Can We Talk About Jesus?

A troubling number of people come through the doors of the Catholic Church having never had a personal encounter with Jesus. This needs to change.

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  1. Yes, Jesus wants us all to have an intimate personal relationship with him. How much more intimate can we get than receiving him in the Eucharist vs. some touchy-feely momentary experience? Mark 8:18 "Having eyes do you not see; having ears you do not hear." We need to see him, hear him and share him! He's right there in front of us leading the way.

  2. Well, my wife and I are Protestants who are in the process of converting to Catholicism. It is true that Christ reveals himself to the world, including outside the walls of the Catholic church building. However, it is also true that, despite the fact that the effectual power of the gospel works in all places (including those occupied by Protestant church buildings!), there is a great and tremendous failing and weakness to Protestantism: it is constantly devolving, as this is the fruit of schism, and this allows the introduction of heretical beliefs and teachings to intrude. Schisms occur when someone believes they have esoteric [elite] knowledge, and this has translated into a [Protestant] form of Christianity that so spiritualizes the truth that it can only affirm a spiritualized [almost ethereal] faith that has no visible form and recognizes no authority other than itself. Ironically, while doing this, Protestant denominations also adopt a model of worship that is very closely modeled after Catholicism [after all, Protestants observe rituals and traditions of their own, as well].

    For us, the problem with Protestantism was both subjective [personal] and objective. It was subjective because it led us both everywhere and nowhere at once [for which cause, THE LORD called us to Catholicism]. It was objective because intellectually [from a literal, historical, and even academic standpoint] Catholicism withstands scrutiny, as the church Christ founded and empowers, and through which he calls us all to unity in the faith.

    Walking away from Protestantism into Catholicism was like walking into a vast universe of truth. No longer were we under pressure to act holy, but rather, now we are simply filled with the Lord's presence [God is the actor, not man] and we must merely receive his love and minister his grace to others, as we have freely received it. [We are EMPOWERED to BE holy by the Lord's grace.] For the FIRST TIME, as a converting Catholic, I have experienced God as a DOTING FATHER. My prior faith, which while authentic, was primarily doctrinal, is now alive and gentle and gracious and totally WITHOUT fear: and yet, I am more of a servant to others than I have ever been. My daughter has even began praying again because she can tangibly see and experience this new peace and confidence in God.

    Here is what I believe about mass [which seems to conform to what you are saying]: while God is always there and always real, what makes the mass special for my wife and I is that we come with PREPARED hearts. I don't say this in a 'we are holy' sense, but in a 'we come with humility before God in absolute faith in his finished work, as REVEALED IN THE MASS' kind of way.

    We don't come to judge the homily or the priest [let the priest be the priest]. We don't come to change others, but to BE CHANGED. We don't WORRY about what is wrong [in the world or the sins that beset some within the church], but we TRUST in the Lord.

    Catholicism took all the pressure off us because it allows us to rest on the finished work of Christ.

    I apologize for the long post. I write to say this, Brother [Breaking in the Habit]: while we both know the Catholic church will never fail [as it is sustained by God], it is continually renewed and enlivened by servants such as yourself.

    We love you, as Christ loves us. [Mark and Vicki]

  3. Read your post on your website. I agree with you. Many are nominal Catholics but only few really exert the effort to make a personal encounter with Jesus in the means provided for by the church. Most people only use the means as an end in themselves, and never go beyond it. The spiritual life after all is a personal and intimate relationship with God, and not just a series of devotions, novenas etc. God Bless Br. Casey. Pray for me.

  4. Very thoughtful video. Thank you! Catholics sometimes believe that "holiness" is about ticking off a check list of obligations, devotions, and religious practices. What saddens me most about the revival of the Tridentine Mass and its popularity is that a major reform of the liturgy is being forgotten: the reformed Liturgy of the Word. Catholics are less engaged in Sacred Scripture and thus miss the very message you hit upon. Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." If Catholics could get excited about Scripture and the presence of Jesus in His Word, I believe they would develop a more personal connection with Christ in his Church. God bless you, Brother for your ministry!

  5. Corruption of the church is the reason beyond people leaving it. Rude priests, sexusl assults happening without real punishments, worshipping of saints and mother of god, repeating prayers in rosary like pagans which prohibited by Jesus, many non-biblical teachings and making huge mistakes then only saying sorry. This is what makes people leave the church.

  6. YES! To be frank, those leaving ought to find themselves stymied within months, and starving for lack of depth. It is the failure of the Church to foster "first things" or that "first love" to which the psalmist refers. Too much catechesis and the plant is choked amidst the brambles. Too little, and the germinating faith withers.

    I don't take it as a sign of believing or teaching the wrong things about Jesus, at all. Just that there has been a failure to communicate — both in transmission of the message and/or in reception thereof. Where we truly fail, as a Church, is when those who left come back for depth, and don't find our teaching suffuse with the Person of Jesus.

  7. So good, Brother! As a faith leader who's grown up in the protestant church, your words are a great encouragement to me. And as one who has come to deeply value and respect Catholicism, let me add there is so very much about the Catholic Church that is attractive and life-giving to Christians of all tribes. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  8. Sorry, but It is not the same thing to be catholic or of another christian congregation. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. People need to join and remain in the Church to find these things.

  9. I don't think I've ever commented on a video before but I really love this and think that this is so vital! I came back to the Catholic church (now I'm in my early 20s) after I began to understand that to be Catholic is to follow Jesus. We proclaim, honor, and praise him in the eucharist, in prayers, at mass, in our own homes, and in private prayer yet it seems like we are afraid of talking about this personal relationship. It's sad that people are leaving the church to have a personal relationship with Christ when the very essence of being Catholic is to have a relationship with Christ. If we don't have personal relationships with Jesus, then we are just going through the motions. We should truly, all work to "talk about Jesus"!

  10. Br. Casey, have you read Forming Intentional Disciples? Sherry Weddell talks about this "culture of silence" around speaking the name of Jesus and talking about His action in our lives (among other topics regarding discipleship). I've found her work really helpful for contextualizing the culture shift we need in Catholic parishes in the US to evangelize and become better disciples of Jesus.

  11. If I can be very blunt, maybe it is the scandal wrecked church of the Roman rite that has caused many people, especially the young to have lost trust, not faith, trust in the Roman church. When you see the litany of abuse scandals, the hypocrisy of some clergy and the total inhumanity towards children, women, gay people, divorced and remarried, maybe this is the reason why they have left a church which they feel hypocritical and over-bearing, and have gone to a protestant faith, which is more open, accepting, inclusive, warm, kind and non hypocritical.

  12. Super message. When I was younger I was shopping around for a church where I felt I belonged, I went to my local RCC and was much impressed with the humility of the priest and congreants alike but I also felt that Jesus was very little mentioned and more reverence was paid to mary and the saints, in fact I found that the only time Jesus was mentioned was in the creed. They brought a statuette out of mary and placed it in front of the church preceding prayers to her. As someone who grew up protestant I just felt that their devotion to mary was more than reverence and respect but took on a dynamic of worship. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I got the sense that Jesus was being displaced by entities who were not God and that inbalance was sad to observe. Though they are good people and better christians than me no doubt.

  13. I’m sorry to say this, but 1:22 is definitely toeing the line Brother. The Catholic Church holds the fullness of Christ’s truth, and is the only way to salvation. To teach that your “congregational affiliation doesn’t matter” goes against the past 2000 years of Catholic Tradition, and Watering down our doctrine of “no salvation outside the Catholic Church” will only lead to denominational indifference, and will weaken the Church in the long run. Of course it’s possible for Protestants to be saved, but they can be saved in spite of being Protestant, not because of it.

  14. That is because they want a personal 'Jesus', one they can make in their own image. Protestants and Evangelicals, etc want a God in their image a God that tolerates their sin, a God that will not judge them. They want a free pass, that is what their trouble hearts long. They do not seek the Truth. Can they really find Jesus Christ outside His body? On the other hand if too many Catholics do not find Jesus on the Church then that means there is a serious problem in the catechesis and the evangelization and that perhaps they are not Catholic at all.

  15. So what do you do with false doctrines taught by the Roman Catholic church such as Justified by Works, or the the doctrine of the Vicar of Christ? Justification=Faith+Works? Roman Catholic theology teaches
    this, and its heretical, the reason for the Protestant movement.

  16. They praise Marry, “the mother of [g]od. (Blasphemous to al other sects on CHRISTianity). They pray to a host of other [g]ods ( Saints’) not even in the Bible. This is way is you ask someone if their Christians most Catholics will respond, “I’m Catholic” not a yes or no

  17. The only true salvation is in the Catholic Church, so it does matter that you’re part of it, and not a Protestant, even if you love Christ. This being said, I do agree that we should seek a profound personal encounter with Christ, in prayer and especially in the Eucharist. Pax.

  18. The One True holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is the only church who still performs the holy communion/Eucharist in the right way! It was originally made with unleavened bread which was the original Jewish Passover rite! They celebrated the first catholic/Christian masses & Eucharist in the temples! And the Jewish priests/Pharisees would kick them out!

  19. Bro. Casey, good video. I have been a priest for 45 years and I believe we need to do just as you suggest. For the last 10 years, I have made a concerted effort to speak about Jesus more in my homilies and having a personal relationship with HIM. I have found that the homilies through the grace of the Holy Spirit are meeting with more positive responses from the people. Yes, I do think we need to personalize our homilies much more and be more prayerful when celebrating the Mass. God bless your ministry

  20. Playing God is also deciding what we want to "entertain" us and how we "need" to be closer to Jesus. He is everywhere for us to see, hear, feel and live in everything in and around us. Jesus pointed out how his mother Mary was also in our lives. He was our roadmap to intercession and miracles of life on earth. Christ our King for whom we live and die for as thy will be done. Abandoning ourselves to God is the sacrament we should never doubt nor fear to discover within his choice for us. He creates and we thank him as we serve good over our destructive flaws. I can talk Jesus because I live Jesus and pray for good to shine through daily. Thank you and God Bless you!

  21. Please be very careful with this topic of people leaving the Roman Catholic Church for Protestant sects. I have listened to several who have done so and the Jesus Christ they profess to have a "person relationship with" is a morphed being created by others to soothe and make them comfortable in some aspect of what is fundamentally wrong; not an authentic Jesus revealed by Scripture and the Magisterium.

  22. This is interesting, thanks brother. A lot of people are also joining the Catholic church, though, from other denominations. I can't speak for others but I became Catholic partly because I was beginning to find it very strange that other denominations only mention the Blessed Virgin Mary at Christmas. And if they did mention her during the rest of the year it was with very little respect, I found it painful to hear her referred to as a "vessel" the context and suggestion being, that she had had her use and her time and now it's our unspoken duty to make sure she doesn't overshadow Jesus. Very odd belief and tone for so-called ministers of God to propagate. No mother is a "vessel", much less the Mother of God be spoken about in that way. It's misogyny at best and blasphemous at worst. A mothers heart is tethered to her children, they are a team, she's not a separate entity. I was also uncomfortable that they completely ignored fellow believers sightings of her, as if the people who saw her were lying and wanted to intentionally deceive, or maybe they thought the sightings were satanic and to be entirely over-looked. Even Jesus had to take notice of his mother, when she told Him what to do with the water at the wedding! Also, the advice Mary gave to the waiter about Jesus, is the best advice we'll get anywhere on earth "whatever he says to you, do it".

  23. I think a lot of people are also afraid to embrace their religion is because of the bad publicity the Catholic Church has endured lately. The money laundering and abuse cases. Another reason being is money talks! Money everyone wants that almighty dollar and feel there’s no room for church. It interferes in their free time! It hurts to see that! My friends cousin left the Catholic Church for an episcopal because she felt we had too many rules and regulations! Just shook my head and said okay whatever on that one!

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