“Evangelising is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity.”
“She exists in order to evangelise, that is to say, in order to preach and teach…”
Ok…so the Pope and the clergy right?
“…to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ's sacrifice in the Mass, which is the memorial of His death and glorious resurrection.”
Wait, does this apply to...me?
Yes, yes it does.
Does the thought of evangelising in our current times completely terrify you? Join the club! Well at least join me, Edel – wife, mother, accountant, servant of God. I would never have described myself as a writer, yet here I am, launching the Evangelion blog. God has called me to write for Him, and as much as I try to ignore this call, I can’t seem to stop myself. So I take this leap of faith with you, friends – it’s an honour to share this journey with you.
Fear in the face of sharing the Gospel
Why is it so difficult to find the courage to evangelise? Let alone simply allowing friends and colleagues to even know we are Catholic?
For me it has been a combination of:
the fear of being caught off-guard without an answer to a contentious question; and
the fear of being pre-judged, boxed and ultimately, rejected.
The first one was easier to deal with, given I have some control over it. I can’t predict every difficult question which will arise, but I can equip myself with as much knowledge about my faith as possible.
Once my passion for God and for the faith was ignited a few years ago, I embarked upon what could only be described as a rampage of getting to know my faith. Apologetics, theology, scriptural study – you name it, I was into it.
I haven’t by any means been able to perfectly answer every question which has been thrown my way. There have been however, many situations where by the help of the Holy Spirit, I have been able to draw upon a tool from my toolbox to coherently provide an answer. Other times have been character-building lessons in humility, yet opened up more opportunities for dialogue in the relationship.
The fear of being boxed as a ‘weird Catholic who needs to get with the times’, is just something I think we work on over time. Getting to know my faith definitely helped. I started seeing that every question in life can find its answer in the Catholic Church.
Discovering these truths only grew my passion for the faith, to the point where it overshadowed my fear of rejection. There are always going to be the people who pre-judge, and don’t take the time to dialogue with a view to understanding the other’s position. Should we let this affect us? As the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen says:
“There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church – which is, of course, quite a different thing.”
From the outside the Catholic Church is weird and antiquated – candles, incense, kneeling, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, opposition to contraception, IVF and abortion – the list goes on. It’s not easy to convey the riches, beauty and truth which lies within our theology, over a short conversation at the water cooler. It takes time, effort and study. It’s taken me three years to get to where I am now and I still have so much to learn. Let us not give up so easily.
Our hope with Evangelion
I, along with Lindsley and Dom, feel so grateful that we have encountered such dynamic speakers, teachers, writers and podcasters, through whom we have gotten to know our faith.
Not only did we get to know the faith, but the way in which it was conveyed to us lit a FIRE in our hearts of passionate love for the Gospel. All we want to do is share what we have experienced with all of you. Which is why Evangelion was born.
New Zealand is so far away from the amazing things happening in the U.S. Church. Why not bring a piece of that to our part of the world and set the Church in New Zealand on fire too?
If you feel this resonates with you, please join us in our mission! We would love to journey with you. God bless.