One of the questions I’m asked the most by other Catholics is about experiencing a personal relationship with Jesus. “I don’t think that’s a Catholic practice. Only Protestants are concerned with that. A relationship with Jesus is to be sacramental, not personal.”
I’ll agree to part of that. Yes, as Catholics, we experience a sacramental relationship with Jesus. Since becoming in full communion with the Church, that’s something I’ve finally been able to experience. Still, the relationship we share with Jesus has to be personal to us. Because each of us has been created individually, there needs to be a significant bond with God no one else quite understands.
Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have repeatedly emphasized that Catholicism is essentially all about an encounter with Jesus.
Many people perceive Christianity as something institutional — rather than as an encounter with Christ — which explains why they don’t see it as a of joy.Pope Benedict XVI
The evangelization of the person and of human communities depends totally on this encounter with Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict XVI
We must always have the courage and the joy of proposing, with respect, an encounter with Christ, and being heralds of his Gospel. Jesus came amongst us to show us the way of salvation and he entrusted to us the mission to make it known to all to the ends of the earth. Pope Francis