Search and Rescue, by Patrick Madrid, how to bring your family and friends into -- or back into -- the Catholic Church, by a well-known apologist and endorsed by Cardinals Edward Egan and Francis George: prayer, friendship, and common sense as the simply ways you can have striking and even startling effects at this time when Catholics should march behind a new Pope to a new evangelization. CLICK HERE
EVANGELIZE, EVANGELIZE! IF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES CAN GO DOOR TO DOOR, WHAT ABOUT US CATHOLICS?
On occasion we hear the admonition from Rome or the local pulpit: evangelize. Go forth and speak of Catholicism. Spread authentic Christianity!
We hear that good notion (part of Christ's own admonition) but usually with little advice on how to do it [this was written before the Pope's recent remarks].
Yet, ways there are.
The most basic: go to homes; door to door; visit people in your community; show them what Catholics look like and act like and believe like, as opposed to the conceptions they may have from the media.
If Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons can do it -- if evangelicals can, with substantial results -- why can't the world's oldest and most authentic form of Christianity?
Spreading the Word seems daunting but is easy once the ice is broken and brings much joy and grace. At the least, we may pull back some lapsed Catholics. There are dozens of millions of them!
And with the new Pope and his populous appeal, they may listen.
Hand or leave folks a holy card; Saint Jude may be a great way to start. Let them know about saints and healing; leave one of the Blessed Mother.
Unafraid to proclaim their beliefs (which are far more controversial than any Catholic ones), Jehovah's Witnesses often fill up new "Kingdom" halls due to just such boldness in evangelization. And too often, their converts were born Catholic. Meanwhile, Mormons purvey beliefs -- often with similar success -- that hinge on some radical mystical ideas.
So what are we Catholics afraid of? The Legion of Mary has been doing this -- personal evangelization -- for years (working in pairs).
Say a Rosary each day on what you can do and how you can do it and if not handing out cards or directly evangelizing, what about a bumper-sticker, or putting one of the fish symbols on your car?
Mary wasn't afraid. Joseph wasn't afraid. Jesus certainly wasn't afraid. Look at where the Apostles journeyed (and the amazing fruits).
We have to pull lapsed Catholics back. We have to reach out to Episcopalians -- who are especially inclined to convert. We need to let Protestants in on the original Church, the one that's 2,000 years old, the one that compiled the New Testament, the one that's fifteen centuries older than the Reformation.
It's time to get out there. It's time to spread the word at soup kitchens. It's time to let it all hang out. It's not enough to just talk or pray about it! It's time to bring people back! Francis himself said so the other day. "During his daily morning Mass today, Pope Francis reflected on the duty of all Christians to pass on the faith," reported Zenit News on May 3. "The Holy Father went on to say that Christ asks of us the courage to not only proclaim His Resurrection, but also the courage to pray and ask Christ when we are in need. 'We must have the courage to go to Jesus and ask Him: 'But you said this, do it! Make the faith grow, make evangelization move forward, help me to solve this problem,' the Pope said. 'Do we have this courage in prayer? Or do we pray a little, when we can, spending a bit' of time in prayer? But that courage, that parresia (boldness) even in prayer.' The Church, he said, 'must be courageous!'”
Just do something Catholic. Buy books for prisoners. Say a Rosary as you walk. Let folks see the dangling beads. Send a novena to someone who's young. Go to a college! Have a garden statue that passersby can see. Bless your neighborhood (sprinkle blessed salt as you walk).
Yes, of course, there is always resistance. Yes, of course, there will be rudeness -- a bit. Maybe.
But the effect of that quickly vanishes and most will listen and the grace from a single conversion or reversion outweighs any rudeness, any resistance, and any heresy. This is the month of Mary, of Fatima. What better month to start?
[resources: Where is That in the Bible? and statues]
[see also: St. Louis promotes evangelization]
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