Zeal for the Truth and Evangelization

Reading Brethren,

Just saw this very good video by Michael Voris:

While I don’t agree with everything Voris says, I can’t agree more with this video. We’ve been immensely wimpy in promoting evangelization. I don’t see why we don’t do more. I agree it is precisely a lack of courage, a lack of faith, and, ultimately, a lack of love for the souls of those around us which is the reason we’ve been so reticent. As a Dominican, a member of the Order of Preachers with a charism of evangelization, I feel like I really should be talking about my “most grievous fault” in this, in a particular way.

I’m not sure it’s a lack of resolve on the part of all the members of the hierarchy – I can name a few, like Archbishop Chaput, who clearly take concrete action to promote the faith without apology and without undue bureaucratic interventions. I personally am very concerned about such things and think that many new seminarians and religious are in the same boat. There was a failure, however, on the part of the Church to evangelize, which is the reason we  need a second, new evangelization.

Let’s not just set up a beauracratic implement! OMG, I get so fed up with precisely what Voris talks about; a New Evangelization diocesan board, an evaluation committee, etc. Once when someone told me I had to have that reviewed by the oversight of budgetary analysis committee and then submit a survey, etc……ad nauseam, I started singing a little ditty that probably brings joy to the hearts of many diocesan officials everywhere:

Get out there and love somebody!

Tell them to come to Mass, tell them to go to confession, tell them about Jesus, tell them about the Church! Help a kid learn the Rosary! Tell someone what happens during Mass – the miracle of Calvary! Evangelicals play these emotional songs and movies about Jesus saving people’s souls, but we have sacramental efficacy – we have images and signs that God promises will actually save them and give them a share in His divine life! We have The Eucharist! We have saving doctrine! We have Sts. Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, Cyril, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Henry Suso! Why isn’t theology being taught courageously as a fully academic, scientific endeavor? We have all of the rational elements of theology and philosophy, of ethics and political science, that claim to be rationally defensible, while many evangelicals offer irrational claims about religion to the general public. Why are atheists only being exposed to the Evangelical answer? Why aren’t we presenting natural law theory in political contexts?

Why aren’t you do this right now? I’m not kidding!

We need to get off our big butts and get some work done for Jesus!

Yours in Christ,

Br. James Dominic, OP

 

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  1. #1 by Gabe Giella on December 1, 2011 - 11:45 pm

    Amen—a great big “Steubenville Amen!” I was thinking about this recently while I was at work–this idea of what is is within me that prevents me from really sharing “good news” with my coworkers. I often feel trampled upon by their queries that seem as though they’d take days to answers, their insulting and condescending quips about my faith that they think are funny, etc. Really the issue is with me–a lack of faith, or maybe lack of love for them. The joke’s on me in the sense that they have no qualms about being themselves and being blunt about it…I’m the one not comfortable “giving a reason for my hope.” Your post really convicted me, Br. James Dominic!

    At a charismatic conference I was at years ago, the presenter quoted Pope Benedict (who at the time of the quote was not yet Pope, I think…) as saying “an obsession with planning could render the churches impervious to the action of the holy Spirit.” I think he’s talking about this impulse we have to make everything into a program or a committee.

    Anyhow, great reflection–thank you!

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