Can you remember a time when you were touchy and perhaps even difficult to live with a few years ago? Look at that area of your life today.  Has anything changed?  Is the condition at all improved? Did you perhaps resent an injury done to you in the past? Are you still harboring that same old grudge today?  A dozen years ago did you have a bad temper that inflicted unhappiness to family and/or friends? How about now? Is that temper under any better control today? The sad thing is that we can tolerated conditions like that year after year.  These are some of the chronic sicknesses of the human soul.  

Our Catholic discipleship is not a static condition.  It is rather a living relationship. And like all relationships is either growing or it is dying.  It is either expanding or shrinking. No one of us remains at the same  level of childishness throughout all his or her adult years.  One either changes the  direction of his or her life and grows up and becomes a mature adult, or else he or she regresses further and further into childishness.  A selfish person does not stop and stay on the same plateau of self-seeking.  He or she either opens their mind to the truth that there are bigger and more important things in this world than one’s own needs and wants, or else that person becomes more and more self-centered with the passing of time. 

Whatever else our Christian faith is, it is not sitting down with folded hands and waiting for God to solve our problems and shape up our lives.  The only kind of faith that makes any real difference in our  personal lives is that kind that we act upon.

Take a look at your own life today.  Has your Catholic faith made any real difference in your life?  Are you spiritually, morally, and emotionally stronger and healthier than you were even a year ago?  If not, why not!

Jesus is not going to mold and strengthen our lives by some magic.  We become better in the fine act of living in much the same way we become better at anything.  For example, how does one become better at baseball?  One works at it.  Much practice makes for a better player!

So how does one build a Christ-like life?  One works at it.  But we are not left to our own devices.  We have the presence and help of the Master, Jesus Himself.  But we need to do the work.

Everyday we are encouraged to practice our faith.  The next time someone happens to irritate you, instead of blowing your stack like you may have in the past, try to be more Christ-like.  Exercise some patience.  Your patience “muscles” are probably flabby and soft from lack of practice. Being Christ-like takes work and practice.  The point is — the only faith that works is the faith that we work at.  God is not   going to do for us what we could and should do for ourselves.

So, do you really and truly want to change for the better?  Are you serious about being more  Christ-like?  Just reach out and ask Jesus for help.  Through the sacraments, through prayer, through bible sharing — you can truly become more Christ-like.  Jesus can and ants to heal our chronic sickness of our soul by showing us how it is done.  He is waiting for you to approach Him.  He wants to show you the way.  Let Him show the way to you.