is this temptation which inclines us to the the tendency toward sinning! That is also precisely the reason which makes the pathway to Hell, "easy" and "wide!" (Matthew 7:13-14)
Temptations surround us daily and if we "fall into" serious or mortal sin, we fall from God's "light" and suddenly find ourselves in an unexpected "darkness" because we have separated ourselves from Him through our own "free-will."
We must be like Jesus! He fell three times under the weight of our sins. ~~
Three times He picked Himself up and continued on.
After "falling into sin," we must "pick ourselves up," through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and continue on our journey.
You see ~~
CONVERSION IS AN ON-GOING PROCESS!
is the constant renewing of our "encounter" with the
"Living" Jesus Christ
TAKES more EFFORT TO STAY ON because
IT IS NARROW!
Our beloved Pope feels that the universal call to conversion has special implications for America now. It is because she is currently struggling to RENEW the FAITH.
Fathers stress the importance of the Bishops who are our shepherds.
Pope encourages them to really identify with the personal attributes of Jesus
Christ, Who is The Good Shepherd.
Jesus, himself, said,
"I am the Good Shepherd."
"The Good Shepherd giveth His life for His sheep." (John 10:11)
The Bishops feel that a personal identification with Jesus' lifestyle will lead them to simplicity, poverty and responsibility for others instead of thinking of themselves.
In this way, they will be able to call
upon all the strength of the Holy Spirit
the words of Jesus Christ to help those who are farthest away and excluded from the faith.
Good Shepherd takes care
of his own flock.
He gently guides them by his words of faith and love to make them one flock!
"And I will give you pastors according to My own heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine." (Jeremiah 3:15)
St. Paul, one of our first Bishops, writes, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ." (1st Corinthians 11:1)
The Synod Fathers, themselves, desire to be pastors or good shepherds whose words and actions are patterned after God's own heart.
Bishops who are united
with our Pope, they are trying to set good examples of being GOOD SHEPHERDS ~~ by representing holiness, humility and sacrifice for all the faithful.