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Take a moment to read this through..... it could change your life!

If life and the living of it are something of a struggle for you at this time, the following invitation may well be one that could help you.

Struggle has always been a part of life down through human history. What is so disappointing in these modern times is that with all of our modern technical wizardry a lot of these problems have not been improving. In fact in a little over a hundred and fifty years we have killed millions upon millions with our modern methods of war and extermination technology. Those of us who have escaped have gone on to consume the world's resources to the point where every man, woman and child, on earth, is living in a polluted environment, to one degree or another.

The problem is that we have become blinded to our true nature. We are not beings that are born to live a very short life and then disappear into oblivion. We have become so preoccupied with our personal rights and the struggle for material gain that we have lost contact with that part of our nature that lives beyond our physical selves. Like it or not, we have opted for the physical tangible benefit, and the right to enjoy that benefit, at the expense of our spiritual welfare.

Deep down inside most of us though, we sense that we are more than simply a physical body that appears on earth at some point in time and then disappears. Polls indicate that by far the greatest percentage of us believes that there is a God, or some controlling intelligence, behind everything in this universe.

In recent years there has been a steady growth of interest in exploring the spiritual, looking for answers that seem to elude us in the here and now. The problem is though, where do we go and who do we see to try and bring that immortal part of our being back into a day to day part of our lives.

The first step is to ask! Ask who? Ask the God who created us and who most of us believes is there somewhere? For example one drug addicted young lady woke out of a troubled sleep one night, sat bolt upright in bed and simply begged, "God help me," and then fell back to sleep. When she woke in the morning the drug addiction that she was plagued with in her life had gone. From that moment forward she began to rebuild her life, looking to God for guidance, and in time was to become a very caring person who reached out to others suffering with addictions of various kinds.

The God who helped that young lady get her life back actually loves each and every one of us, without exception, so much so that He sent someone to help us and to open the way back to Him more fully. That someone was His Son, Jesus Christ, and that one person's entry into human history changed it more than any other single person born to this earth.

Change is possible in any life as long as there is still life. What is more, it costs nothing. All we have to do is reach out and ask. There are all sorts of prayer formulas that have been written to handle this situation but it can be as simple as, "Jesus Lord, help me please! I will try to follow wherever you direct me."

Why don't you stop reading, right now, and invite Jesus into your heart, using a simple invitation like the one I have just outlined. It does not matter who you are, or what your background is, or where you are, we are all made by the same Lord and Giver of Life. When you extend this invitation Jesus will accept and come immediately to be with you. He has waited all your life for this moment, so if you have just made this invitation, rest with Him for a moment before reading any further.

It is impossible to love something or follow someone that you don't know. The quickest and easiest way to find out more about Jesus is to read about His life in the four Gospels of the New Testament. Go out and find or buy a copy of the New Testament as soon as possible. It will be either part of a full bible or printed on its own and most of the larger bookstores will carry them. Or, you can write to us at "Leaflets of Faith" and we would be happy to send you a copy of the "New Testament."

You will need help in your new relationship with Christ and choosing who you go to for help is a very important step and the best suggestion would be that you approach the Roman Catholic Church, which was founded by Jesus Christ, with the Apostles, nearly 2,000 years ago. Jesus Christ is believed by Catholics to be God, the Lord and Saviour of all humanity. To continue His saving presence and message through history, Jesus founded a Church which is visible in the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics believe that the Church will continue her mission until the end of the world when Jesus himself will come again.

The Lord bestowed a special gift of teaching on Peter and the other Apostles, which continues in their successors, the Pope and bishops to the present day. There is an unbroken succession of popes, 262 in number, from the original Peter the Apostle to the current Pope, John Paul II. Just as Jesus was the visible communication of God's love, so Jesus communicates through the Church's visible structure. The Church's mystical, divine nature is bound to its social structure. How else may God reveal Himself with certainty except through that which is accessible to the human person?

Entry into the Church for adults is now largely done through a process called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). This RCIA is a gradual process that can be fitted to the needs of the individual and entering into it does not place any obligation at all on the enquirer to join the Church. In general though, newcomers who choose to go forward are received into the Church at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.

A few years ago a story came out about a young family that moved into a new parish. Both the husband and wife quickly became involved in the life of the parish through its various organizations. The Pastor noticed however, that when the family came forward for communion, the wife stayed back in the pew. This is not particularly remarkable as there are many marriages where one of the partners is not Catholic. In this particular instance though, this woman was so much a part of the parish life that the Pastor could not restrain his curiosity. One day when they were working on a project together he asked if she had ever thought about becoming a Catholic, to which she replied "Yes, many times." "Then what's the problem," asked the Pasor, "can I help in some way." "Well Father," she answered, "No one has invited me....!"

To be sure that the same situation does not happen here to you, why don't you accept our invitation to come and find out about what Christ in his Catholic Church is all about. If you like what you see the rest will be between you and God. It is simple to do, all you have to do is phone the rectory of the Catholic Church nearest to you and ask to speak to the Pastor. If he is unavailable, explain to the person who answers the phone that you are interested in finding out more about the Catholic Church and they should be able to help you.

We have another leaflet that you might find helpful called "Approaching the Catholic Church for the First Time." We would be happy to send it to you by mail or you can read it on our Internet web site, both addresses are on the back of this leaflet. May God bless you in your searchings and be confident that you are in our prayers.

William J. Bradley

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