Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Evangelization - part v...

Here is the conclusion of the Oct. 26, 2007 address of Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput at St. John's University School of Law in Queens, New York. The talked is titled "Church and State Today: What Belongs to Caesar, and What Doesn't." It is well worth reading and saving:

“The early Christians staked their lives on the belief that God is our Father. They respected Caesar, but they didn't confuse him with God, and they put God first. They believed the Church is our mother. They believed their bishops and priests were spiritual fathers and that through the sacraments they were made children of God, or "partakers of the divine nature," as Peter said.

“It's time for all of us who claim to be "Catholic" to recover our Catholic identity as disciples of Jesus Christ and missionaries of his Church. In the long run, we serve our country best by remembering that we're citizens of heaven first. We're better Americans by being more truly Catholic—and the reason why, is that unless we live our Catholic faith authentically, with our whole heart and our whole strength, we have nothing worthwhile to bring to the public debates that will determine the course of our nation.

“Pluralism in a democracy doesn't mean shutting up about inconvenient issues. It means speaking up—respectfully, in a spirit of justice and charity, but also vigorously and without apologies. Jesus said that we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free. He didn't say anything about our being popular with worldly authority once we have that freedom. In the end, if we want our lives to be fruitful, we need to know ourselves as God intends us to be known—as his witnesses on earth, not just in our private behavior, but in our public actions, including our social, economic, and political choices.

“If pagan Rome could be won for Jesus Christ, surely we can do the same in our own world. What it takes is the zeal and courage to live what we claim to believe. All of us here tonight already have that desire in our hearts. So let's pray for each other, and encourage each other, and get down to the Lord's work.

This talk of Archbishop Chaput gives us great hope. The realization that the members of the same Catholic Church in the first few centuries faced a pagan world similar to ours. Yet, their love for Christ converted that world. We are doing the same today. Never lose your hope nor your zeal.

Fr. Stanley