Jews also feel part of a global community with a close bond Jewish people all over the world.
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A lot of Jewish religious life is based around the home and family activities. Judaism is very much a family faith and the ceremonies start early, when a Jewish boy baby is circumcised at eight days old, following the instructions that God gave to Abraham around 4, years ago. Many Jewish religious customs revolve around the home.
One example is the Sabbath meal, when families join together to welcome in the special day.
Jews believe that a Jew is someone who is the child of a Jewish mother; although some groups also accept children of Jewish fathers as Jewish. A Jew traditionally can't lose the technical 'status' of being a Jew by adopting another faith, but they do lose the religious element of their Jewish identity. Because Jews have made a bargain with God to keep his laws, keeping that bargain and doing things in the way that pleases God is an act of worship. And Jews don't only seek to obey the letter of the law - the particular details of each of the Jewish laws - but the spirit of it, too.
A religious Jew tries to bring holiness into everything they do, by doing it as an act that praises God, and honours everything God has done. For such a person the whole of their life becomes an act of worship. Being part of a community that follows particular customs and rules helps keep a group of people together, and it's noticeable that the Jewish groups that have been most successful at avoiding assimilation are those that obey the rules most strictly - sometimes called ultra-orthodox Jews.
Note: Jews don't like and rarely use the word ultra-orthodox. A preferable adjective is haredi, and the plural noun is haredim. Judaism is a faith of action and Jews believe people should be judged not so much by the intellectual content of their beliefs, but by the way they live their faith - by how much they contribute to the overall holiness of the world.
The Jewish idea of God is particularly important to the world because it was the Jews who developed two new ideas about God:. Before Judaism, people believed in lots of gods, and those gods behaved no better than human beings with supernatural powers. However, many religious people often talk about God in a way that sounds as if they know about God in the same way that they know what they had for breakfast.
The best evidence for what God is like comes from what the Bible says, and from particular individuals' experiences of God. Quite early in his relationship with the Jews, God makes it clear that he will not let them encounter his real likeness in the way that they encounter each other. Moses has spent much time talking with God, and the two of them are clearly quite close But after getting the 10 commandments Moses wants to see God, so that he can know what he is really like. God says no There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. Adults are responding to these changes by self-directed learning, on-the-job training, and enrolling in continuing education courses in large numbers.
Today that Spirit is awakening a new evangelization and a new apologetics. This dynamic movement needs our fullest possible collaboration, so that the Good News of the kingdom of God and the person of Jesus may touch the hearts and minds of all who search for fullness of life.
Pope John Paul II's encyclical Redemptoris Missio and our own national plan for evangelization, Go and Make Disciples , call for such efforts, and their success will require adult believers who are eager and articulate in sharing a faith they understand, embrace, and live. For adults to fulfill their roles in this new era of the Church, their faith formation must be lifelong, just as they must continue to learn to keep up in the changing world.
The power of God's word, regular prayer, a vibrant sacramental life, lay spirituality, 12 the support of the Christian community, and the guidance of the Church's social teaching will enrich and sustain this new era of the laity. It should be in regular use: by bishops, priests, and deacons in their preaching and teaching; by those who write and those who publish theological, catechetical, liturgical, and spiritual books and resources; by catechists preparing to work with adults; and by adults themselves in personal and family study and prayer.
Secularism, materialism, atheism, ethical relativism, religious indifference, and tensions rooted in religious or cultural pluralism are prevalent in society. Many of our contemporaries question the validity of objective moral norms and deny the connection of freedom and truth. There is widespread ignorance, indifference, or opposition to the dignity of persons and cultures and to the full range of the Church's moral and social teaching. Parents look to the Church for guidance and help to grow closer as couples, stronger as families, and better able to prepare their children morally and spiritually for life in this complex and challenging society.
Rev ff. Others may know about the gospel message but have not personally experienced the risen Christ. Still others are indifferent to the Church's guidance or see the Church's teaching in a negative light. They may seek out or be recruited into non-denominational, evangelical, or fundamentalist churches, or into New Age or other religious movements. Far too often they simply abandon the Christian faith altogether.
It is time to identify and address these shortcomings and build on our strengths so as to forge a more balanced and mature catechetical ministry. Two contemporary resources to help us in this task are the General Directory for Catechesis with its pastoral principles and the doctrinal synthesis of the Catechism.
We must faithfully and creatively adapt both resources to meet both the challenges and the opportunities we face in the United States today. Disciples young and old are called by name to go into the vineyard. In responding to this call, adults "have the greatest responsibilities and the capacity to live the Christian message in its fully developed form. Effective adult formation is necessary to "equip the holy ones for the work of ministry" Eph Every Church ministry will be energized through a dynamic ministry of adult catechesis.
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An adult community whose faith is well-formed and lively will more effectively pass that faith on to the next generation. Moreover, the witness of adults actively continuing their own formation shows children and youth that growth in faith is lifelong and does not end upon reaching adulthood.
It ought to be "the organizing principle, which gives coherence to the various catechetical programs offered by a particular Church.
Thus, all catechesis is geared to a lifelong deepening of faith in Christ. How necessary, then, that the catechetical ministry with adults set an example of the highest quality and vitality. While most Catholic parishes place a high priority on the faith formation of children and youth, far fewer treat adult faith formation as a priority. This choice is made in parish staffing decisions, job descriptions, budgets, and parishioner expectations. This task is a sacred trust and a serious responsibility that we must always fulfill with utmost care and dedication. We do not wish to weaken our commitment to this essential ministry in any way.
But to teach as Jesus did means calling and equipping all Christians of every age and stage of life to fulfill their baptismal call to holiness in family, Church, and society—their mission to evangelize and transform the world into a more caring and just society. Ongoing faith formation is essential to accomplish this mission; it does not end at confirmation or graduation but continues until one's death.
Accordingly, we strongly reaffirm that, "without neglecting its commitment to children, catechesis needs to give more attention to adults than it has been accustomed to do. As disciples, through the power of the Holy Spririt, our lives become increasingly centered on Jesus and the kingdom he proclaims. By opening ourselves to him we find community with all his faith-filled disciples and by their example come to know Jesus more intimately.
By following the example of his self-giving love we learn to be Christian disciples in our own time, place, and circumstances. The calls to holiness, to community, and to service of God and neighbor are "facets of Christian life that come to full expression only by means of development and growth toward Christian maturity.
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We see it in children like Samuel who hear and respond to God's word cf. We see it in young people like Mary who ponder and say "yes" to God's call cf. Lk We see it in adults and marvel especially at the beauty of faith in those who have persevered in following the Lord over the full course of a lifetime: "They shall bear fruit even in old age, always vigorous and sturdy" Ps What does mature adult faith look like in those who respond generously to God's call?
The General Directory for Catechesis says that it is "a living, explicit, and fruitful confession of faith. A full and rich development of these three characteristics is what we aim for in adult catechesis and Christian living.
10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity
As such, faith is living and active, sharing many of the qualities of living things: it grows and develops over time; it learns from experience; it adapts to changing conditions while maintaining its essential identity; it goes through seasons, some apparently dormant, others fruitful, though wherever faith is present the Holy Spirit is at work in the life of the disciple.
Consequently, appropriate goals and content will embrace all the faith dimensions of an adult life—for example, understanding and communicating the faith, skills needed for personal growth, the experience of family life, relationships, public service, and concern for the common good.
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To be faithful and effective it will offer, over time, a comprehensive and systematic presentation and exploration of the core elements of Catholic faith and practice—a complete initiation into a Catholic way of life. It will do so in a way that is accessible to adults and relates to their life experiences, helping them to form a Christian conscience and to live their lives in the world as faithful disciples of Jesus.
It will also challenge the creativity of those who establish the direction, plan the content, and provide programs of adult faith formation. Meeting the challenge will be both demanding and rewarding.