Dynamic: Phase 3: Becoming Close to Christ – Discipleship

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a. General: By this point, you are entering “Discipleship.” You are beyond mere “interest”: you are committing yourself. You have understood that you have been called to live your life as Jesus lived his. This becomes more important than previous.

b. By now, you have developed your own personal images of God; and this has resulted from the fact that you have nurtured a personal relationship with the divine.

c. Jesus himself is no mere historical curiosity: you understand him as inviting you to live life as he lived it. You have walked with him through his life; you have meditated on aspects of his life and teaching; you have made the Gospel message your own.

d. By now, faith plays an integral role in your life. You have put in place intentional spiritual practices and in many instances you have made changes in your lifestyle to accommodate your new understanding of human life.

e. Christian life is now more intentional, occupies a greater part of your concern; it may include regular intentional spiritual practices, such as prayer, meditation, Scripture reading, reading inspirational books. You are making an effort to model all of your life on the life of Jesus, including your family and work life.

f. Even your understanding of your personal finances begins to change: you begin to understand all income as “gift.” “Tithing” – or something akin to it – is routinely practised. Personal and family resources are prioritized in terms of needs to be met in the community.

g. You come to see time as “gift” and you regularly set time aside for growth in the faith. As “gift” time is more often seen as “availability” for Spirit-led actions. You gradually come to see that “your life is not about you” but about something far greater and far more important. “Secular” priorities are now often set aside to respond to “call.”

In this phase, you might continue to take advantage of opportunities for discipleship and discipline: you may consider a more rigorous form of daily meditation, known as “the Ignatian Exercises”; by now you have probably felt the importance of a regular contact with a spiritual director to help you with your journey; you have probably also by now developed the habit of regular silent retreats. It is also likely that you are playing a key role in your spiritual or religious community. Your task, at this stage, is to learn to “let go,” to become ever more detached from your ego needs, to empty yourself in order to be available to the guidance of the Spirit.