Wednesday, September 26, 2012
New Evangelization or Re-Evangelization?
When I view the newsfeeds and blogs, many focus very much on explaining the basics that I, being an over-zealous and brash convert to the faith, thought everyone already knew. I feel like I am inadvertently doing it too - do people really not know any saints beyond St. Christopher and Bl. Mother Teresa? Do people actually refrain from studying their faith? Do people really need to be reminded that mortal sin is a serious deal?
Perhaps the New Evangelization is a clean-up crew, in a sense, for all the heresy and bizarre phenomena that occurred in relation to the "spirit of Vatican II" movement? It sometimes seems to function that way.
To be sure, things like this always make my head spin - believe me, I am not trying to be egotistical or condescending, though it may come off like that I`m sure. I just am wondering if this New Evangelization movement is actually a way to re-teach the faithful, to reawaken them to their faith and what they once professed to believe, but have since drifted away from - notice, I say "drifted", not "fallen". Maybe it's a way to re-kindle the fire that was lost.
One thing I learned in my very long time spent in RCIA was that not everyone is at the same level. Some barely knew who Jesus was at all, and some I have met are in heady discussions over patristic theology. Some come from anti-Christian backgrounds, some don't, some have never even heard of any Church history beyond the last 50 years. This is simply the way it is, and no one, least of all myself, should judge it. I wasn't born reading Aquinas.
But I still wonder how it is that such basic things as the bare rudimentary understandings surrounding the Holy Sacraments need to be reiterated to Catholics like it was a newfangled thing - has catechesis been that bad in the past few decades? This view, I feel, is precisely because of my dewy-eyed view of the Church as just full to the brim with theologians, saints, and pious Christians all living their faith out with zeal. I am young(ish) and headstrong...forgive me. The Church, as they say, is a hospital for sinners, not a house for saints.
Regardless, I suppose that maybe this is what the New Evangelization is about - getting out there with one's words and writings, and spreading the Gospel not only to those who do not believe it, but to those within the Church who find it hard to care about it anymore. I was told I was part of this movement somehow - this little blog of writings by a wretch and a sinner. It frightens me to think that someone is reading this and that I might be incredibly wrong, and I might somehow inadvertently lead someone off the Royal Road by accident (and this too, is pride). I am merely a beggar on the side of it - take my words for what they are worth.
So what do you think? Is the New Evangelization really the Re-Evangelization? Are participants in this movement really just re-evangelizing and teaching the faith to their fellow Catholics? Or are we shining a light, the LIGHT, into the world of darkness that surrounds us? I think it should be both.
The world is in desperate need of this light. Let us, no matter who we may be, reflect it in truth and charity.