Articles Under: Evangelization

Finding God in Poverty The most memorable statement from the angry email was, “This is not what my son signed up for.” Three weeks prior to departure, I had finally informed our youth group of some final needs for our summer mission trip to Hardin County, Kentucky: a sleeping pad or air mattress, as we would likely be sleeping on a floor, and a swim suit—mainly for the tarpaulin-screened bucket baths we would be taking. “Kevin McQuiggen’s” mother was distressed by the conditions in which her son would be living for the week of the trip. The theme for the... Read more
“I know my kid has problems, but at least she’s not on drugs!” You’ll hear this uttered by moms appealing to their child’s teacher or by fathers trying to rationalize their son’s lackluster behavior. The intent of the phrase is to make one’s existing defects of character seem less significant when compared to someone who has “real” problems. In fact, I remember a mildly heated conversation during my own teen years, when my parents were beside themselves trying to get me to manage my personal life. My mom, sensing the tension and realizing that I really was a good kid,... Read more
Since its initial presentation almost forty years ago, Pope St. John Paul II’s catechesis Man and Woman He Created Them (henceforth “Theology of the Body” or TOB) has borne inestimable fruits in the personal faith lives of countless men and women, in the life of the Church and its theology, and in the world at large. In my own work, I have seen firsthand just how transformative the TOB vision of sex, love, marriage, human personhood, and the mystery of redemption in Christ can be for those answering Christ’s call to discipleship. So much good has come from St. John... Read more
William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1890 To view the artwork Click Here. William-Adolphe Bougueressau worked throughout his life creating art that portrayed scenes from Holy Scripture. He was trained in the École des Beaux-Arts, the French Academy of Fine Arts, and won the Prix de Rome after only four years of studying painting. Bouguereau’s work consists of over 800 paintings and focuses on classical and religious subject matter. We can appreciate his mastery of technique in this painting of “The Holy Women at the Tomb,” set on the morning of Christ’s resurrection. It illustrates well the mystery of the resurrection and is a... Read more
Experience repeatedly shows us that those who live through a crisis without losing faith are often the best able to bear hope to those who are suffering. This is true whether the suffering one endures is of body or of spirit. Perhaps we all know someone who has survived cancer and becomes an extraordinary advocate and helper for those who receive that frightening diagnosis. The cancer survivor is deeply attuned to the emotions that come with that diagnosis, to the difficult path of surgery and chemotherapy, and to the immense joy that comes if at last remission is declared. All... Read more
En efecto, el cristiano no es un profeta de desventura... La esencia de su anuncio es lo opuesto, lo opuesto a la desventura: es Jesús, muerto por amor y que Dios resucitó la mañana de Pascua. Y este es el núcleo de la fe cristiana. Si los Evangelios se parasen en la sepultura de Jesús, la historia de este profeta se sumaría a las muchas biografías de personajes heroicos que pasaron su vida por un ideal. El Evangelio sería entonces un libro edificante, también de consulta, pero no sería un anuncio de esperanza. Pero los Evangelios no se cierran con... Read more
The Christian is not a prophet of misfortune. …The essence of the Christian proclamation is the opposite, the opposite of misfortune: it is Jesus who died for love and whom God raised on Easter morning. And this is the nucleus of Christian faith. If the Gospels had ended at Jesus’ burial, the story of this prophet would have been added to the many biographies of heroic figures who expended their lives for an ideal. The Gospel would then be an edifying book, and also a comforting one, but it would not be a proclamation of hope. But the Gospels do... Read more
“It would make no difference to my faith,” someone once assured me, “if they found the bones of Jesus.” He spoke only of his faith not being shaken and did not claim anything about the faith of others. About the same time, I received the results of a questionnaire on the resurrection presented to several hundred college students. Almost 90% agreed that they could not believe in the risen Jesus unless his tomb was found empty. They accepted the underlying argument of the graffito one sees on walls in the springtime: “There will be no Easter this year. They have... Read more
In this final installment, we reflect on the most essential characteristic of an effective catechist for the new evangelization: allowing Christ to transform us through holiness of life. Among all of the words spoken during the pontificate of Blessed Paul VI, there is one phrase most often repeated today that came to prominence in one of his last letters, Evangelli Nuntiandi . It was his observation that “modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (41). This phrase might mistakenly be used to suggest that... Read more
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