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 Dedicated to helping people to become open to the power of God

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LIVING IN JESUS ASSOCIATION


Would you like a living relationship with Jesus?

Would you like to walk hand in hand with Him through each day?

Would you like to become His hands and His voice in today’s world?

If you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, then the ‘Living in Jesus Association’ (LIJA) could help you realise your dreams. Its purpose is to help people to live in union with Jesus.


LIJA is operated in full accordance with Canon 298 and Canon 299 ß1 of the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church.

 

 

Six Stages

The Living In Jesus Association has six different stages, giving people the opportunity to start with a relatively small commitment and to then move up through the stages by degrees. In this way the words of St. Paul are fulfilled, “We are being transformed from one degree of likeness to Jesus to another.” 2 Cor 3:18.


Stage One

We begin to pray for the grace to live a life of deep union with Jesus; that our hearts will be united with His heart, that our thinking and our attitudes will be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that we will be His hands, His feet, His eyes, His ears and His voice in our daily lives. Recognising that this will not happen by chance, we make a commitment to at least an average of 15 minutes of prayer daily.

Not all prayer leads to transformation. Nicodemus was a man of prayer, yet Jesus told him that he needed to be born again. Jesus called religious people whose hearts had not been transformed, whitewashed sepulchres and hypocrites. The type of prayer that counts is prayer that leads to inner transformation. It is not about saying extra prayers, but about having one's life transformed through prayer.

Many find my booklets helpful. “To Pray With The Voice Of Jesus” is specifically written for those who are willing to embrace this way of life. However if there are deep hurts in one's life, it is important to take the proper steps to express one's hurt and one's anger, and to come into healing, before one attempts SOME of the prayers in "To Pray With The Voice Of Jesus" which are based on heroic forgiveness. Because of that, some might find "A Shower of Blessings" or "Dear Lord, I'm Desperate" more helpful. Many also find “The Miracle Rosary” very helpful.

Confession is another of the special gifts given to us by God to lead us into inner transformation. Those on stage one should aim towards monthly Confession, and should seek to get into the practice of making a frank and real Confession. You may find my booklet, “Confession - a journey into healing, self-discovery and God's love” helpful.

In this stage, while praying for the grace to be the hands, feet, eyes, ears and voice of Jesus, one starts by reflecting on what it is to be the hands and feet of Jesus in one’s daily life. Jesus spent 30 years as an ordinary person, so we too can be His hands and feet in all the ordinary things of daily life. One then moves on to reflecting on what it is to be the eyes and ears of Jesus.


Stage Two

On the one hand we are growing in our capacity to spend time with Jesus and to relax with Him. On the other, we are becoming aware of the level of inner transformation that is required if we are to live a life of deep union with Him.

Even being the eyes and ears of Jesus has many implications:- what we read, what we watch, what we listen to, having an eye for the needs of others, having a listening ear, developing a love for spiritual reading, learning to be guided by God in one's decisions, etc.

One of the ways in which we need our eyes and ears opened is to the word of God. If you are into reading at all, get a New Testament and start regularly dipping into it. A chapter a day is recommended. We also seek to have our eyes opened to the real presence of Jesus in the Sacred Host. The two disciples who met the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus only recognised Him when He "broke the bread". Then "their eyes were opened and they recognised Him." Luke 24:31.

Having our eyes opened to the needs of those around us is also vital - being able to see the people around us as real human beings with needs and feelings. This in turn challenges us to break free from self-absorption. Then there is learning to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit as regards one's decisions. That is quite a process:- a process which should be approached with great humility, knowing that we will sometimes get it wrong. So be willing to be guided.

Those on Stage Two are encouraged to spend 30 minutes a day in prayer. This may sound a lot, but as you develop a spirit of prayer, it comes very easily - part of your prayer time can be as you walk, drive, work, lie in bed etc. One is also asked to get into the habit of going face to face to the priest to Confession when possible, and to go approximately monthly, making a full and frank confession.


Stage Three

For many dedicated Christians seeking to become the voice of Jesus requires enormous change:- an end to vulgar, bitter, hurtful, judgemental, negative, long-winded or boring talk; an end to falsehoods and gossip; an end to self-preoccupation in one's talking. It also requires setting oneself the target of using one's speech for expressing love, and for encouraging others.

Being the voice of Jesus also involves evangelisation. For the housebound and for contemplatives, evangelisation consists of ongoing prayer for evangelisation and seeking to be the presence of Jesus to those around you. For parents, the primary place for evangelisation is in the home and seeking to promote the Gospel in the school and parish. For a person with big work commitments, being the hands and voice of Jesus in the workplace will be central.

Those on Stage Three are asked to spend at least an average of 45 minutes a day praying, though again part of one’s prayer time can be as one walks, drives, works, lies in bed etc. One’s prayer time should normally include reading a chapter of the New Testament each day.

From stage three on, one should seek to have a regular confessor, go to Confession about once a month, and share frankly and honestly what needs to be brought into the open. One should also briefly bring to one's Confessor all major decisions.

Stage Four

As we continue to seek to be the hands, feet, eyes, ears and voice of Jesus, one becomes more and more aware that for this to happen, our heart needs to be deeply united with the heart of Jesus. The Bible contains 781 references to the heart, including,
"I will give you a new heart." Ez 11:19
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Mt. 5:8
"A humble and contrite heart, You will not spurn, O Lord." Ps. 51:17
"Out of their hearts shall flow streams of living water." John 7:38
"You shall love the Lord, your God with all your mind, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength." Luke 10:27

We can only become the heart of Jesus when we truly fall in love with Jesus. The first step is coming to a living relationship with Jesus; then coming to love Him; then coming to have Him as one's best Friend; then surrendering one's life to Him and to His will; then seeking the entire transformation of one's heart.
The Bible warns, "The heart is more devious than any other thing, perverse too" Jeremiah 17:9. Jesus further warned that it is from the heart that all sorts of evil desires come, and that to even look lustfully at a woman is to commit adultery with her in one's heart.

At some stage in life, most people will be faced with a choice:- am I going to renounce the desires of my heart and be guided by Jesus, or am I going to be guided by the desires of my heart and adapt the teaching of Jesus to fit my lifestyle.

The transformation of one's heart requires embracing a positive life of self-giving love; seeking to get rid of all bitterness, all selfishness, all inner anger, all judgementalism, all meanness, all envy, all jealousy; developing a thirst for spiritual things, and for leading others to Jesus. It requires also an end to self-seeking and to self-promotion, and a real surrender to God's plan for one's life. It requires seeking to break all links with what would be unworthy of Jesus.

If one's heart is united with the heart of Jesus, one will have a spirit of prayer, praise and thanksgiving, plus a love for Mass, the Scriptures and holy things. Those on Stage Four are asked to spend at least an average of an hour daily in prayer, though again this can include talking to Jesus as one walks, drives, works, lies in bed etc.


Stage Five

The closer we come to Jesus, the more aware we become of how much our thinking needs to change. Having "the mind of Jesus", 1 Cor 2:16, requires a "complete make-over of our minds," Romans 12:2. It requires for one's mind, one's attitudes and one's emotions to be penetrated by the healing, cleansing and delivering power of the Holy Spirit. It requires an end to worrying; an end to negative thinking; an end to bitter, vengeful and judgemental thoughts; an end to sexual fantasising; an end to acting on every impulse; an end to self-seeking.

It requires for one's mind to be surrendered to the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so that one's thoughts will spring from the thoughts of Jesus, and one's prayers from the prayers of Jesus. It requires not just seeking to do the will of God in all things, but seeking to have the mind of Christ concerning all things.

Those on stage five are asked to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as to the length of time over and above stage four that they are to spend in prayer, taking into account their work and family commitments. Where family and work commitments make it possible, it is not unusual for people on stage five to spend an average of three hours in prayer daily. But where there are children to be cared for, or heavy work commitments, it may not even be God’s will that you spend more than an hour in prayer.


Stage Six

One seeks to live a life of such total union with Jesus that one actually becomes Jesus. “You are called to become the body of Christ, His own flesh and blood,” Pope Benedict told the youth (WYD 2005). St. Paul reached the stage of being able to say, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.”

One's top ambition becomes to live in total union with Jesus, to become His living presence in the world. While seeking to live this life of total union with Jesus, we realise that the fit will never be total. In our case, the caterpillar never fully turns into the butterfly. St. Paul calls the bit that isn't fully transformed "the old self". This too keeps us humble; keeps us realising that this life can only be lived in total dependence on Jesus. When we fall, regardless of which stage we are on, let us start again with total trust in God's love for us.


Enrolment

By formally enrolling in the Living in Jesus Association, one is,
1. Making a definite commitment to this way of life.
2. Setting oneself definite targets.
3. Giving oneself the opportunity for real spiritual development.
4. Becoming united in spirit with the other members.
5. Responding to the desire of Jesus for the New Springtime.


Start living the principles of "Living in Jesus", and you are part of the New Springtime!

For those thirty or over one starts with a commitment for a year. After the year there will be the opportunity to take it on as a lifelong commitment. There is also the opportunity to progress up through the stages when one is ready.


Younger People

Jesus was thirty when He began His public ministry. Before that He lived the hidden life as a carpenter.

In union with Jesus the young carpenter, pre-Confirmation children under the guidance of their parents are welcome to join at stage one. Those who are confirmed but who are under eighteen, are welcome to join at stages one to three, and to make the commitment initially until they are 18 when they will be invited to renew.

Those between eighteen and thirty are welcome to join like other adults, to renew their commitment after one year, and to again renew it for life once they reach thirty, being, of course, free to move up through the stages at any time they feel ready.

 

Enrolment Prayer

Lord Jesus, I do desire a living relationship with You. I do desire to be part of the New Springtime. I now desire, with Your help, to start living in You. I will start at stage ..... and will then seek to grow.
I make this commitment for one year initially, and pray that after the year I may be able to renew it for life.


Enrolment Form (Block Capitals Please)

(The enrolement form is also in a separate place on the website, just click here if you wish to print it off on its own without having to print off the full article.)


Name ........................................................................................

Address .........................................................................................

...................................................................................................

...................................................................................................

................................................. Phone number.........................

Enrolling at Stage ............ Age, if under 29, ..........

Or you can write the details on a separate sheet. Send to Fr. Thady Doyle, Shillelagh, Arklow, Co Wicklow, Ireland.

A small donation towards correspondence and the printing of literature for Living in Jesus would be welcome with your enrolment. Copies of this brochure in colour print are available free on request.

 

2008 Booklet: By Oct 2008, I hope to have a new booklet specially on living in Jesus. It will be the same price as Confession booklet.

 

 

See how much Jesus depends on us!

Jesus said “I am the vine, you are the branches.”
It is the branches that bear the fruit, not the vine. That means that Jesus is totally dependent on us to be the bearers of His fruit:- to be His hands and His voice in today’s world. Jesus said that it is when we learn to ‘live in Him’, that we will bear much fruit and see mighty answers to prayer. (See Jn. 15:1-8)

 

Daily Prayer

First thank Jesus that He is offering you the opportunity to live this day in deep union with Him. Pause for a moment to reflect on this. Then pray,

Lord for this day,
May my heart be Your heart,
May my thoughts be Your thoughts,
May my hands be Your hands,
May my feet be Your feet,
May my eyes be Your eyes,
May my ears be Your ears,
May my voice be Your voice,
And may my face be Your face.

Now relax a moment, and allow the presence of Jesus within you to flow through you.

Click Here for Enrolment Form for Living in Jesus Association