There is no doubt that evangelization can seem daunting. We will be working in a cultural field that makes our goals difficult to achieve.
Many people that you encounter will prefer the stereotypical view of the Church versus the true picture of our faith. To paraphrase Archbishop Fulton Sheen, “There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church—which is, of course, quite a different thing.”. We have to break through this false understanding.
Then, there is that famous admonition which tells us “never discuss religion or politics”. This masterfully crafted sound bite may be rooted in our relativist society in which the idea that there may be just one truth is intolerable and therefore not even open for discussion. This results in the elimination of civil discourse. That deprives us of the opportunity to use our God given faculty of reason which is intended for us to seek the truth (or should I say The Truth). It is a rather clever way to remove religious thought from our society. Who could be behind this, I wonder?
In addition, there are moral issues which make the Good News hard to hear. Once sin takes hold, there is a darkening of the intellect. As you can imagine, this would make hearing the Gospel difficult. The deeper the sin, the more difficult it will be to find the truth.
Did I say that evangelization can seem daunting? Perhaps I should say it can be downright intimidating.
That is why we must pray for the grace to evangelize. In fact, we need to pray unceasingly for the grace to spread the Gospel. For when we stop praying for this grace, we cease to evangelize.
You may be happy to find out that you do not need to take on the intimidating task of one-on-one dialogue with non-believers in order to evangelize. The plan  allows for many ways to evangelize. For example, Goal I – To bring about in all Catholics such an enthusiasm for their faith that, in living their faith in Jesus, they freely share it with others – Objective 97 (To foster an even deeper sense of prayer among our Catholic people) suggests the following strategy:
- Daily schedule of prayer for every Catholic
You see, if you do not pray daily right now, you need to build that habit. Why? Because in prayer, we open our hearts to God. When we are open to God, amazing things can happen.
So if you already pray daily, great! You are already evangelizing. If you are not, start today. There are many great prayers that you may choose. If you would like some help though, here is a simple prayer you can use to get started. It is one that all parishes need parishioners to pray.
Bless our Parish Lord
|Protect and preserve our priests and religious.
Inspire our leaders to walk in your ways.
Touch the hearts of all in our parish family so they may respond to your call.
Let our parish be a beacon of light in this community so that all who desire to know you, may find their way to our door.
Welcome to the world of evangelization!
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