Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Heeding the Call - Updated

Dear Theophilus,

I had mentioned that I had hesitated a long time before starting this blog. Although I gained the courage to start through prayer and meditation, the catalyst to start came with my coming across three different quotes that urged me in the same direction.

To put them in chronological order:

“When the Church does not speak, others will speak instead.” Blessed Cardinal Newman – Loss and Gain (1848).

“Today, the Catholic story is being told in the media, but it’s being told by the wrong people in the wrong way.” Fr. Robert Barron – Catholicism (2011).

“Identify new ways of evangelization with missionary audacity” Benedict XVI’s address to the Council of European Bishops Conferences (Oct. 2011)

Reading the first two quotes, I was ready to let those more in the know, closer to the Church, closer to Rome, tell the story. Surely whatever I have to add to the telling of the Catholicism story would be negligible in comparison to these great thinkers. Then I heard of Benedict’s call for “new ways of evangelization with missionary audacity.” What intrigued me the most was the Bishops Conference’s interpretation of these new ways of evangelization to include new technology such as the internet. I began to believe that I could add to the discussion, that I have something to tell in this wondrous story.

Are we all called to evangelize – to tell the story of Christ through the Catholic Church? The answer is an emphatic “Yes!” Are we all called to do it in the same way? “No,” to each their own special way of spreading the Good News. But we need to remember that if we do not speak for the Church, who will? And will they get the story right?

**Post Scriptum**

Dear Theophilus,

A friend asked me to clarify for you exactly who are the wrong people telling our Catholic story, as well as who are the right people to tell it. I hope that this helps you to better understand.

The wrong people Fr. Barron writes about and that are implied by Cardinal Newman's question are non-Catholics - most notably in the American media. It is the responsability, and duty, of Catholics (lay and clerical alike, who make up 'The Church') to learn, practice and preach their faith, thus modelling and telling the Catholic story.

There is no mistake to infer that the narrative is to be told by a chosen people. The mistake is mine in not stating more clearly that Fr. Barron and Cardinal Newman refer to the Church in its entirety, and that we should all be standing up to explain what exactly it means to be Catholic.

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