Our ultimate goal is to be a saint. It is our greatest calling and what is desired for us by our Creator. Holiness is not just for the ordained or a select few. Jesus Christ issues a “universal call to holiness” based on his teaching in the Gospel of Matthew to “be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
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Bishop Robert Barron paints a beautiful and mysterious image of what it takes to be a follower
of Jesus Christ. He lays out three intriguing paths to holiness:
1. Finding the Center
2. Knowing You’re A Sinner
3. Realizing Your Life is Not About You
He also shares practical approaches to enhance the journey along these three paths. Untold Blessing: The Three Paths to Holiness provides an insightful guide as you walk “The Way."
This video-based study program can be experienced individually or in a group. Groups meet for eight 90-minute sessions to explore the three paths to holiness. Each session includes video viewing and small group discussion of the Study Guide questions. Participants read the commentary in the Study Guide and prepare the questions before the small group discussion.
There are two sets of questions: “Questions for Understanding" based on the video presentation and references from Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church and “Questions for Application" that help you reflect on how the material is relevant to your own life and experience. This preparation can be done either before or after they view the video, as the Commentary in each lesson is very detailed. The Study Guide was written by Bishop Barron and Catholic author Mark P. Shea.
The Leader’s Kit provides essential resources for lay discussion leaders, including the DVD, study guide, facilitator guide, answer key, and Bishop Barron’s book, The Strangest Way, which provides more detail on the three paths discussed in the video.
Leaders can also register for a free training webinar which teaches the best ways to run an effective Untold Blessing study group.
- Lesson 1
- Lesson 2
- Lesson 3
- Lesson 4
- Lesson 5
- Lesson 6
Introduction: The Three Paths to Holiness
All of us are called to be holy. The Greek Fathers of the Church taught that the entire purpose of the Christian life was to make us, not simply better people, but conformed to participation in the life of the Trinity. Of course, we need God’s grace to become holy but there are three paths or journeys that all must take to reach this goal.
Lesson I: Finding the Center, Part I
Early in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus says that the kingdom of God is among them. Then he calls them to repentance or metanoia, a radical change of mind, body, heart, and soul. What he is saying is this: God’s love is now available unconditionally and without restriction, and to accept it means organizing your life around Jesus, not around your own ego.
Lesson II: Finding the Center, Part II
Detachment from the things of this world is necessary if we are to attach ourselves to the one, necessary thing, Jesus Christ. The theme of detachment can be found everywhere in the spiritual tradition. Only a person who has attained such freedom is ready for the mission of Christ.
Lesson III: Knowing You Are a Sinner, Part I
The first result of seeing our lives in the light of Christ is to realize the distance between us and God. Only then do we see how disobedient, damaged, confused, and willful we are. If the revelation stopped there, the Gospel would not be Good News. But the joyous truth is that God only brings our sins to light so that we can repent and he can forgive and heal us.
Lesson IV: Knowing You Are a Sinner, Part II
Jesus, the new King, subverts and overturns the world’s understanding of what “the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory” mean. Jesus, at every turn, criticizes the world’s goals of money, power, domination, and pride. He lives out the self-emptying humility and love of the Kingdom of Heaven, instead of the self-gratifying pride of the kingdom of this world.
Lesson V: Your Life is Not About You, Part I
Having walked the first two paths, we have put Jesus Christ in the center of our existence. We have seen our sins through his divine light and turned to him for forgiveness. So what does Jesus do? He heals us and then calls us to mission; to the realization that our lives, while truly his gift to us, are not about us but about him and his purposes.
Lesson VI: Your Life is Not About You, Part II
Walking more deeply into Path Three, we begin to consider our lives in the context of the “big picture.” We start to realize that God’s love for the whole of his creation places us as vital characters in a huge Theo-drama where each creature is called by God for the good of all creation.