You may recall that right at the beginning of the Year of  Faith, I said that I might ask some people to tell us how they have developed a personal relationship with Christ.   Mrs. Carroll gave me a beautiful Christmas present in the reflections that were given to her by some of the seniors.  They are practical, profound, simple and beautiful.   Today the Church honors the Holy Name of Jesus and tomorrow Mother Seton.   This seems a perfect time to read what has brought some of the seniors closer to Jesus.      


YEAR OF FAITH TESTIMONIES FROM MEMBERS OF SETON’S CLASS OF 2013:   What has helped me develop a personal relationship with Jesus.


    In my life at times I have struggled with the feeling of being alone and in those times of despair I would try to keep up my hope by thinking that even though the world may not hear me, God can and He’s always watching over me and he has a plan for me and thinking about that has helped me develop a personal relationship with God.

    I have started going to spiritual direction with Father Searby. He has really helped me understand what it is to love God in a more mature way.  I hope to continue spiritual direction and continue growing in love for God.

    I have come to realize the importance and joy that comes from having a developed prayer life.  It allows you to always know you have someone to talk to even when others ignore you.  It allows you to have a peace of heart and relate all you desire to someone who is always listening.  To the realization of this infinite understanding God has helped me develop a personal relationship with God; in love I can tell him anything.

    What has helped me most in my faith has been working at my job.  My faith has been challenged many times, which really made me stop and think about my faith.  It has made it become my own.  It has made me want to defend it and want to spread it, and the way I spread it is by how I live.  Everyone at work knows I’m a Catholic, but they also know not to make certain jokes or say stuff around me, and even though it’s a small change it is a start nonetheless.

    My mom having cancer helped me develop a more personal relationship with God.  During that time I learned that I could go to Him with all my concerns and fears.  He is the only one that could truly understand what I was going through.  Because of my mom’s illness I grew closer to the one person that I can turn to for anything and everything.

     In my life I am very active in my parish youth ministry. Because I am one of the teen leaders, I try to grow closer to God so that I can help my peers grow close too.  I think that I have most grown close to God because I set time apart every day to talk to God.  Prayer has been a crucial help to me in growing closer to God along with the example of my parents.  Every day they pray morning and evening prayer.  When I was growing up, we prayed the rosary daily as a family.  My parents help me through their example of prayer.

    Personally, incorporating God into random parts of the day, such as praying for random people I meet at the grocery store, or simply thinking about Christ or Mary when I’m driving really helped me develop a personal relationship with God.  I strive to be a person that others look up to, and try to be an example of love and faith wherever I go.  My little reminders of Christ and Mary help me to do so—they become a part of my day, not just my mornings and nights when I pray.

     In my life the hardships have brought me closer to God.  If times get hard and I didn’t know where to turn, I would turn to God and focus on our relationship.

   The homilies by Fr. Searby and the talk from last year that a girl gave us on chastity and self-worth.  Both of them stressed the importance of just telling God what’s up in your life and talking to Him like a friend.  The young woman said that she was in love with Jesus Christ, and when it was put that way, it really registered with me.

    Times of trial or suffering have helped me to develop a personal relationship with God.  When life becomes difficult I like to talk to God about my troubles and ask Him for help.  He helps me understand why these things are happening to me and how to overcome them.  If I never suffered, I would not have as close of a relationship with God because I do need His help.

     A strong prayer life has helped me strengthen my relationship with God.  I go to the chapel each day and say the rosary and that has helped me understand what God is asking of me.

    I might sound surprising, but times of suffering are what help the most.  For some reason, it feels easier to talk to Jesus one-on-one when I am sad.


    In my life my faith and morals have been primarily encouraged by my parents and family.  My parents have always given me a good example in faith and encouraged me to also be a good example for others.  By saying the family rosary daily I have learned the importance of prayer and sharing in family prayer.  A last thing that has helped me grow in a personal relationship with God is having the chapel at school.  With the chapel always open, I’m able to pray and talk with God whenever I want, and it truly has been a blessing.

    Just the simple fact that God is holding me in existence, that He is thinking, loving me right now, reminds me of life’s true purpose.  Knowing that I am nothing without God makes me realize just how backwards sin is.  I also just like to talk to Jesus throughout the day, remembering that He is human too and understands.  It is comforting to have a best friend always by your side and who loves you infinitely.

     The different situations that God has put me in during my life have really brought me closer to Him.  They help me to see my dependence on Him and also His love for me.  God has been so good with his blessings, and being able to see those blessings everyday has made me extremely thankful and given me a deeper relationship with God.

    My trip to Rome over the summer helped my personal relationship with God grow.  While I was there I was able to see how real the Faith is.  After the trip I am now able to talk to God in a more personal way because I know how real He is.

    Seeing God’s presence in my life has helped me to develop a personal relationship with Him.  God does a great deal for me every day and cares about me.  Seeing Him work in my life means I need to give back.

    Being utterly alone in the Alaskan wilderness with people who I’d just met.  I felt alone, but I realized I wasn’t alone.  I had God, the greatest friend of all.  And in the absence of distractions of life, I began to connect with an old friend, my first Friend.

    Thinking of Jesus as a person that I’m talking to when I’m praying makes it easier.  There’s also a book called He and I and if I read a paragraph before paying it helps me to focus.  I can’t pray for very long so it helps to just have a couple minutes at a time.


    Around the same time I was born my brother was diagnosed with cancer.  Luckily, he was cured through multiple treatments.  However, I don’t think it was the treatments that saved him.  I think it was his visit to Lourdes.  Only months after he visited the grotto he was cured.  Through all of this struggle, I have built a special bond with my brother.  He encourages and inspires me to have a closer relationship with God and Mary.

     The sacraments have really increased my spiritual relationship with God.  I can truly sense Him with me when I am receiving His sacraments.


Jezu, ufam Tobie.