Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

10/20/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

For years I have proposed to fellow believers that it is time to stop opining over whether we are living in a post-Christian, neo-pagan or post modernist age. Instaed, I suggest that we realize we are living in a Pre-Christian age - and respond to the invitation the Lord has given in calling us for this hour in history. He has sent us into this age to deliver His message of authentic freedom and the fullness of God's Love as revealed in Jesus Christ.

The New Evangelization challenges each one of us to be completely given over to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot be halfway disciples. Jesus continues His redemptive mission through His Body, the Church, of which we are all members. The New Evangelization is meant to bring about an authentic renewal of the Catholic Church precisely so she can undertake a new missionary outreach to the whole world - through you and me! Only a Church which is fully alive in the Lord and filled with His Holy Spirit can carry out such an evangelical mission in the world of this hour. Pope Francis is an evangelical Catholic Pope who is enlisting us in this vital work. Do we hear the call? Are we responding?


This missionary spirit is alive and well in the Catholic Church. 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. The question we need to ask ourselves is whether the missionary spirit is alive in us?

This missionary spirit is alive and well in the Catholic Church. 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. The question we need to ask ourselves is whether the missionary spirit is alive in us?

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/20/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: charismatic renewal, Cursillo, evangelization, evangelical catholic, New Evangelization, testimony, witnesses, discipleship, Pope Francis, Missionary age, Deacon Keith Fournier


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - The Catholic Church has always taught that every single human being on the face of the earth has a right to hear the liberating Gospel message of Jesus Christ as found in its its fullness within the Church.  All of us, by virtue of being baptized into Jesus Christ, are enlisted in that evangelizing mission, no matter what our state in life or vocation.

In order to be able to engage in such a missionary task, many Catholic Christians need to be renewed in their own Baptismal faith. That needs to happen through a personal and transformational encounter with the Risen Lord. In addition, such an encounter needs to be strengthened and secured by solid catechesis on what it means to live as a Catholic Christian. This is what is meant by the New Evangelization.

The New Evangelization challenges each one of us to be completely given over to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot be halfway disciples. Jesus continues His redemptive mission through His Body, the Church, of which we are all members. The New Evangelization is meant to bring about an authentic renewal of the Catholic Church precisely so she can undertake a new missionary outreach to the whole world - through you and me!

Only a Church which is fully alive in the Lord and filled with His Holy Spirit can carry out such an evangelical mission in the world of this hour. Pope Francis is an evangelical Catholic Pope who is enlisting us for this vital work. Do we hear the call? Are we responding? Do we have a dynamic, living relationship with Jesus Christ? Do we know what the Church teaches, embrace it, and make it our own? Is the Holy Spirit truly at work in our lives? 

For years I have proposed to fellow believers that it is time to stop opining over whether we are living in a post-Christian, neo-pagan or post modernist age. Instaed, I suggest that we realize we are living in a Pre-Christian age - and respond to the invitation the Lord has given in calling us for this hour in history. He has sent us into this age to deliver His message of authentic freedom and the fullness of God's Love as revealed in Jesus Christ.

This missionary spirit is alive and well in the Catholic Church. 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.

The question we need to ask ourselves is whether the missionary spirit is alive in us? 

In his second letter to the Christians in Corinth St Paul gave a firm direction and then asked a blunt question: Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? -unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed. (2 Cor. 14:5)

We need to ask ourselves that question. Then we need to consider whether we actually view our own lives as missionary?

All of us can - and should - burn with the same missionary fire which animated the great men and women of faith from the very beginning of the Church. It is the fire of the Holy Spirit. When that Holy Spirit is at work in us we cry out those words of the great Apostle Paul "Woe unto me if I do not preach the Gospel." (1 Cor. 9:16)

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the liberating message which the whole world of our own age needs to hear. In Jesus Christ we can all be made new! (2 Cor. 5:17, Rev 21:5) The West is staggering under a new expression of paganism which offers the old slavery of sin and despair.  The Church of Jesus Christ offers Life and Freedom!

What the West needs is conversion, the kind which only comes through encountering the Savior of the whole world.  Jesus Christ is that Savior and He is alive! He lives His Risen Life in the hearts of believers who choose to live in the Heart of His Church for the sake of the world. God still loves the world and he still sends His Son! (John 3:16)  loves.

Those of us who have the privilege of being Catholic Christians have the highest of obligations. The words of Jesus, To those to whom much is given, much more will be required! should have a special resonance for us.  (Luke 12:48)

Our mission field is our own back yard. If the West really is pre-Christian, let us not waste any more time bemoaning this fact. Instead let us enter into the new missionary age which stretches out before us and get to work.

This week, Pope Francis addressed the Pontifical Council on the New Evangelization in Rome. He spoke of the new Evangelization and underscored its importance. He reminded all of us that we must point to Jesus and what is essential in the Gospel in our efforts.

Once again, we have been given our marching orders by Pope Francis. Now, what will we do in response?

I offer below some excerpts from his latest message to the Pontifical Council members below.

*****
Pope Francis Speaks to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization

Many people have distanced themselves from the Church. It is wrong to shift the blame from one side to the other; indeed, there is no point in speaking of guilt. There are responsibilities in the history of the Church and its members, as well as in certain ideologies and individuals. As children of the Church, we must continue on the path of the Second Vatican Council, divest ourselves of useless and harmful things, of the false securities of this world that encumber the Church and damage its true essence.

What we need, especially in these times, are credible witnesses who can, through their life and words, make the Gospel visible, awake the attraction to Jesus Christ, for the beauty of God. There is a need for Christians who can show God's mercy and tenderness towards every creature, and his compassion for every creature.

We all know that the crisis of contemporary humanity is not superficial but deep. For this reason, whilst it calls for courage to go against the current to convert from idols to the one true God, the new evangelization cannot but use the language of mercy, which includes deeds and attitudes even more than of words.

In today's humanity, the Church says, 'Come to Jesus, all you who are weary and burdened, and you will find rest for your souls (cf. Mt, 11:28-30). Come to Jesus. He alone has the words of eternal life. Whoever has encountered Christ, like the Samaritan woman at the well, cannot keep this experience to themselves without feeling the desire to share it, and bring others to Jesus.

The New Evangelization is a renewed movement towards those who have lost their faith and the deeper meaning of life. This energy is part of Christ's great mission to bring life to the world, [and] the Father's love to humanity. The Son of God 'came out ' of his divine status to meet us. The Church is part of this movement. Every Christian is called to reach out to others, to engage in dialogue with those who do not think like us, those who have another faith, or have no faith.

Meeting everyone because we all have in common the fact that we were created in the image and likeness of God [means] we can reach out to all, without fear and without giving up our own affiliation.
For this reason the Church is the house where the doors are always open not only to welcome everyone in to breathe love and hope, but also so we can take this love and hope outside. The Holy Spirit urges us to leave our enclosure and guides us to the peripheries of humanity.

In the Church, all this is not left to chance or improvisation. It requires shared commitment to a pastoral plan that goes to the essential and is well centered on the essential, that is, Jesus Christ. There is no point in spreading ourselves thin in so many secondary or superfluous things; we must instead focus on the fundamental reality, which is the encounter with Christ, his mercy, his love and loving as he has loved us.

We need a plan moved by the creativity and imagination of the Holy Spirit, that will also leads us to tread new paths, with courage, and not fossilize. In this context, I would like to emphasize the importance of catechesis, as a moment of evangelisation. Pope Paul VI acknowledged it in Evangelii nuntiandi (cf n. 44).

From there came the great catechetical movement that brought forth a renewal [designed] to overcome the split between the Gospel and the culture and illiteracy of our times in matters of faith. I have mentioned several times a fact that has impressed me in my ministry, namely the children I have met who do not even know how to make the Sign of the Cross!

The work of catechists is a valuable service to the new evangelization." Indeed, "it is important for parents to be the first catechists, the first educators in faith in their own families, by their witness and their words.

---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


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


Comments


More Living Faith

The Experience of the Resurrected Christ: A Divine Dream Worth Dying For

Image of

By Deacon Frederick Bartels

The dream of God is a dream of unending, divine love. His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, sacrificed his human life for this Dream: the redemption of humankind and the gift of eternal life and perfect happiness. Heaven is the divine dream that is not but a dream, it ... continue reading


Pope Francis 'considering' visit to Cuba Watch

Image of A nun waves a Vatican flag while attending Mass with St John Paul II in Havana in 1998.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is said to be considering a trip to Cuba this coming September. The papal visit would tie into his visit to the United States. The gesture could lead to improving relations both between Cuba and the U.S. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Vatican ... continue reading


Could Yoda be a Biblical character? Medieval manuscript features a painted figure resembling the Star Wars hero Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a 14th century book, a green-skinned character was painted, resembling Yoda. Just like the Star Wars icon, the painted character in the old religious documents is donning a white cloak and has spiky, long fingers and the pointed ears sticking out. Although there is ... continue reading


Pope Francis pokes holes in 'gender theory,' saying male, female roles are separate Watch

Image of The Bible, Pope Francis says, shows how

By CNA/EWTN News

Pope Francis has warned against gender theories which seek to eradicate differences between man and woman, saying they perpetuate the very problems they are trying to solve. (CNA/EWTN News) - "Experience teaches us: to know each other well and grow in harmony, ... continue reading


6 types of men Christian women should dismiss for marriage Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Women, and men, should be wary of whom they shall live with for the rest of their lives. Marriage is not a temporary commitment, it lasts for a lifetime no matter how you will put it --- two people still shared the same vows to cherish one another through a sacred ... continue reading


Pope Francis to host major conference on climate change Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis will host a major summit on April 28 entitled "Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The conference will feature famous American economist, ... continue reading


Can Catholics Practice Yoga and Transcendental Meditation?

Image of

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

Among many Christians who are honestly seeking to deepen their prayer life, there is a genuine concern about erroneous forms of prayer. People should be careful to accept practices which diverge from the faith they have received, whether through the family or in a ... continue reading


Is there a war between feminism and the Catholic Church? American nuns' 'radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith' Watch

Image of The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ended an investigation into radical feminist ideals held by the U.S.'s largest nun group, warning the organization to fall in line with Catholic orthodox stances.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The year-long inquiry into American nuns by the Holy See's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has concluded, and will not take any action against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the body that governs around 80 percent of nuns in the ... continue reading


Passionate pastor attempts to fix the missing spiritual link in churches across the U.S. Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Percy McCray suggests that leaders of faith should undergo in-depth training programs to better deal with cancer-stricken patients and their hurting families. According to McCray, as it stands now, most churches across the United States lack the proper ... continue reading


Dialogue: an essential ingredient for peaceful relationships Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

According to the New York Times, during a White House luncheon in 1954 Winston Churchill said, "To jaw-jaw [talk-talk] always is better than to war-war." While clearly not a pacifist, the United Kingdom's World War II prime minister had seen upfront the absolute horror ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 7:51--8:1
51 'You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 31:3-4, 6, 7, 8, 17, 21
3 You are my rock, my rampart; true to your name, ... Read More

Gospel, John 6:30-35
30 So they said, 'What sign will you yourself do, the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 21st, 2015 Image

St. Anselm
April 21: St. Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury and Confessor APRIL 21,A.D. ... 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