Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

12/3/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel

Our mission field is our own back yard. The West is pre-Christian - not Post-Christian! Rather than waste any more time bemoaning this fact, rather than join the naysayers, it is time to enter into the new missionary age which stretches out before us. All we need is the intimate personal communion with the Risen Lord Jesus which so obviously motivated St. Francis Xavier and the evangelical courage which is its fruit. It is time to get to work 

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/3/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Christian Saints & Heroes

Keywords: Francis Xavier, St Francis Xavier, New Evangelization, new Missionary Age, New Millennium, testimony, martyrdaom, white martyrdaom, Deacon Keith Fournier



CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - On December 3 the Western Church remembers the great disciple of Jesus Christ and follower of St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis Xavier. His missionary voyages to Japan and to India continue to bear extraordinary fruit centuries later as we witness the courageous witness of the Christians of our day in both lands.

St. Francis Xavier arrived in the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan, in 1549. Sixty years after he began his missionary work, the Shogun began their violent persecution against the Christians. The evil inflicted in that persecution did not stop those who had heard the Gospel from the mouth of this Saint. In fact, as has been the case throughout the ages, their blood became the "seed of the Church" in Japan and beyond. Nothing - and no-one-  can stop the advance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the spread of His Kingdom.

On his Feast, I present this excerpt from one of St. Francis Xavier's Letters to Ignatius Loyola. The missionary spirit which it reveals is also alive in the Church in this hour. It is alive in the New Ecclesial movements. It is live in the religious communities which are springing up as new shoots in the One Vine and the renewed ones which are rediscovering their charism. It is alive on the authentically Catholic Colleges and Universities which are forming the new saints, missionaries and martyrs for the Third Millennium. Some of them are new, others are being renewed.

Is it alive in you and me? Do we view our vocation, no matter what our state in life, as missionary? All of us can - and should - burn with the same missionary fire which animated this great saint. It is the fire of the Holy Spirit. We should cry out those words of the great Apostle Paul "Woe unto me if I dod not preach the Gospel." (1 Cor. 9:16)

It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ - preached and lived in its fullness - which is the liberating message the whole world longs to hear. In Jesus Christ we can all be made new! The West staggers under the lies and deception of an advancing new paganism which offers only the old slavery of sin and despair which has accompanied every culture of death and use from the time the old foe lied to our first parents. It is the Church of jesus Christ which offers Life and Freedom!

What the West needs - more than anything else - right now - is conversion. The real kind - the kind which comes through encountering the Savior as He lives His Risen Life in the Heart of His Church for the sake of the world which He still loves. Those of us who have the privilege of being Catholic Christians have the highest of obligations. "To those to whom much is given, much more will be required!" (Luke 12:48) 

Our mission field is our own back yard. The West is pre-Christian - not Post-Christian! Rather than waste any more time bemoaning this fact, rather than join the naysayers, it is time to enter into the new missionary age which stretches out before us. All we need is the intimate personal communion with the Risen Lord Jesus which so obviously motivated St. Francis Xavier and the evangelical courage which is its fruit. It is time to get to work. 

****

Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel

We have visited the villages of the new converts who accepted the Christian religion a few years ago. No Portuguese live here the country is so utterly barren and poor. The native Christians have no priests. They know only that they are Christians. There is nobody to say Mass for them; nobody to teach them the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Commandments of God's Law.

I have not stopped since the day I arrived. I conscientiously made the rounds of the villages. I bathed in the sacred waters all the children who had not yet been baptized. This means that I have purified a very large number of children so young that, as the saying goes, they could not tell their right hand from their left. The older children would not let me say my Office or eat or sleep until I taught them one prayer or another. Then I began to understand: "The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

I could not refuse so devout a request without failing in devotion myself. I taught them, first the confession of faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, then the Apostles' Creed, the Our Father and Hail Mary. I noticed among them persons of great intelligence. If only someone could educate them in the Christian way of life, I have no doubt that they would make excellent Christians.

Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians. Again and again I have thought of going round the universities of Europe, especially Paris, and everywhere crying out like a madman, riveting the attention of those with more learning than charity: "What a tragedy: how many souls are being shut out of heaven and falling into hell, thanks to you!"

I wish they would work as hard at this as they do at their books, and so settle their account with God for their learning and the talents entrusted to them.

This thought would certainly stir most of them to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them. They would forget their own desires, their human affairs, and give themselves over entirely to God's will and his choice. They would cry out with all their heart: Lord, I am here! What do you want me to do? Send me anywhere you like - even to India.

---


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 Christian Saints & Heroes

In the Major Legend, St. Bonaventure Points us to St Francis - and the Lord Jesus Christ Watch

Image of Bonaventure was a friend and a disciple of Francis. When he looked at Francis he saw Jesus Christ. Bonaventure, like his friend Francis, was also a mystic. To him the Spirit of Francis is the Spirit of Jesus and

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On July 15th in the Liturgical Calendar of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, we commemorate the life, holiness, work and death of a great Bishop and Doctor named Bonaventure. He was born in 1218, became a Franciscan Friar in 1243, and died in 1274. A friend ... continue reading


Was St. Christopher a real saint? A new perspective

Image of Is St. Christopher real? Only you can decide for yourself.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Is Saint Christopher a real saint? This is a question debated by fans -and detractors of the historic figure of St. Christopher. Christopher was removed from the canon of Catholic Saints in 1969 since there was no evidence he existed that could satisfy Church ... continue reading


Does your marriage need help? St. Rita knows...

Image of St. Rita is the patron saint of difficult causes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today is the feast day of St. Rita, who is the patroness of impossible causes, especially rough marriages and cases of domestic abuse. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - St. Rita had a hard life. As a child she asked her parents to enter a convent, but they arranged a ... continue reading


St. Eugene de Mazenod who cared for the poorest Watch

Image of St. Eugene organized the Oblates of Mary Immaculate to care for the world's poor.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today's saint of the day is St. Eugene de Mazenod, who was born in France during the era of the French Revolution and lived through national upheaval but cared for the world's poorest, even when the Church was persecuted. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - St. Eugene ... continue reading


St. Dymphna, patron of those with mental afflictions, pray for us! Watch

Image of The National Shrine of St. Dymphna at St. Mary Parish in Massillon, Ohio, USA.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

St. Dymphna is our Saint of the Day. Dymphna is a 7th century Irish saint, often invoked against mental illness. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - St. Dymphna was born to a petty Irish king and was desired by her father for marriage after the death of her mother. It ... continue reading


Remembering Saint Dymphna; the patroness saint against insanity Watch

Image of St. Dymphna is typically artistically represented with a sword in her hand and a fettered devil at her feet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sometimes referred to as Saint Dympna or Saint Dimpna, Saint Dymphna had been venerated for many years in a church at Gheel, in the province of Antwerp, Belgium. Saint Dymphna's story dates from the middle of the 13th century. Bishop Guy I of Cambrai (1238 - ... continue reading


Saint Matthias, an outsider welcomed in

Image of St. Matthias was welcomed in from the outside. We are invited to do the same for others.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online's saint of the day is St. Matthias. Matthias is the apostle who replaced Judas after his betrayal and suicide. The selection of Matthias is detailed in the Acts of the Apostles. Matthias is associated with luck and is invoked against the temptations of ... continue reading


Fr Paul Schenck on the Feast of Athanasius: Defenders of Life Against the World

Image of Fr Paul Schenck

By Fr. Paul CB Schenck

Athanasius vigorously defended the divine personhood of Christ, even when it seemed the majority of the Church had accepted Arius's error. Athanasius contra mundum - it was Athanasius against the world! So it is in our pro-life effort today. The denial of the ... continue reading


Duc in Altum: Men, Put Out Into the Deep on the Feast of St Joseph Watch

Image of

By Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.

This model of Christian manliness recommends himself to us not for any strange or exciting things he did (because he really didn't) but for the daily listening to and heeding the voice of Almighty God - in the home, in the synagogue and Temple, in the ... continue reading


Feast of Joseph, Husband of Mary: Time for Christian Men to Follow His Example Watch

Image of St. Joseph is our teacher and shows us the way to love and follow Jesus Christ. he shows us how to be faithful husbands, fathers and servants of the Lord. Joseph is a true 'man's man' calling all men to follow Jesus.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

He still gives His message and His mission to men who, like Joseph, cultivate ears to hear and then choose to exercise authentic manly virtue and act out of courage. He still invites men to turn the ordinary into extraordinary through cooperation and ... continue reading


All Christian Saints & Heroes News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Song of Songs 3:1-4
1 On my bed at night I sought the man who is my ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
2 Thus I have gazed on you in the sanctuary, seeing ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:1-2, 11-18
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Mary Magdelene
July 22: She is called "the Penitent". St. Mary was given the ... 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