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What is Discipleship?

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Introduction The word "disciple" means, "follower or adherent of any leader of thought, art or conduct". In Christianity it means to follow the teachings and beliefs of Jesus Christ. It is a challenging way of life to be a disciple and you must be willing to devote your mind, strength and soul to God. There are three main stages a disciple must go through, called sacraments of initiation. These are Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. These sacraments are sacred rituals, which a person must go through to become a disciple. Christians believe God is especially present during a sacrament. When a Christian wants to become a disciple he starts off at the first stage, Baptism. This usually takes place when the Christian is a young baby. He is washed with holy water as a symbol of his/her original sin being washed away. Catholic parents and godparents make the baptismal vows on behalf of their children soon after they are born and promise to bring up the child in their faith. At Baptism the child is being introduced into the church and God's family. The second stage is Confirmation. At Pentecost the disciples received a special gift from God to enable them to go out and preach His Word and at confirmation the candidate receives a special gift from God. During Confirmation, unlike Baptism, the person is able to make his own decision whether he wishes to continue with the Christian way of life. The person confirms the baptismal vows, which were made on his behalf by his parents and godparents. This is where he decides that he wants to become a member of the Church. ...read more.


Lay people use the beatitudes as a guideline to reach discipleship and to become closer to God: "Happy are the poor in spirit." Matthew 5v3 Lay people don't show off that they are holy, they are discreet but God knows they are true believers. "Happy are those who mourn" Matthew 5v4 Lay people mourn for others and show respect to the friends and family of those who have died. "Happy are those who are humble." Matthew 5v5 Lay people put others before them selves and don't aim to be great and powerful. "Happy are the merciful." Matthew 5v7 Lay people are merciful to others and forgive anyone who they have fallen out with. "Happy are those who are pure in heart." Matthew 5v8 Lay people should be true believers, they shouldn't pretends, if they do believe in Christ then God will reward them. "Happy are those who work for peace." Matthew 5v9 Lay people spread peace in the world and try to prevent violence and corruption. "Happy for those who are prosecuted for doing what God requires." Matthew 5v10 If you are sent to prison or in trouble for doing what God wants then you are a true lay person and God will reward you in Heaven. Lay people have a duty to serve others and to help those in need. They must stand up for the church and what God taught them. For example Mother Teresa spent her whole life helping people in India because she knew what she was doing was right. People like Mother Teresa are examples for all people. Although mother Teresa was a member of a religious order, she is an example to all Lay People. ...read more.


They do not, however, enter holy orders. In the mid-1980s community residences numbered more than 1,250 throughout the world. About 10,000 brothers taught approximately 800,000 pupils. Contemplative orders are the second type of religious orders. Their lives are a journey to God in prayer and worship in solitude, silence and community. Examples of contemplative orders are Carmelites, Poor Clares and Carthusians.The Carthusians were a monastic order founded by St Bruno, who in 1084 retired with six companions to the solitude of the valley of Chartreuse, near Grenoble. There they lived as hermits, wearing poor clothing and eating vegetables and coarse bread. After the order received Papal approbation in 1170, it expanded rapidly. It dates from 1180 in England, where the name Chartreuse Houses was corrupted into Charter Houses. The order is now conducted under the rules approved in 1682 by Pope Innocent XI. The Carthusians were divided into two classes, fathers and lay brothers. Each father occupied a separate cell, with a bed of straw, a pillow, a woollen coverlet, and the tools for manual labour or for writing. Monks left their cells only on festivals and on days of the funeral of a brother of the order. Three times a week they fasted on bread, water, and salt, and several long fasts were observed during the year. Meat was forbidden at all times and so was wine, unless it was mixed with water. Unbroken silence was enforced except on rare occasions. As Peter and Paul gave up their homes and families to follow Jesus, "Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men," Matthew 4v19 Members of religious orders give up their homes and families to serve God in prayer and worship and in community service to fulfill their vocation. By Thomas Kee ...read more.

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