CHRISTIAN LIFE SEMINAR
LCSC’s banner program is the Christian Life Seminar (CLS). The CLS is an integrated course intended to lead seminar participants into a renewed understanding of God’s call to them as Christians. It has a total of 9 separate sessions. Most sessions consist of three basic ingredients: a teaching, a group discussion, and a time for fellowship. Each session would normally last for about 2-1/2 hours.
The CLS has one basic purpose: bringing participants to a personal relationship with Jesus and bringing them back to participation in parish life, and getting them started on living a truly Spirit-filled Christian life. It is about transformation in Christ and renewal in the Spirit.
What is the content of the CLS?
The CLS is divided into 3 modules of 3 sessions each. The topics of the 9 sessions are as follows:
Module #1: MEETING CHRIST
1) God’s Love
2) What it Means to be a Christian
3) Repentance and Faith
Module #2: LIVING CHRIST
4) The Christian Ideal: Loving God
5) Loving Your Neighbor
6) Life in the Holy Spirit
Module #3: SHARING CHRIST
7) Receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit
8) Growing in the Spirit
9) The Live Christ, Share Christ Movement
What is each talk about?
God’s Love speaks about God’s wanting to bring us out of the confusion and disorder that is being experienced in the modern world, and to bring us all back to Himself, to restore our fellowship and intimacy with Him. There is something seriously wrong with the situation in the world today, and behind most of the disorder and evil is Satan. Only God can bring us out of this, and He has done it by sending His own Son Jesus into the world to suffer and die for us. In Jesus we have our salvation.
Since Jesus then is central to God’s plan for us and since we as Christians carry his name, we need to understand What It Means to be a Christian. This talk first dispels misconceptions or wrong notions about Christianity. It points out what it is not. Then it shows that the essence of Christianity is union with God, made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus. What makes us Christian is our loving, personal relationship with God, and our whole life becomes an expression of this relationship.
God has loved us. God sent His own Son to die for us. God has gathered us unto Himself as His people. Christianity is something that God has initiated, unilaterally and unreservedly. In the light of all these, our proper response is Repentance and Faith. This is a double-action response. Repentance and faith go together. Repentance involves a turning away from sin, wrongdoing and running our own lives, and a turning to a life of obedience to God. Faith, in turn, is belief in Jesus as our personal Savior.
The above 3 talks form the first module of the CLS, and has presented the absolute basics of our Christian faith. It is meeting Christ. The next module, consisting of another 3 sessions, presents the kind of life that God calls us to. It spells out the personal response involved in receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord, and helps participants to make a reorientation of their lives around Jesus. It is starting to live Christ.
The second module starts with explaining the meaning of The Christian Ideal: Loving God. This is the first and greatest commandment. It explains in detail what it really means to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
Next we look to the second greatest commandment, Loving Your Neighbor. This, together with loving God, forms the core of the Christian life. The talk contrasts God’s love with the world’s idea of love. Love is not only having positive feelings, not always saying “yes,” not defensive, not self-seeking or manipulative. Rather, Christian love is connected with keeping God’s commandments and means a self-sacrificial love, best exemplified by Jesus himself. On the practical level, Christian love means committed service to our fellow men.
After learning what this new life that we are called to really means, we look at the one ingredient that makes it all possible. This is the power from above that enables us to live a Life in the Holy Spirit. True Christian living is not just a matter of human willpower but a new heart, a new life from God. The Holy Spirit enables us to experience God, a living relationship with Him, and His action in our lives. With the Holy Spirit, we again experience union with God and gain a new nature, spiritual power, and the power to serve.
The third and final module helps participants to commit their lives in a serious way to Jesus, and to prepare them to share the gospel. First, this involves Receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit. This first session of the third module is essentially a prayer session where the participants are prayed with for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Some would term this the “baptism in the Holy Spirit.” This paves the way for an evangelistic spirituality.
Then, recognizing that the baptism in the Spirit is only a beginning, there is a need to learn more about how to grow in the life of the Spirit. Thus the participants are taught the basic means of Growing in the Spirit. The five basic tools to growth are prayer, study, service, fellowship and the sacraments. This paves the way for people to become witnesses who can credibly share the gospel.
Finally, as the last session of the CLS, we look to the need to walk together with other committed Catholics for mutual support, and to carry out our Christian mission, as we continue along the paths of holiness and discipleship and being evangelizers. As Catholics in a parish we are invited to be part of The Live Christ, Share Christ Movement. The CLS is just the start of our life-long walk with Jesus, as we look to ongoing transformation in Christ. Though the CLS has come to an end, the new life is just beginning. In order to grow, much more is needed—learning more about the Christian life, the strength and support of others, having an environment where one can serve God, being leaven in the parish, proclaiming the good news to others. The participants are invited to continue their journey, and they make a commitment to the Live Christ, Share Christ movement through a covenant.
The CLS can be mounted in different ways, such as:
(1) Over one week-end;
(2) Over 3 weeks, with one module of 3 sessions per week;
(3) Over 9 weeks, with one session per week.