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Practical Evangelization

Tools to equip and support your call to live out the New Evangelization in your home, workplace, and community. These are boots-on-the-ground tested resources that we know have helped Catholics like you more effectively share their faith with family and friends. 

Pray Your Way to an Evangelizing Heart

Posted in Prayer for the Missionary Disciple

pray evangelizing heartAt it's core, the New Evangelization has everything to do with this question: Do I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?  

If we want to be intentional disciples who live the New Evanglization in our parishes, schools, workplaces, and homes, we must begin by deepening our own relationships with God.  A central tenet of Pope Benedict XVI's teaching on the New Evangelization focused on the centrality of prayer in this mission. Benedict XVI understands prayer as holding a two-fold significance in evangelization:

    1. Those sharing the faith must first be re-evangelized ourselves, growing in habits of prayer and contemplation amidst life’s busyness; and

    2. Among those with whom we share the faith, prayer constitutes a deeply personal and essential means by which one encounters God.

Benedict XVI writes:

“Praying actualizes and deepens our communion with God. Our prayer can and should arise above all from our heart, from our needs, our hopes, our joys, our sufferings, from our shame over sin, from our gratitude from the good. It can and should be a wholly personal prayer." [1]

The role of prayer in the New Evangelization is central for the Pope Emeritus, and it must be for as well.

Examination of Conscience for Evangelizers

Posted in Prayer for the Missionary Disciple

 

“Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization. Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: ... we are always ‘missionary disciples’. So what are we waiting for?” (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, 120)

I am an evangelization fraud 

It's true.  While I am regularly reading books on the New Evangelization, and am firmly committed to the 'art of accompaniment' as a theory, I’m not very good at it in practice. 

Pope Francis has some harsh words for me in Evangelii Gaudium:

“Not to put the word into practice, not to make it reality, is to build on sand, to remain in the realm of pure ideas and to end up in a lifeless and unfruitful self-centredness and Gnosticism.” (EG, 233)

Fortunately, I am not alone.  I ran across an excellent article by Dcn. Charles Fernandes of the Diocese of Hamilton where he admits to also being a "faithful—but sometimes overly passive—Catholic." 

Our own intransigence, our unwillingness to evangelize, is by far the harshest theme in Evangelii Gaudium, the most difficult for me personally to hear.

In his lengthy personal response to reading and praying through The Joy of The Gospel, Deacon Frenandes pulls out a particularly useful examination of conscience for those of us invovled in the promotion, work, and support of evangelization.

Dandelions for Mary

Posted in Book & Resource Reviews

Review of Take it To the Queen: A Tale of Hope

Spring in Kansas brings beautiful pink and white blossoms, bright green leaves, new blades of grass, and every young child’s flower of choice: the dandelion. There is usually no shortage of bright yellow blooms and white balls of fluff adorning our slightly neglected yard. Thus, to my daughter’s great delight, she can pick flowers whenever she chooses. Often, she brings the flowers over to me, and joyfully bestows her gift of a dandelion bouquet upon an all too grateful mother. They may be weeds, but when given with total love by a bright-eyed three-year-old, they seem more beautiful than the most gorgeous of roses.

When May arrived, I decided that we would spend a little time honoring and learning about Mary. We planted flowers in a small Mary garden and I purchased a new book. Take It to the Queen: A Tale of Hope width= by Josephine Nobisso is an allegorical account of Mary’s role in salvation and as our mother.  I wondered if the story might be a little advanced for my daughter, but she was captivated. At the end, without any prompting from me, she even asked if the story had a picture of baby Jesus. She must have grasped at least little pieces of the allegory.

How Do You Pray? When You're Too Busy To Pray

Posted in Book & Resource Reviews

Too Busy to Pray

Our church bookclub recently finished the book Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert. Part biography and part explanation of five things Mr. Evert deemed most important to this amazing pope and saint, the book was a page-turning and inspiring read

It must be impossible to read about this great saint without desiring to amend some aspect of one’s own life in imitation of his holiness. Among the amazing aspects of Saint John Paul the Great’s life was his devotion to near constant prayer.

My own prayer life had been inconsistent and of little depth in recent months, so I decided that now would be the perfect time to make some changes. 

Jumping In With Both Feet

Inspired by Saint John Paul the Great’s other great devotion to Mary, I thought that the daily Rosary would be a good place to start. Some of the women in the book club recommended saying the Rosary while doing other tasks, such as driving or doing dishes. After some rather questionable driving, loading dirty dishes into the dishwasher with clean ones and falling asleep while praying in the evening, I decided that I need to pray the Rosary when I am neither busy nor tired.

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