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Anchored in faith: nurturing your relationship with God and community

By Daniel Francis

Last weekend I was sitting in church simply enjoying the stillness of the space before Mass began. I typically either go to church with a friend or my parents. While flipping through the different articles in The Catholic News, I began feeling overwhelmingly grateful. Grateful for the ups and the downs but especially grateful that God has blessed me with so many reasons and opportunities to stay present and engaged with my faith and my community.

It then occurred to me how important it is to have multiple anchors that keep you tied to your faith.

This is somewhat of a cheat code that seems very simple but can have a lasting positive impact on how we experience our faith and stay consistently present. By anchors I mean the different people or responsibilities that keep us encouraged to participate in religious activities and active in our church communities.

An anchor could be as simple as taking on the responsibility of being an altar server or lay minister for example. In this example, you now play an important active role in the celebration of the Mass. You not only learn more about the Mass, deepening your understanding, but you are less likely to miss Mass because of this responsibility.

That is but one example but there are many big and small anchors that you can establish. You can become a reader at Mass, take up the collection, or even encourage your friends to go to Mass with your adding a layer of accountability with each other. All these examples keep you encouraged to attend Mass.

With no anchors, it may be easy to simply miss Mass and start a slippery slope falling out of your faith.

I focus so heavily on attending Mass here because I think that is usually the point where most people begin falling out of their faith. I should know because that is how I once fell out of my faith.

It all started by missing Mass. It began with me working too hard or staying up too late the night before Mass. I would use the excuse of being tired as a rationale to not attend.

However, one day of missing Mass escalated to two, then three. Before I knew it, I had not seen the inside of a church in months. I had also not prayed or read my Bible in months, and I felt further from God than I ever had.

When you devote yourself in whatever small or big way to your church community, you are not only creating an anchor that encourages you to stay present and deepen your connection with God, but you are additionally adding to your parish positively.

I have noticed that in many churches many of the activities are taken up by the more mature parishioners and it would be encouraging to see some younger ones take up these positions and be more active in their parish.

An added benefit to being more active is that you inadvertently become a role model of sorts. There are eyes on you, providing that positive pressure to keep following the righteous principles of our faith.

Now when you are tempted to sin you have to think about how your actions will not only affect you but also those who look up to you. Interestingly, as much as my articles are for your reading pleasure, they help me to constantly want to better myself and to stay on a righteous path.

For those who pay attention to what I do, I do not want to disappoint or lead them down the wrong path. I would like everyone to experience this type of positive pressure because I believe it will help refine you into the more pious person that God wants you to strive to become.

It is also very easy to take on an anchor. It can start by asking your parish priest how you can be more active or what help might be needed. You could also create your own church community by inviting your friends and family to attend Mass with you.

Here is your opportunity to help anchor yourself deeper in your faith and nurture your relationship with God and your community.


Daniel Francis is a millennial helping other millennials. He is a two-time author of the books The Millennial Mind and The Millennial Experience, and an entrepreneur. Over the past four years, he has served as a Personal Development Coach whose work targets Millennials and helps them tap into their full potential. He is also a Self-publishing coach and has guided hundreds on self-publishing their book successfully.

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