SOME MAY KNOW it as fraternal correction, or spiritual friendship. At the heart of it all lies the same essential ingredient – love.
If we are truly to be our brother’s and sister’s keepers, then it must be our Christian obligation to offer each other encouragement and affirmation as we make our collective journeys towards living a more authentic Christian life.
At Landings, we always say: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
For us struggling Catholics – which is you and I every now and then – it is sometimes all we can do to even manage to be a Christian at all! God allows us to grow in our own time though, doesn’t He? If speed isn’t paramount, then maybe it’s time to explore how to “go far” together.
After all, life journeys are better made with worthy companions. Spiritual journeys, definitely more so. Fraught as they are with all kinds of obstacles, challenges and temptations, it’s almost always critical to have a companion or community to keep us on track when we wander just a little bit off course, and to help us spy God’s promptings when we are blind to them or unable to embrace them just yet.
And vice versa.
How much we can grow when we strive to remain steadfast for another and hopefully, to be the face of God’s forgiveness and mercy at times when our partner is struggling. In another’s wavering faith, we could act as instrument to cement the cracks.
An accountability partnership works in these precise ways – allowing us to be each other’s champion, supporter and encourager to walk on in faith, as well as to grow as authentic Christians, which we absolutely must.
Have you been craving a soul friend too – one who would correct us and who wouldn’t simply console or condone where we may have fallen short as a Christian?
This Lent, we invite you to take small steps to achieve this big dream of being an accountability partner and to experience journeying with a fellow-pilgrim as we make our way across the Lenten timeline.
We will not be keeping score of our/each other’s sins, or suggesting that we need to be a certain way to deserve God’s love. We will not be judging each other or monitoring our deficiencies and failures.
Rather, we will be acknowledging and reminding each other and ourselves of God’s radical love for us, and how we, in turn, can respond to His love and pursue a relationship with Him that makes us fully human and alive.
We will gently correct each other only because we’re journeying together towards living a meaningful Christian life. We will be affirmer and the one who points out God’s movement and promptings in our partners when they cannot see it… and in all that we do, we will do it with Christian love.
We will really be making a commitment to be each other’s advocate to hold onto our Lenten resolution when we are too weak to grasp God’s helping grace.
Wherever you may be, we hope you’re able to find an accountability partner in Lent too – a friend who will devote himself to help you reach your Lenten goals to draw closer to God. Never forget to invite God in to this Lenten pilgrimage of trust and accountability. And if you’ve been away from Church long enough to not know any suitable friend to approach, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May we all experience God’s graces of humility as we remain steadfast for our partners and may we encounter His special love and mercy as we receive spiritual friendship through our accountability partners.