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LIVE BY FAITH
How to Increase Your Faith
How can you increase your faith?
By being active in a Catholic Organization and making the Beatitudes part of your everyday life.
What are the Beatitudes?
The beatitudes are the teachings of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount on the meaning and the way to true happiness. CCC
To be a saint really does mean to be a person of The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12). Jesus gives us these means toward real happiness and sanctity and shows us how counter cultural they are. God wants us to live the beatitudes.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
To be poor in spirit is to be humble before God. To be sorry for your sins and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To be poor in spirit is to empty ourselves from all of the distractions so that our main focus is to seek the will of God.
When is the last time you received the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
What are some of the distractions in your life that you need to avoid in order to focus on seeking the will of God?
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
We mourn and are sad for the trials we have in our life like the death of a loved one, troubles and problems but we have the comfort of knowing that God loves us and gave us the Holy Spirit to comfort us. We should also mourn when we give in to the temptation to sin but also have the comfort of knowing that our sins are forgiven through the sacrament of reconciliation and can look forward to eternal life.
Is there anyone that is going through a difficult time that you could help uplift?
Have you ever invited a friend to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
The meek have a spirit of gentleness and self control, they are not violent and don’t exploit others. The meek are guided by the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and can become heroes for God by focusing of the needs of others and helping them like Christ did. Jesus says blessed are the meek and the world says really blessed are the powerful.
Is there someone being picked on or bullied that you could be a friend to?
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be filled.
Again, by following the will of God we will feel compelled, hungry and thirsty to live like Christ and to help others in any way that we can and by living this way we become champions for the pro-life and other causes and by doing this we are filled with a deep sense of happiness and fulfillment that only God can give us.
Are you participating in the pro-life movement?
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
To be merciful is to forgive others of the wrongs and sins they’ve committed against us and also to show compassion for those in need. When we think of the mercy that we receive from God for our sins and all of the blessings that we receive from God we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit to forgive others and have compassion and sacrifice ourselves for others as Christ did.
Is there anyone that you need to forgive?
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.
Our heart helps us to make choices and to be pure in heart is to focus our choices on the will of God and by focusing on God we will see God at work in our lives. By living with a pure heart we show acts of love and mercy, strive to help others and have the joy of knowing that when we receive eternal life we will see God in the beatific vision. We become pure in heart by changing anything in our life that is contrary to the way of Christ and receiving the Sacrament of reconciliation. Jesus says blessed are the pure of heart; the world says blessed are you when you are sexy when everybody lusts after you and when you lust and give into your carnal temptations.
Are you living a chaste life?
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.
Our God is the God of peace and His whole plan of redemption is to provide us with peace and salvation. To be a true peacemaker is to promote the Gospel of Life and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Jesus says blessed are you when you’re a peacemaker. The world says blessed are you who finish fights that other people started.
Are you trying to promote the Gospel of Life and the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus was persecuted and told as that as His followers we will be persecuted too but we are assured by Jesus that we will be rewarded in the kingdom in heaven which is worth more than anything that the world can offer us. So as Catholics we must endure to live our faith openly rather than hide it out of fear of being ridiculed, laughed at and unpopular. Jesus says very clearly blessed are you when people revile you, persecute you, utter all types of evil against you falsely, because of me. The world says blessed are you when everybody likes you.
Are you hiding your faith or living it openly?
And so in the Beatitudes we see the clear contrast between the path toward holiness and the path that the world says will lead to felicity.
What are some of the benefits of the Catholic Faith?
1. Faith is the beginning of eternal life.
2. Faith gives us a taste in advance of the light of the Beatific Vision.
3. All of life’s questions are answered and supported through the Catholic faith.
“The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God;
and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness
he never stops searching for.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 27
“Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.”
~ Pope Benedict XVI, April 16, 2008 address to the U.S. Bishops at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington
“Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand.”
~ Saint Thomas Aquinas
"Faith is a beam radiating from the face of God."
~ St. John Eudes
“. . . I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.”
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