A recent study showed that 52 percent of Catholics are not certain they are able to have a relationship with God. It made my heart sink.

Some think God is simply the "answer guy in the sky." Others think what they have done in their past disqualifies them from God's love and desire for them.

But, I believe God wants to have a relationship with you.

You know, as Catholics we have often times given an inauthentic or bad witness. It has caused some to stop believing God wants to have a relationship with them. Let me say, I am sorry.

So, it all really forces me to start with me. How is my relationship with God? Can I tell the story of my relationship with God to this point in my life?

These are probably good questions for all of us, eh?

I believe God wants to have a relationship with you. Know that this is the message of the Gospel.

But, I have to ask: Is that relationship with God honestly where it could be? Most of us, especially me, will answer no. And I have a thousand reasons and excuses why it is not.

I have to constantly move from who I am to who I ought to be. Good, better, best. Never let it rest.

Think of it this way. If I say I am going to run a marathon, or I am a marathon runner, but only run one mile a day, I'm not exactly where I could or should be with being a marathon runner. Right?

Let's be authentic, most of us have a list of reasons why our faith lives are not where they ought to be. For instance, two common phrases I hear are: 1.) I'm spiritual, not religious. 2.) I'm religious, but I'm not one of those spiritual people.

Do we sell ourselves and others short with mindsets like these ones?

Here's my take on those phrases. The truth is that I am both spiritual and religious. The spiritual is my interior personal relationship with the Lord. The religious is my external and communal expression of the interior personal relationship.

I personally can get caught up in being either/or, but I know that for me the fullest and most holistic I feel is when I am living both the spiritual and religious. Because, I am body and soul. I am an individual and communal. I live a life that is internal and external; trying to be sure those two things square up.

Nonetheless, back to the beginning. It all leads me to a relationship with God. A relationship with a God who wants to have a relationship with me. And so, I ask myself a few times a day:

OK, how is my relationship with God today?

A good first step every day is to pray: "Lord, I am open to having a relationship with you. I am not sure I know what that looks like. I don't even know how to do it. But, I am open to you having a relationship with me. Help me out. Amen."

May God bless you and may Jesus Christ be praised.