This isn't some newfangled notion. It's in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
"Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is ordered ... The universe, created in and by the eternal Word, the 'image of the invisible God', is destined for and addressed to man, himself created in the 'image of God' and called to a personal relationship with God.152 Our human understanding, which shares in the light of the divine intellect, can understand what God tells us by means of his creation, though not without great effort and only in a spirit of humility and respect before the Creator and his work...."In "The Joy of the Gospel," Pope Francis invited all Christians "to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them." My wife probably heard an exasperated tone when I said, "I'm a person, Jesus is a person: what kind of relationship could I have, except 'personal?' "
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 299) (emphasis mine)
God the Father is a person, too, and so is the Holy Spirit. God is One, God is three persons, and that's another topic. (Catechism, 232-256)
My wife suggested that what the Pope meant by a "personal encounter with Jesus Christ" is what I'm doing now: taking God seriously; recognizing that I'm close to my Lord, no matter where I am; and talking with my Lord at frequent intervals.
It's not that I make the ultimate long distance call. Prayer is 'talking with God,' and - as it turns out - part of "a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God."
" 'Great is the mystery of the faith!' The Church professes this mystery in the Apostles' Creed (Part One) and celebrates it in the sacramental liturgy (Part Two), so that the life of the faithful may be conformed to Christ in the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father (Part Three). This mystery, then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer."It looks like I'm on the right track: and still have a long way to go.
- "Sometimes the Answer is 'No' "
(October 20, 2013)
- " 'Follow Me:' A Simple Decision, Not an Easy One"
(June 2, 2013)
- "Jesus: Human, But Not Just Human"
(January 23, 2013)
- "Jesus, a Promise, and Decisions"
(August 1, 2012)
- "How to Know About God"
(December 14, 2011)