I just read a fantastic post by Colleen Duggan over at The Integrated Catholic Life called “Evangelization is not a Protestant Thing.” In it she posits what so many Catholics and especially fallen away Catholics already seem to know: Protestants are good at personal evangelization. They aren’t afraid of talking about their personal “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” or to invite you to come “join us in worship on Sunday.”
If you’ve ever attended an event held by a protestant Christian church, they never miss an opportunity to give you more information about their church, to thank you for coming and to invite you to come back. My wife and I were even called back once after giving our name and phone number to win a door prize at a Trunk or Treat event last year. They get it!
The problem is, as Colleen points out, we Catholics don’t seem to and yet we have the most to rant and rave about! She then offers 5 very simple suggestions on how to begin being an evangelist. I will let you go read them, because I can’t do them justice, but the 5th point really hit me because it is fresh in my mind from the second reading from this past Sunday. Ms. Duggan says, “Be all things to all people.”
One thing I like to reflect on is how Jesus spent most of his time with people with sordid pasts: prostitutes, tax collectors, and other types of people of ill repute. Next to the Pharisees, Jesus hung out with people who were not up to snuff morally or religiously.
In our second reading from Mass, St. Paul told the Corinthians: “I have become all things to all, to save at least some” (1 Cor 9:22). And he should be our model. Obviously, St. Paul and Ms. Duggan are not suggesting that we are ever unauthentic. Instead we “[make ourselves] a slave to all” (1 Cor. 9: 19) and enter into the life of those with whom we meet and speak. We allow THEM to share THEIR story. We allow them to take center stage as it were and in so doing, we allow them to see us (and for us to see them) as another person on the journey toward our ultimate goal of heaven.
A fantastic opportunity for Catholic young adults is once again coming to the University of Cincinnati! On February 23, 2015 the Frassati Speakers Series presented by the UC Society of St. Paul will continue with an engaging presentation by renowned speaker Matthew Leonard. Author of two books, Louder than Words: The Art of Living as a Catholic and Prayer Works! Getting a Grip on Catholic Spirituality, Leonard will be presenting on the topic Love Hurts: The Truth Behind Redemptive Suffering. The talk will take place in the Tangeman University Center Great Hall and will go from 7-8:30 pm. You don’t want to miss this great opportunity to grow in love with your faith and be inspired to transform your lives into lives of prayer.
So often in meeting with guys or hearing their vocation stories we hear that their call was first recognized in seeing a devout priest celebrate a beautiful Mass. This is no accident as it is truly the place where Jesus transcends time and space to be truly present with us on the altar and to enter into our very bodies. Pope Benedict XVI said it this way once, “Jesus wants to be so close to us as to become nourishment for our bones.” This is made possible at the hands of the priest in the Catholic Mass! No where else can this happen and there is no more glorious mystery on this Earth than this.
To emphasize this even more, below is a wonderful video passed onto to us by a priest of the Archdiocese on the beauty and power of the Mass. Take three minutes and remember why you go to Mass!
With a tip of the hat to Rich Leonardi for regularly pointing us to the wisdom of our Holy Father, my latest article over at Catholic Lane looks a little deeper into Pope Benedict’s choice of words in giving us three simple rules for living our universal call to holiness.
These simple rules are as basic as they are compelling as they are difficult! The first rule, to experience Christ in the Eucharist every Sunday could have easily been worded, “Go to Mass on all Sundays,” and yet that doesn’t cut it for the Pope. As Catholics, we truly have the opportunity to receive Christ in our bodies every single time we attend Mass, but it is our openness to truly experiencing him and his passion, death and resurrection and all that His life entails that will open the doors to the grace hidden in the form of bread and wine on the altar. We need to EXPERIENCE Christ in the Eucharist, not just receive or see Him. An experience is something that sticks with us and, as the pope suggests, helps to mold us!
The other rules are much the same. (Read the rest —>)
Today, the Holy Father continued his walk through great Doctors of the Church with today’s reflection on St. Francis de Sales, also Patron of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Under the title of ‘Great Master of Spirituality and Peace,’ the Holy Father focuses on the tumultuous time of St. Francis’ life as bishop of Geneva, Switzerland, in the immediate aftermath of the Protestant Reformation. Even more difficult, Geneva was the center of the Calvinist movement, forcing Francis to spend many years outside his home diocese in exile.
Yet, despite the turmoil, he was a great master of the spiritual life, and his works continue to be read in introductory courses at seminaries and religious houses even today.
Let us all strive to be ‘Theopholis,’ the One Who Love God, that we, too, might be willing witnesses of the Gospel
Ever wonder what you can do to increase vocations to the priesthood and religious life? Serra Clubs are built around the ideal of:
These four pillars certainly help, but unless there is something deeper present, it is just wheels spinning. What is that source, the spring of water, that empowered Mother Theresa of Calcutta to do what she did? How did John Paul II work so tirelessly in the mission of the Gospel? What transformed a simple parish priest into a draw for hundreds of thousands in the person of St. John Vianney?
At their core, they were all first and foremost committed disciples of Jesus. They sought after holiness as it was appropriate to their state of life.
This, then, becomes the basis for the outreach in all vocation/evangelization programs: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God!” Then, and only then, will fruit be borne of the Kingdom.
This is the basis of the linked article below, which obviously piqued my interest intensely.
Today is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, known alternately as the Angelic Doctor and the Dumb Ox. I think he prefers the former, eh?
At Mass today, I wondered that it is not his intellect that makes him great, as great as his intellect was. It is not his volumous writings that earned him the prize of heaven, and his writings fill bookshelves.
Rather, it was his holiness and his humility, which form the basis and directed his intellect to produce such great works delving into the depths of theology, philosophy, natural sciences, metaphysics, etc. etc. First and foremost, he sought to be united with God, and out of that unity came the depth of understanding that has kept his writings contemporary with every age of man since.
The episode at the end of his life plays this tention out. For Thomas, the goal was the Beatific Vision: seeing God face to face. As it is normally, God appears to us veiled under the mystery of the Eucharist so that we might see and encounter Him in a way that we can comprehend. Towards the end of his life, Thomas was granted the beatific vision, the veil was lifted and he was offered a peek into heaven, as it were. ‘Burn it all!’ was his response, for he recognized that while his writings were prolific, they paled to what he had just experienced.
Luckily, his wishes were not carried through and his writings continue to inspire students of today. But his example of life is even greater. We may not all be blessed with an intellect such as Thomas had, but we all certainly have a heart that is capable of imitating the love he had for God.
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