We are told experts are gathering to help Pope Francis answer a burning question: how to get young people excited about faith? Who are the experts and what is it they will be saying one has to ask? I’d be very interested to hear what they say, because faith is actually a Grace of God and not man made or man given.
Do they really want to help them find faith in God, or to become Catholics or members of a given religion? Those things are separate. They can go together and often do, but they don’t necessarily. Faith is what comes when one has a personal relationship with God, not with any Church or any religion.
It is a personal relationship that is individual to each person and it is THIS relationship that needs to be encouraged and nurtured. Every person’s will be unique to them, as faith is not something that can be taught, bought or acquired unless God so desires.
We can be taught about God as part of a religion we’ve been brought up in or hear about, but that doesn’t mean all those people will have faith, trust and a deep love of God. It just means many will know the rules of their given religion and maybe do as so many of them do, follow it parrot fashion without too much thought of God from one week to the next.
People are too busy trying to make faith about religion, plus which Church one should or should not belong and go to. They fail to recognise a relationship with God isn’t about going to church or being a Catholic, Jew or any other religion. It is about something deep inside. Something that cannot be given by anyone other than God. A gift given that we have to be able to become aware of and receive or reject.
Once individuals can do that, it is then about knowing God and loving Him in whichever way feels right for them as individuals. WHEN they have built that personal relationship, then they can decide if they want to be part of a religion or not, because strange though it may seem to some people, it isn’t just those who belong to a religion who believe in God and who have faith.
Many people of no religion love, serve and obey Him far more than many within them. Many of those people have faith in abundance. THIS is why I teach the way I do and not insist people HAVE to be within a structure, made up of mostly man’s laws, to know God and to have faith, trust, love and hope.
I am a Catholic, albeit a pretty lapsed one, but I love God far more than I do any religion. My relationship with God is very personal to me and not held back due to the confines of man’s laws. Laws which would otherwise curtail so much of my relationship with Him and heaven. Laws that have tried to.
Religion can be good, but it can also prevent people from finding God and coming to know Him properly. It can prevent them, because they’re focused far too much on doing what whichever religion they become part of tells them to do and behave, rather than what God does.
If the Vatican, the pope and those experts – whoever they may be – want to strengthen God’s Holy Church, then they should teach people to find God and allow them to develop their relationship with Him by giving guidance and counsel, but not by putting rules and restraints in place. For when that is done, a person becomes a prisoner rather than free. After all, God’s Church is not a building or a religion, it is everyone God created and loves.
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