Saturday, May 12, 2012

Faith and Children

Well, I think we have all been inspired by the Pope's call to the "New Evangelization" - despite its classically Catholic, difficult-to-rattle-off, name. 

From the USCCB website:

What is the New Evangelization?

The New Evangelization calls each of us to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message and go forth to proclaim the Gospel. The focus of the New Evangelization calls all Catholics to be evangelized and then go forth to evangelize. In a special way, the New Evangelization is focused on 're-proposing' the Gospel to those who have experienced a crisis of faith.  Pope Benedict XVI called for the re-proposing of the Gospel "to those regions awaiting the first evangelization and to those regions where the roots of Christianity are deep but who have experienced a serious crisis of faith due to secularization." The New Evangelization invites each Catholic to renew their relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church.

Why do we need the New Evangelization?

The New Evangelization offers hope. Jesus grants all people rest and comfort from the world's burdens (Mt. 11:28) by offering us the hope of salvation and eternal life. Through the “re-proposing” of the Gospel, the Church seeks to comfort all those who are burdened. The New Evangelization offers the gifts of faith, hope, love and new life in Christ. 


As I have said before, one of the things that has kept me from the Catholic church is my perception that Catholics are not interested in sharing their faith.  As a person who feels that God and God alone reassembled me, putting me entirely together in Him, when I felt the most lost -  I know that there is world of people just like me, waiting, hungering for that gift which is found in Christ and his incredible act of sacrifice.

We have lately grown a little tired in this area.  Who can stand to always be asking and hearing, "No?"  Its can be difficult and challenging.  It's easy to take this as some sort of personal rejection.  Your faith roots have to go pretty deep to survive some of the challenges that people - that friends can pose.  In some ways, the challenges posed, should be the very thing that causes your faith to grow deep.  If it's worth asking - it's worth working out the answer to it. 

The main thing to keep in mind is that most people tend to journey towards Christ.  They can look back on significant markers to brought them step by step towards faith.  So pray, ask, invite, share - over and over again.

We have friends who have made a lifetimes habit of praying for their neighbours with their children - their dining room table looks out onto their house.  They have done this for at least the eight years that I have known them.  In just the last month, the father dedicated his life to Christ.  People need time and God gives it to them.

Even our little neighbours - our children's friends have come to really love God, but resisted becoming connected to a church.  Just two nights ago - after having given up asking and asking, I felt a nudge to invite our little friend once again to the youth group that I trust and take my own children to.  After a full year - she finally said no again; however, within the hour, knocked on my door and asked if she could come to youth.  She came home chattering in the backseat about God - blessing me more than she may ever know.

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