Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB

8/24/2011 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We must confront what Pope Benedict XVI has called a moral relativism

The key to the new evangelization of our Faith in this postmodern age is the fundamental relationship each one of us has with our Lord Jesus.  Do we take the time we need during each day to encounter Him heart to Heart?  Do we stay still long enough to search for God, to listen for His voice, to trust Him in a spirit of obedience even when He might lead us into uncomfortable waters for the sake of our own souls and those of our brothers and sisters in the human race?

Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB

Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB

Highlights

By Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/24/2011 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB, Monk, Benedictine, New Evangelization, monastic, theology of the body


RICHMOND, VA (Catholic Online) - On August 2, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal at the Apostolic Signatura (Vatican City) delivered the thought-provoking message, "The Work of the New Evangelization: 'So That the World May Know New Hope'" at the Knights of Columbus 2011 Supreme Convention in Denver.   In treating this theme during his discourse Cardinal Burke cited Blessed Pope John Paul II's concluding prayer in the post-synodal  Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America ("The Church in America") as the foundation for the work of spreading the Gospel message today. 

Placing the work of the new evangelization under the protective care of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, the Blessed Pontiff strove to secure new hope through her Son for families, homes, neighborhoods, and countries.   Cardinal Burke emphasized the vital importance of "teaching, celebrating and living our Catholic faith with the engagement and energy of the first Christians and of the first missionaries to our nations" as the Christian faithful pursue the fulfillment of God's universal call to holiness.

In Ecclesia in America, Blessed John Paul II urged the Church in America to encounter the person of Jesus Christ anew, that this experience with the living Lord is "the path to conversion, communion and solidarity" for our country (EIA 7).  In the course of his address earlier this month, Cardinal Burke intimated that secret to the success of the new evangelization is contained in Blessed John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, "At the Close of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000", where the beloved pope reminded the world that it will not be saved neither by new programs nor by "a formula but by a Person, and the assurance which He gives us:  I am with you" (NMI 29). 

The key to the new evangelization of our Faith in this postmodern age is the fundamental relationship each one of us has with our Lord Jesus.  Do we take the time we need during each day to encounter Him heart to Heart?  Do we stay still long enough to search for God, to listen for His voice, to trust Him in a spirit of obedience even when He might lead us into uncomfortable waters for the sake of our own souls and those of our brothers and sisters in the human race?

Cardinal Burke emphasized as critical to the success of the new evangelization that we as Christians engage actively in our participation in public life, in a manner that authentically reflects genuine discipleship in Jesus Christ.  Rooted in a life of prayer and the sacraments, the Christian is able to listen more carefully to the voice of Christ whom he encounters in a vibrant relationship with our Lord.  We are -- as Blessed John Paul II exhorts - to "have faith in Christ, to believe that what the Lord has promised to us will be fulfilled, and thus to live courageously the truth which has its highest expression in pure and selfless love." 

We must confront what Pope Benedict XVI has called a "moral relativism .. which has generated profound confusion and deadly error regarding the most fundamental truths of the moral order" even to the point that morality no longer exists (cf. Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor; also "Benedict XVI's Christmas greeting to the College of Cardinals, the Roman Curia and the Governorate: Resolved in faith and in doing good," in L'Osservatore Romano Weekly Edition in English, 22-29 December 2010, p.13).

In standing for the authentic teachings of our Lord Jesus wherever they may be, Christians have countless opportunities to defend the truths of our Faith through a natural unfolding of their daily attitudes and activities: standing against the immoral "murder of the unborn child in the womb"; opposing the "artificial generation of human life and its destruction, at the embryonic stages  of development, as the means to obtain supposed cures for crippling or deadly diseases"; confronting any attempts to justify the "so-called 'mercy killing' of those who have the first title to our care"; and defending the fundamental truths of human marriage and sexuality, written by God into the body and soul of each human person and manifested in holy marriage defined by God Himself through a spousal relationship between man and woman, and never between two persons of the same sex.

In confronting the significant moral challenges of our time, our active relationship with Jesus Christ - including our regular encounters with the living Lord sacramentally, especially in the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation - provides a firm foundation for any effort to share our Faith with others.  If we do not pursue holiness first in our own lives, why should people around us believe that a relationship with Jesus 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"

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


A Tribute to Protestant Bishop Tony Palmer, Friend of Francis and Champion of Christian Unity Watch

Image of The late Bishop Tony Palmer with Pope Francis- He was catapulted into prominence in the broader Christian community when, while meeting with his friend the Pope in January, he was given a recorded message from Francis to deliver to a large group of charismatic, evangelical protestant leaders who gathered in the United States. The video went viral. It moved millions to sincere prayer for the healing of the divisions in the broken Body of Christ and is prompting a renewed commitment to common apostolic action between Christians.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I never personally met Bishop Tony Palmer. However, I look forward to spending an eternity in the full communion of God's love with him. I appreciated his Christian courage and felt that his efforts were prophetic. He wrote his life - and lived his ministry - ... continue reading


Exclusive: Tribute to Bishop Tony Palmer, A Life Dedicated to Unity Watch

Image of (Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died. Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I ... continue reading


Anarchy in Chicago! Weekend of crime tears city apart Watch

Image of The weekend of July 18 saw the death of five people and the wounding of 47 in Chicago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were 47 shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, five of which ended up being fatal, statistics from the Chicago Police Department report. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chicago officials met on July 21 to discuss the city's recent surge in gun ... continue reading


The Contraceptive New York Nanny, Bill Donohue and the Catholic League Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The idea that the government is now in the business of arm-twisting women not to have more children - immediately after childbirth - is morally obnoxious and socially disturbing. It is so apt that this is happening in a city where its mayor lusts for abortion ... continue reading


Building a culture of life: Colorado clinic takes brave stand Watch

Image of Inspired to bring their mission home to Colorado, they decided to start a natural women's health clinic that would uphold the dignity of women and give them the care they deserve.

By CNA/EWTN News

A Colorado women's health clinic seeking to offer natural care that respects human dignity has drawn praise for helping to build up a culture of life. (CNA/EWTN News) - Authentic women's care "is essential to the pro-life movement," said Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, ... continue reading


When more than 80 percent of California faces extreme drought -- the spigots remain open Watch

Image of At the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fountains are still operating. The one change is that they turn off at mid-morning, and haven't been running full-time since the spring.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Extremely dry conditions in the state of California has 80 percent of the so-called Golden State in extreme drought conditions. Many couldn't tell the difference in many urban areas: Sprinklers go full blast on many lawns, and lots of waters goes wasted by ... continue reading


IT'S ABOUT TIME: Rick Perry deploys national guard to halt southern invasion! Watch

Image of Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border, in an effort to stem the flood of illegals that have crossed over throughout 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an effort to stem the influx of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children that have been entering the United States illegally in 2014, Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Is Mount Rainier about to blow? A new study promises to reveal clues about an upcoming eruption Watch

Image of Mount Rainier is the tallest volcano and the fifth-highest peak in the contiguous United States, towering more than 14,400 feet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A huge magma reservoir below Mount Rainier in Washington state has been mapped by American and Norwegian researchers, which may provide subtle clues as to when the volcano will next erupt. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This huge magma reservoir was formed as ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10
1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:1-9
1 That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Bridget of Sweden
July 23: Saint Birgitta was the daughter of Uppland’s Lagman, Birger ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter