God has called us to light up the world with his love. Our growth is always related to meeting the challenges of this great mission.
God has called you to be part of his light-bearing mission to the world. OLMC exists to bring that mission to life, and we’re here to help you grow into God’s plan.
Why is personal growth centrally important to the execution of his mission? It’s because the light we bring to the world is nothing other than our lives lit up by the love of God. As the maxim goes, we can’t give what we don’t have.
Jesus drives this point home by getting to the heart of the matter:
[Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Matthew 22:37-39
Is this hard? No. It’s impossible for us. But Jesus can make it happen.
Owning our weakness and relying on Jesus’ strength, drawing breath - drawing life - from his Spirit, and making God the very center of our hearts and lives, we can live up to this great call.
We cannot make ourselves grow - we grow only as God gives the increase - but we can prepare ourselves to have it happen. There are ways we can become more receptive to God’s love, and we can learn how to better bring his love to life.
We tackle these things together at OLMC. For more on how to grow keep reading or reach out to our team of Spiritual Mentors.
A Simple Plan of Life
When we’re looking to grow in our relationship with God, it’s hard to figure out where to start. That’s why we take a roofs, gutters, and grading approach to spiritual growth at OLMC.
What is a roofs, gutters, and grading approach?
Have you ever had water in your basement? As a homeowner there’s almost nothing so scary. Water is a destructive force anywhere, but if it’s in your basement you have big problems.
A common response to discovering water problems is to think through extraordinary solutions: sealing the exterior wall, shoring up the foundation, french drains, etc.
That’s not where contractors start, though. And for good reason.
90% or more of all home water problems are the result of roof, gutters, or grading issues. If your roof is in good shape, if your gutters are in place and functioning as they should, and if the land around your house slopes in the right direction, chances are your house is dry.
Starting with the ordinary solutions of roofs, gutters, and grading makes sense not only because that’s where you’ll likely fix your issue, but also because if that’s not the fix you can move with confidence to extraordinary measures.
This is analogous to growth in our relationship with God. The ordinary means of shoring up our relationship with God should be put in place before we begin to look elsewhere for spiritual health and growth. The roofs, gutters, and grading - the 90% solution - of Christian life are Sunday Mass, Monthly Confession, Daily Prayer, Serving, and Giving. Just a word on each:
Sunday Mass: From the earliest days of the Church until now, Sunday - as the day on which Jesus rose from the dead - has been marked out by all Christians as a day of central significance. We keep this day not simply in memory of what Jesus has done for us: The Eucharist allows us to share, here and now, in Jesus’ death-conquering love, which is the fuel of Christian life.
(see CCC, 2168-95)
Monthly Confession: Sharing that he goes to Confession every 15 or so days, Pope Francis described himself as “a sinner whom the Lord looked upon with mercy” (Credere, Dec. 2, 2015).
The sacrament of Penance restores us to intimate friendship with God and reconciles us with the Church. In short, it makes us fit for our mission, to light up the world with the love of God. Frequent confession of our everyday faults helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ, and progress in the life of the Spirit.
(see CCC, 1422-98)
Daily Prayer: Prayer is how God enkindles our hearts and keeps the fire of his love burning within us. We are called to pray at all times, but this is only possible if we pray at specific times. The almost universal testimony of the saints (the Church’s spiritual masters) is that we need to pray for at least 30 uninterrupted minutes a day.
(see CCC, 2558-865)
Serving: As Jesus makes him known to us, God is recklessly-give-awayness. Growth in the image of God, then, means that we become recklessly-give-awayers. To be Christian is to live as people - both individually and together - who are ever ready to respond to God’s call to give ourselves away without counting the cost.
Giving: All Christian disciplines are about making God and his priorities the very center of our lives. Perhaps nothing does this more practically than tithing - giving God the first 10% of our income. Growth in giving to the tithe and beyond is sure to spur on spiritual health. For more, check out olmc.church/give
These five basic habits are not the only important practices for Christian living, but with these essential pillars in place we are primed for spiritual growth.
It can be a challenge to integrate good spiritual practices into your life. Our team of Spiritual Mentors is expertly equipped to help you put a plan of life in place that will help you flourish in your relationship with God.
Christian Disciplines for Growth
(In progress: These articles will be written and linked over time.)
Spirituality & Sanctification
All of Life Worship
Confession of Sin
Cultivating Spiritual Fruit