Are you a disciple? Or does your Christian identity reside solely in belief? Or that and knowledge?
The bullet points below outline some qualities on which one can check oneself. Note there are three overarching categories, but I’d like to draw out three important words of description.
We speak often of that personal relationship with Jesus, and the checkpoint is this: Is Jesus central?
Prayer is important to the Christian life, but the question offered by the Aparecida bishops is this: do we have the spirit in our lives?
And third, does involvement in the communities of the church and society involve cheer? Or is it a burden we must bear? I think this matter is separate from the frequent introvert complaint. Introverts aren’t misanthropes. Crowds drain energy from an introvert, but one can still show love to others, experience fervor, and find a source of cheer before one goes off alone to rest.
292. As traits of the disciple, toward which Christian initiation points, we single out:
- having as center the person of Jesus Christ, our Savior and fullness of our humanity, source of all human and Christian maturity;
- having a spirit of prayer,
- being a lover of the Word,
- practicing frequent confession
- and participating in the Eucharist;
- cheerfully being a part of the ecclesial and social community,
- showing solidarity in love,
- and being a fervent missionary.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.