Thank you for your response!

In this meditation, we were asked to come to the foot of the cross through the eyes of the soldier and recognize our need for a Savior. It is and should be a humbling thought to recognize this need, one that can make us feel a mix of emotions — gratitude, shame, hope, joy . . .

In concert with whatever emotions we may feel, we should pray for the desire to come closer to our Savior in whatever way we can.

So how do we grow in relationship to Him? How do we come closer to the Savior we desire and greatly need? We come closer to the Lord through opening ourselves to the steps to holiness by which others have found Him: the path first found in the Gospels.

Through two millennia, the principal meaning of spirituality (the pursuit of holiness) for Christians has been the imitation of the mission, personality, values, and lifestyle of Jesus Christ, and the full appropriation of this through the direct and personal inspiration of the Holy Spirit in each soul.

Western Christians articulated this mainly in terms of the imitation of Christ, while Eastern Christians articulated it mainly in terms of acquiring the Holy Spirit. Both have shared a theological articulation of this in terms of participation, through grace, in the mystical body of Christ — the Church, of which Jesus is the head. The means to this end are prayer, the sacraments, and the pursuit of virtues.

In short, for Christians, Jesus is the sole measure and criterion of holiness or spirituality. The values and personality of Jesus are the measure of holiness or spirituality in Christianity. A spirituality that is not based on Him and orientated to Him is not Christian. If it is contrary to Him, then it is the pursuit of un-holiness rather than holiness. The books of the New Testament make this plain with the sayings of Jesus and the teachings of the Apostles they present. They show us Who He really is.

In spiritual growth, our goal is to draw closer in relationship with Jesus Christ — a relationship fostered by communication and communion first through prayer. Prayer is an important part of our role as a catechist. Prayer is not an exercise in which we are merely passive. Prayer involves effort on our part, even if the real fruit depends on God. The primary wellspring of all prayer is the Holy Spirit. He will always be faithful in responding to and drawing onward a soul that seeks and strives. Our work requires us to delve deeply into this wellspring of prayer to continually grow in our relationship with God. And, as in all things catechetical, prayer must permeate everything we do.