Promoting the New Evangelization in a World Hungry for Gospel Witness
Christ leads to genuine joy and fulfillment in life? The vocation of Christian life is a calling to authentic relationship with God, Who sanctifies believers as they encounter His holiness and discover His divine love as the only drink to quench their thirsty souls.
In his Apostolic Letter Ubicumque et Semper (2010), Pope Benedict XVI established the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization to assist the Christian faithful in renewing the Church from within, so that she might be most effective in witnessing the Gospel to the world outside of her walls. Pope Benedict articulates, "At the root of all evangelization lies not a human plan of expansion, but rather the desire to share the inestimable gift that God has wished to give us, making us sharers in His own life."
It is exciting that we in the United Statest have witnessed some beautiful testimony especially in recent months from our bishops, in light of the new evangelization. Archbishop Timothy Dolan has shared gregariously his love in the national media, leading NBC's Today show intimately for two days into the halls of Vatican City, even making their way possible to encounter the Vicar of Christ in person. In doing so, he helped bring milliions of Americans - Catholics, non-Catholic Christians, and non-Christians alike -- into deeper personal contact with our Holy Father and into a more authentic experience with the Catholic Church than the media often portray.
Bishop Jean Laffitte, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, in his interview recently with Catholic News Agency also provided important insight into the authentic interpretation of Blessed John Paul II's Catecheses on Human Love (known popularly as "Theology of the Body") You can read the full interview here. Through the powerful witness to the Gospel in the faith of both bishops - and certainly of so many others in our Church as well -- we encounter the living Lord at work through their love and teaching, renewing those who seek to grow in their relationship with the living Lord and helping us to minister to those around us who thirst for the Gospel.
May the Church's beloved pontiffs Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, and of her bishops Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Dolan, and Bishop Laffitte - among so many other Church leaders - provide living testimony to each one of us in how a loving, living relationship with Jesus Christ gives us hope and the moral fortitude to stand always for what is true and right, giving us the impetus to grow in holiness. It is ultimately only when the world encounters Jesus authentically through His faithful that the world will change, one soul at a time, both within and outside of the Church for the salvation of souls in Jesus Christ.
Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB, is a Benedictine Monk at Mary Mother of the Church Abbey in Richmond, Virginia. He earned his S.T.B. from the Pontificial Athenaeum of Sant'Anselmo in Rome and his S.T.L. magna cum laude in Moral Theology (Marriage and Family Studies) in 2008 from the Pontifical Lateran University, John Paul II Institute (Vatican City). His S.T.L. dissertation was entitled, "Educating to Love: Foundational Pedagogy in Light of Karol Wojtyla's Love and Responsibility". Fr. Gregory is working on his doctoral dissertation for the same Vatican institute, on "The Consecration of the Family to the Heart of Jesus in Light of the Pastoral Ministry of Père Mateo Crawley-Boevey"
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB, Monk, Benedictine, New Evangelization, monastic, theology of the body
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