Personal Relationship with Christ
It’s amazing to me how many people assume that Catholics do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In fact, I’ve been told personally that this is “not a Catholic term” and that this term “is often mocked by Catholics”. I cannot begin to express how far from the truth this thinking is! First off, my RCIA class is constantly talking about our growing relationship with Christ, encouraging prayer and the reading of Scripture. At Wednesday’s class, they had a panel of married couples who stressed the importance of keeping Christ in the center of the marriage. This is also a continuing topic I hear on Catholic radio... Every morning, I listen to “Food for the Journey”. This show is about our growing personal relationship with Christ... about maturing in our faith, trusting God, reading His Word, praying, and loving others. Isn’t that what a personal relationship with Christ looks like?
Even the catechism stresses its importance (with the same term):
2558 "Great is the mystery of the faith!" The Church professes this mystery in the Apostles' Creed (Part One) and celebrates it in the sacramental liturgy (Part Two), so that the life of the faithful may be conformed to Christ in the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father (Part Three). This mystery, then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer.
No one can tell me that Catholics are not encouraged to have a personal relationship with Christ. Every Mass encourages this relationship through reading of Scripture, prayer, worship and, at the deepest level, when we partake in Holy Communion. I have found no deeper personal relationship than what I’ve experience since I decided to come into full communion with the Catholic Church and I imagine that it will only grow deeper and better as time goes on.
Catholics DO have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ... anyone who says otherwise is not taking a fair look at the Catholic faith.