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In his Unleash the Gospel pastoral letter, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron outlines six good habits that shape our witness to Christ in our communities. Examining the presence or lack of these habits in our lives can help us intentionally become better witnesses — and to grow in our personal relationship with God.

Wherever you are in your spiritual journey, take heart.

Archbishop writes, “Our acknowledgement of our own spiritual poverty is precisely what can lead us to rely wholly on God. Then it becomes clear that success belongs to him alone and not to any human ingenuity. If we have become spiritually dry, we need not fear. Dry wood is perfect for being set on fire!”

It’s never too late, and you’re never too far from him, to rekindle the light of your faith. So take these questions to prayer, as you enter into conversation with God and reflect on your role in sharing the Gospel. Pray to hear how he is calling you to live these habits in your own life and way.

1. Docility to the Spirit

The Holy Spirit inspires all Christ’s disciples, fortifying them with the insight, strength and graces needed to witness. Do you let God lead you in everything you do, following his promptings with a humble and obedient heart?

“[The Holy Spirit] is the divine force that changes the world. The [coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost] reminded us of this: The Spirit is ‘in toil, comfort sweet; solace in the midst of woe.’ And so we beseech him: ‘Heal our wounds, our strength renew; on our dryness pour your dew; wash the stains of guilt away.’ The Spirit enters into situations and transforms them. He changes hearts and he changes situations.” (Pope Francis, Homily on the Solemnity of Pentecost, 2018)

2. A Spirit of Innovation

We are called to share the Gospel with the people of our time. As missionaries, we must be inspired and learn from St. Paul and the early disciples on how to present the Gospel to our contemporaries in an attractive and effective way. How can you share the life-changing message of the Gospel with the tools and means around you and learn from the ideas and creativity of others?

“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more … To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.” (1 Corinthians 9:19, 22-23, NASB)

3. Confidence in God

Divine confidence should ground us and encourage us. We can trust in God’s plan for the renewal of our families, neighborhoods and faith communities. In which areas of your life and your work God is calling you to greater confidence and cooperation with his grace?

“It is needful to remain little before God and to remain little is to recognize one’s nothingness, expect all things from the good God just as a little child expects all things from its father.” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux)

Do you let God lead you in everything you do, following his promptings with a humble and obedient heart?

4. An Attitude of Gratitude

Thankful hearts are happy hearts. Gratitude puts us in a right posture before God. When you feel down, do you counter your discouragement with thanks, staying open to God so He can continue to work in you and through you?

“Get used to lifting your heart to God, in acts of thanksgiving, many times a day. Because He gives you this and that. Because you have been despised. Because you haven’t what you need or because you have. Because He made His Mother so beautiful, His Mother who is also your Mother … Thank Him for everything, because everything is good” (St. Josemaria Escriva).

5. A Spirit of Cooperation

Sharing the Gospel in our communities requires unity and teamwork. Have you let your pride get in the way of collaborating with others, being open to receiving and giving help?

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3, NASB).

6. Apostolic Boldness

Following Jesus and going where he leads us requires courage. This is not a human trait but the fruit of our relationship with Christ. When you face adversity, do you actively and diligently turn to God for strength and wisdom?

“Courageously follow the path of personal holiness and diligently nourish yourselves with the word of God and the Eucharist. The holier you are, the more you can contribute to building up the Church and society” (St. John Paul II).