Lord, We are Your people, the sheep of Your flock. Heal the sheep who are wounded, Touch the sheep who are in pain, Clean the sheep who are soiled, Warm the lambs who are cold. Help us to know the Father's love through Jesus the Shepherd and through His Spirit. Help us to lift up that love, and show it all over this land. Help us to build love on justice and justice on love. Help us to believe mightily, hope joyfully, and love Divinely. Renew us that we may renew the face of the earth. Amen
- Vatican 2: Vatican2 FunnyThing
- Catholic love: Christ'sCompassion Protestant'sConversion
- Pope Benedict XVI on the Year of Faith: MotuProprio
- Pope Francis on The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii Gaudium <-------
- Free on-line resources and information: RenewalMinistries
- God in his goodness and wisdom reveals himself in us. With our deeds and words, he reveals himself and his plan of loving goodness which he decreed from all eternity in Christ. According to this plan, all people by the grace of the Holy Spirit are to share in the divine life as adopted “sons” in the only begotten Son of God... From the very beginning, God manifested himself to our first parents, Adam and Eve, and invited them to intimate communion with himself; after their fall, he did not cease his revelation to them but promised salvation for all their descendants.
- It's not doctrine; it's love, mercy, and sonship. Christ told the Adulterous Woman: "Neither do I condemn you". Nor did he condemn Peter for denying him three times. "God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him". But, as he added to the Adulterous Woman: "Go, and do not sin any more"... Christ suffered really horribly for us, so that we wouldn't have to suffer, and we must not waste that. This is what we should tell - both within and outside our congregation.
- We have an obligation—an obligation that ensues from having chosen to follow Christ in the way of the cross—to not hate those who hate chastity, to not fear those who fear suffering, to not reject those who reject holiness itself. And even if they close their ears to our words, we have a compassionate obligation to pray that they might someday, before they die, make the choice to listen to, rather than reject, the Holy Spirit.
- Further, most of us don't know enough to argue doctrines or apologetics with other people, especially Jehovah Witnesses or Mormons, nor do we need to; any of us can learn the essential basic message of Christ, love, caring, mercy, and salvation, and we can demonstrate it in our lives as well as telling it to others as opportunity offers. We might do better concentrating on our Blessed Mother, our Community, our Eucharist, and on our personal experiences with God, than with scripture and Bible defense.
- The same Peter who confessed Jesus Christ might have said to him, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. This has nothing to do with it. I will follow you with other possibilities, but without the Cross.” In fact, to be evangelizers, we need to be willing sometimes to carry other peoples' crosses as well as our own... Our new Papa Francis says: I would like that everyone . . . should have the courage, truly the courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord; to build up the Church upon the blood of the Lord that was shed upon the Cross; and to confess the only glory—Christ crucified. And in this way the Church will move forward"... True [renewal] gives fresh expression to the truth of Christ crucified; true [renewal] equips the Church for the more effective proclamation of Christ crucified. [Christ crucified is our goal for an evangelization message.]
- We tell them: He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed" - 1 Peter 2:24.
- Additionally we tell them: 1) Mass is for the whole Church, and is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet; Christ wants so badly to have us attend -- here in earth and later in heaven. 2) We are both the Body and the Bride of Christ; our relationship with Him is like one part of a body with another part, and like a bride and groom on their wedding day. 3) We need to be open to brotherly relationship with Protestants and non-christians; we don't need to agree with them, but they are also creatures of God and therefore our brothers. In this, we need to refrain from superficiality and imprudent zeal, which can hinder real progress toward unity. 4) Some Catholics are worried about who ranks who in the Church; Catholics should share a common dignity within the Church and avoid such worldly attachments. 5) Catholics should avoid blending into secular society and following after worldly things such as societal approval and appreciation; instead they should bear witness to the hope they have through the Church. 6) The Church was founded for “the spreading of the Kingdom of Christ throughout the earth for the glory of God the Father, to enable all men to share in His saving redemption, and that through them the whole world might enter into a relationship with Christ”. 7) The first principle of mission is “to lead a profoundly Christian life”. 8) It is in Christ that we find the nature and destiny of man, in Christ that Catholics insist on a fundamental reverence for man in all social situations and solutions, in Christ that we find an antidote to the false aspects of the contemporary stress on human autonomy, and in Christ that man is opened to his true goal.
- If we are to evangelize by example, and not merely by words, we must first thirst for holiness. We must plan to offer services for every kind of special group we can think of, and support for all the ministries within the Parish. We might have Bible studies at church, in houses, in apartment complexes. We must invite them from apathy to the happiness of life with God.
Evangelii Gaudium - Pope Francis weighs in: (Link)
"As suggested by the name, the principal theme involves the need for a joyful proclamation of the Gospel to the entire world. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who presented the document at a Vatican press conference, summarized its main message this way: If we were to sum up Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium in a few words, we could say that it is an Apostolic Exhortation written around the theme of Christian joy in order that the Church may rediscover the original source of evangelization in the contemporary world. Pope Francis offers this document to the Church as a map and guide to her pastoral mission in the near future. It is an invitation to recover a prophetic and positive vision of reality without ignoring the current challenges. Pope Francis instills courage and urges us to look ahead despite the present crisis, making the cross and the resurrection of Christ once again our 'the victory banner'". (Jimmy Aiken, #6; see also #7 & 8).
A practical example: What attracted this Protestant from a secularized religious life to a lively Catholic life?:
- Priesthood of Believers -- which means that the whole community of believers is 'priestly'; priests and bishops in their function and lay believers in theirs -- has come to mean in secularized religions that every believer has an absolute right of private judgment about doctrine and teachings, and the liberty to interpret the Bible with complete autonomy. "Priesthood of believers” means, therefore, that believers can do very well without attachment to any church, thank you very much. Each believer is a church, [and an authority], unto himself.".
- In addition to autonomy in Church and Biblical interpretations, each Protestant individual is sovereign with respect to morality; there is no overall sense of community in Church or society.
- [It was two things: Our acceptance of reasonable central Church authority to settle disputes and maintain the original faith that God gave us; and our emphasis on community -- that we are all in this together, helping and sustaining each other as God wants us to do, and not every man for himself.]