Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB

8/24/2011 (3 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 (3 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

MASSIVE OIL SPILL: Santa Barbara declares state of emergency over massive oil spill in Pacific Ocean Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

About 9 miles of the Pacific ocean, across a popular spot on the California coast, was damaged after a pipeline leaked massive amounts of oil in the water earlier this week.     MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to officials, up to ... continue reading


UC Santa Barbara massacre survivor speaks on the day's events and his journey to recovery Watch

Image of www.thisischriswhite.com

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The fateful night of May 23, 2014, Antoine Cherchian managed to survive being shot by the virgin killer, Elliot Rodger, during his killing spree at UC Santa Barbara. While Cherchian sustained fatal injuries, along with six other students murdered, he is thankful for ... continue reading


Crackdown by federal agents on 'Pill Mills' in four southern states Watch

Image of An average of 44 people in the U.S. dies every day from opioids. These drugs include Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Drug Enforcement Administration and other authorities are raiding pharmacies, pain clinics and other facilities in four southern U.S. states. It is all part of an aggressive crackdown on prescription pain drug abuse. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Matt C. Abbott: Why I wrote Pope Francis about an exorcist

Image of Father William S. Bowdern, S.J. Father Bowdern was the chief exorcist in the 1949 exorcism of Robbie, the teenaged boy whose case inspired William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel The Exorcist, which subsequently was made into a feature film.

By Matt C. Abbott

Here's one name I haven't heard mentioned in regard to possible canonization, yet it seems he'd be a good candidate: Father William S. Bowdern, S.J. Father Bowdern, who was born in 1897 and died in 1983, was the chief exorcist in the 1949 exorcism of "Robbie," ... continue reading


FBI lectures High school students on resisting ISIS recruitment Watch

Image of The FBI is planning to take its message to other schools in the Tri-State Area to reach kids at critical adolescent ages.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

High school students at Bergen County School, in Bergen County, New Jersey got a surprise lecture from FBI agents. They warned students away from sophisticated new techniques used by Islamic State to join their ranks. In particular, a new ISIS-produced video ... continue reading


Bin Laden's secret files: What we found and what's been released Watch

Image of The U.S. Department of National Intelligence has released a report of documents that were captured during the May 1, 2011 raid in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. government has begun declassifying and releasing documents that were captured during the 2011 raid of Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan, and some of what has been released shows that America's number one enemy for almost a decade was obsessed with ... continue reading


Are there weapons aboard? U.S. Air Force space shuttle's secret contents no longer a secret Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Air Force's X-37B space shuttle, launched into Earth's orbit, was revealed not to contain weapons as many feared. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to the published manifest, the space shuttle carries a new form of Hall ion-powered ... continue reading


Catholic University removes insensitive mural honoring convicted killer Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Marquette University in Wisconsin has officially taken down a mural of Assata Shakur, one of the FBI's most wanted. Shakur was convicted of killing a state trooper in New Jersey before fleeing to Cuba in 1973. The Catholic university's authorities were warned of the ... continue reading


As John Wayne would say, YO! America's biggest ranch up for sale for $725 million Watch

Image of  The Waggoner Ranch includes the 510,000-acre ranch spread over six North Texas counties, with two main compounds, hundreds of homes, about 20 cowboy camps, hundreds of quarter horses, thousands of heads of cattle, and 30,000 acres of cultivated land.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Waggoner Ranch, America's biggest ranch stretches over 510,000 continuous acres, or 796 square miles, making it a plot of land bigger than the island of Oahu and New York City. It is up for sale for $725 million. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Realtors are hoping ... continue reading


See what is REALLY killing Americans with macabre 'Death Map' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While heart disease and cancer are the most common killers in the United States, a new map proves that these causes vary from state to state. Said "Death Map" shows the most distinctive cause of death, which is the rate higher than the national average. LOS ... 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, Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
16 On our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 11:4, 5, 7
4 Yahweh in his holy temple! Yahweh, his throne is in ... Read More

Gospel, John 21:20-25
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 23rd, 2015 Image

St. John Baptist Rossi
May 23: This holy priest was born in 1698 at the village of Voltaggio in ... 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