“Dear young people, do not settle for anything less than Truth and Love, do not be content with anything less than Christ.” -Pope Benedict XVI
I ran across this quote the other day on Facebook and absolutely LOVED it. It’s wonderful that our Holy Father reminds us of this…because it has become all too easy to replace Christ with things of this world. As Catholic teens trying to truly live the Faith, we must never lose sight of Jesus in our lives and we must keep Him always at the center of everything we do. It is God who created us and it is for Him that we live, not for this world.
Thanks for the reminder, your Holiness!
I’ve let this series fall by the wayside, and for that I apologize. But we’re back on track now, so let’s get right down to it.
Truly living as a Catholic teenager does not consist of putting a sticker on your shirt or acting pious when people are looking: it involves truly seeking Jesus Christ and His will for your life. During this journey, we will find support in the person of the priest, and we will always find nourishment and strength in the sacraments.
To keep your body healthy, you exercise, right? Maybe you jog at night, ride a bike, or lift weights. Well, the sacraments are the weights to exercise and strengthen your spiritual muscles. We should regularly receive the Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of Reconciliation. If we are to follow Christ faithfully, we must learn to acknowledge our sins and trust in His forgiveness and we must also receive Him with love in the Eucharist. Let’s take a look at the two sacraments I’ve mentioned.
1.: The Eucharist
We know that attending Mass is absolutely essential if we are to live as faithful Catholics. At the heart of the Mass is the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. With this sacrament, Christ nourishes us with His own Body and Blood. He comes to each one of us in this intimate and loving way every time we receive Him in the Eucharist. What should you do?
Open your heart! Welcome your Master and unite yourself to Him in Holy Communion! This sacrament has so much power and, consequently, enables us to live out our daily lives as Catholics. I could go on and on about the Eucharist…but as I check my archives, I find that I’ve already done that…twice.
Everybody’s favorite sacrament, right? Well, it should rank pretty far up there. And, like it or not, it is necessary. Don’t be afraid to approach our loving God often in this sacrament! Through Reconciliation, we learn not only of God’s amazing love and forgiveness in spite of our own sinfulness, but we also learn humility because we must admit our faults before another human being. Confession isn’t meant to terrify you…it’s a Sacrament of Healing. Sin wounds our relationship with God and, in this sacrament, those wounds are healed and we are brought back into right relationship with our Lord. Never forget that it is Christ acting through the person of the priest, so don’t be afraid. Admit your faults to your priest and then, if you need to, ask him any questions you might have about living as a Catholic. Maybe there’s a particular sin you struggle with or maybe you need some advice about the spiritual life. Ask him! You’ll get the answer you need. Remember: you approach Christ in this sacrament.
Regular reception of these two sacraments will help you along your path as a faithful Catholic.