Sunday, March 9, 2008

Personal Relationship with Jesus

Father Dwight Longenecker has a great post that asks the question, "What does it mean to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?" An excellent, thought provoking post.
Here is part of the post. I strongly encourage you to check out the whole post.

"The problem I had was that I felt more and more that the 'personal relationship with Jesus' was more 'personal' than 'Jesus'. As I grew older and got a wider experience of Evangelical Christianity it all seemed rather sentimental and subjective. Not only were the different denominations idea of the personal relationship different, but every individual's personal relationship seemed as different as could be, and I naturally began to suspect that much of the , 'personal relationship with Jesus' consisted of sincere, but subjective emotions, and that the Jesus people had a personal relationship was often more of a reflection of their own inner desires, their own personality, their religious preferences and what they had been taught about Jesus than anything else.
I then began to meet a few Catholics who seemed to be closer to Jesus than anyone I had ever met, but they never spoke about a 'personal relationship with Jesus.' Then when I became a Catholic I began to experience the personal relationship in a way I had never experienced before. Suddenly things did not depend on my own emotional world, but on objective realities. Catholicism was something hard and real and solid.

"Here" as John Henry Newman observed, "was real religion."

The Eucharist was real. Confession was real. The priesthood was real. The visible Church was real. The saints were real. Jesus was real, and my personal relationship with him was very, very real, and I was not sure that what I was experiencing was actually something I liked. Humankind cannot bear very much reality, and the reality of my relationship with Christ entered a new and disturbing dimension.

I began to realize that Jesus, like Aslan, is not a tame lion. He is, after all, the Lord of Life, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Only Begotten Son seated at the Right Hand of the Father in Majesty. He is the one through whom all things were made and in whom all things live and move and have their being. He is the dreadful judge, under whose authority all things in heaven and earth bow down in worship. To be sure he loves me and his sacred heart shines out in divine mercy for me, but am I really here and now to have a personal relationship with him which is only warm and fuzzy religious emotion? "

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin