Becoming Christian Soldiers of Christ
What a difference a few weeks make? Scattered like sheep without a shepherd, terrified of the Jews, and cowardly hiding in the shadows, the Apostles and the close Disciples of Christ emerged to the surprise of the Jews as champions and soldiers of Christ. They triumphantly preached the Gospel, suffered, and praised the chance to bleed for Christ. A Peter who denied Christ would proclaim Christ and a Mark who ran in shame naked and in fear away from guards in the garden would become the lion of the gospel and roar.
What changed these men? It was not Baptism because they were already baptized. It was not their faith because they already believed in Christ. Ultimately it was the reception of the Holy Spirit and the gifts and fruits that are given to the soul at Confirmation. While Protestants may cringe at the thought of Catholic Sacramentalism, I would not heed fear of this and realize that both Catholics and Protestants believe the same thing but it is shrouded in different language and hundreds of years of mistrust.
As Christian Counselors we hope to re-introduce Christ to the fallen. We look at baptized Christians who have fallen wayside and help re-energize their spirituality. In Protestant circles, this is referred to being “Born Again”. The Christian again finds his love for Christ and becomes recommissioned to preach the Gospel to the world. The Holy Spirit fills the soul with a fervent love for Christ and a fearless purpose to face the world.
Catholics too experience a “Born Again” type experience through Confirmation. As the Apostles first received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, so again, does the Holy Spirit come to Catholics during Confirmation. The soul is given the gifts of the Spirit and the soul is turned into soldier of Christ. The sacramental grace that is infused into the soul helps the person face Satan, the world and to preach the Gospel in the market place.
Christian counselors should utilize the grace of the Spirit in their sessions. Pray to the Holy Spirit to breathe new life into both of you during counseling sessions. The session should be moved by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
If one is not experiencing this presence then what is the purpose of Christian Counseling? Christian Counseling is ultimately an intimate dialogue between a Spiritual Mentor and his Spiritual Son. The meeting should be filled with the Holy Spirit and the giving of graces for particular needs.
If you are interested in Christian Counseling Education or Training, please review the program. Training in Christian Counseling is available for those who are qualified.
Mark Moran, MA, GC-C, SCC-C