You can't have a relationship with Christ, if you aren't his disciple. Disciples of Christ seek to conform themselves to the mind of Christ. Always.
This is the crux of the matter. This is the general principle that makes me fight the controversial battles I've fought on this blog - Lying, Torture, Wrong Ideas about Sex, Bad Bishops, Bad Music, Bad Homilies, and so forth.
I don't care if I win or lose on any of these controversies. What I keep trying to do, however, is point out that the more we do the following
- Push our private agendas
- Tie ourselves in knots to rationalize our behavior
- Substitute our own Unreality for God's Reality
- Practice a Moral Minimalism - "If the Church hasn't authoritatively and clearly said DON'T DO IT, I'm going to do it!"
- Make of our lusts and desires gods and idols
... the more we do these things, the further we are from the Mind of Christ.
"Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus..." Paul to the Philippians 2:5
Lately I've been putting this in terms of flesh vs. spirit as Paul does.
If we cultivate the flesh (the selfish sinful desires of the unredeemed man in us), we reap corruption and death, St. Paul says. If we cultivate the spirit (the life of God in us, the promptings of the Holy Ghost, God's sanctifying grace), we reap holiness and the life of Christ, which is life everlasting.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom. 12:2)
In other words, seek not to think and pray so as to spend God's grace "on your lusts" as St. James says, but seek ye the Mind of Christ.