By nature, human beings are storytellers. Stories have the power to connect us to one another more than anything else. They can help us understand who we are. We shouldn’t be afraid that we are not worthy to speak His name or to share all God has done in our lives through sharing our stories. Sharing our stories is a natural way to evangelize and help people understand what has shaped our convictions and behaviors.
Ultimately, we are all looking for the same thing, and that thing is God. That void we all have in our hearts can only be filled by Him. Saint Augustine said it beautifully:
Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, Lord.
More than ever, men and women everywhere are looking at their own hearts’ restlessness and deep discontentment.
Being Missionary Disciples
Engaging in a culture that so often turns from God is not an easy thing, but it is what we are called to do. We have a call: “ To love God with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves” (Mark 12:30-31). It is this call to love that motivates me, and I’m sure so many other Christian writers, to engage in the world. We are to assist the Church in speaking Truth in love. We are to be missionary disciples.
I have always had a love for reading. With a good book in my hand, I feel I’m always learning. And yet, the more I read the more I realize just how little I do know. I love reading about the lives of the Saints and find them very inspiring. I look at the saints as my Spiritual mentors. Seeing the variety of people the Lord has called to serve Him in the Saints gives me hope that I, too, can serve Him, despite all my limitations and shortcomings.
Be Not Afraid to Share Your Faith
Modern men and women are eager to hear from other Christians who are living in today’s world and facing the difficult challenges of our time. How can you and I be more like the Saints and hope to join their rank someday?
One of the ways to achieve this sometimes daunting task is by returning daily to the living water of the Gospel and by not being afraid to proclaim Christ to a world that is in desperate need of Him.
Faith is transmitted and lived through worship and communion of the people of God. Saint Thomas Aquinas, whose intellect and use of reason helped him understand and deepen his Faith explains it perfectly:
Faith is a habit of the mind whereby eternal life is begun in us, making the intellect assent to what is non-apparent.
Those who proclaim to be spiritual, but not religious, are mostly using this line as a copout. It’s just another way to say that you have all the answers and therefore don’t need to seek God. The opposite is true for us who are believers. We understand that we don’t have all the answers, and therefore, need our religion to show us how to best get to know our Creator, and how to best follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
Jesus is Our Teacher
In the Gospels, we find that Jesus is constantly teaching us. Unfortunately, in today’s anti-religious, anti-God world, many mistakenly view religion as a cold organization with rules and restrictions. In His goodness, God didn’t wait for me to find my way to Him. Looking back on my life, I can clearly see how He was always pursuing and coming after me. He was always using different people and situations to help me get to know Him and His Church.
Our Catholic Faith, by nature, involves community. Little by little, I was learning how much I needed that community of faith. The more I was learning about my Faith, the more I fell in love with it. Our Creator always has our best interest at heart.
I love what Saint John of the Cross says:
In the first place it should be known that if a person is seeking God, His beloved is seeking him much more.
If we desire to be good disciples and evangelize well, then we first need to learn about our Faith and have a real relationship with the person who gave us that Faith, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Perhaps one of the answers to all the confusion we see in our society today—about the most basic questions such as identity and the nature of family—could be found in our failure to evangelize.
We are all called to evangelize. Yet, we cannot give what we don’t have.
Steadfast in Our Beliefs
If anything, today more than ever before, we need our Catholic Church to remain steadfast in her beliefs and teachings to help us navigate the changing tides of the world.
The goal of a missionary disciple is to live in deeper freedom. They must find joy in walking alongside those who find themselves lost, helping them discover their true purpose in life, according to God’s will for them.
People wander the wrong way—myself included. We need to learn how to be a beacon of light that helps people find their way home. It would be foolish to try to evangelize to others without first connecting with the Lord in prayer and through a dedication and love for His Word contained in the Scriptures and Sacraments. The more we get to know the Lord’s mission, the more equipped we will be to help spread that mission to others.
There’s no better time and place to start than here and now! Start exactly where you are. In your communities, families, and cities.