Do you ever wonder if you’re on the right path in your spiritual journey? Being a faithful follower of Jesus involves more than attending Mass and believing the correct doctrines. Jesus is calling us to give more, love more, and surrender more. In this podcast, Dr. Edward Sri shares 3 ways to practice discipleship.
Imitation, Dr. Sri argues, is the essence of discipleship. Do you earnestly strive to imitate Christ? A disciple works to emulate his teacher in all things. Jesus demands more from us than simply attending church on Sunday and starting a Bible study. While these are good, discipleship involves fully imitating Jesus and his life. Dr. Sri says the critical word here is “strive.” Striving to imitate Christ involves meditating on his Gospels, frequenting the sacraments, and thinking of Christ and his way throughout your daily life. These things will remind you of the virtuous life of Jesus, a life we’re seeking to echo.
2. Total commitment
Christ doesn’t desire mere fans and general followers. He wants truly committed disciples. Is Christ your life’s foundation? Do you make it a commitment to encounter him throughout your day? Jesus doesn’t want to be a part of our lives; he wants to be at the center of our lives. Dr. Sri says we’ll recognize our commitment based on our conversations, the shows we watch, the music we listen to, and the activities we enjoy. Do these things reflect Jesus Christ? If what we do in our free time doesn’t match what Jesus would do, there’s room to grow in our commitment. As disciples, we must seek his way and put him first.
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3. Interior transformation
Dr. Sri says discipleship involves living the life of Christ exteriorly and interiorly. Jesus says we are to abide in him and him in us (John 15:4). How do we become the image of Christ? By working on selfishness and vice in our lives, Jesus can change us from the inside out. Dr. Sri says through prayer and the sacraments, we can allow the life of Christ to grow within us. This involves intimate conversations with the Lord, putting the Gospels into practice, and inscribing the Word of God on your heart. Daily Mass, stopping by adoration, and going to Confession twice a month are all ways we can allow Jesus to transform us interiorly.
If you want to be a true disciple of Jesus, strive to imitate him. Seek ways to grow your commitment and put him first in your life. Let Jesus dwell in you. Daily encounters with Jesus, prayer, and receiving the sacraments are essential to discipleship. These are what transform us and make us like Christ.
Listen to the full podcast below!
For more ways to grow spiritually, check out Season 2 of Ascension’s podcast Catholic Classics as they read and explain The Confessions of St. Augustine. Get the free reading plan!