So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Thursday, March 10, 2016

New Evangelization: the missing ingredient—holiness.

You shall be holy, for I am holy.—1 Peter 1:16
You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.—Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew 5:48
We hear much about the New Evangelization, yet there is too little practical information as to how to proceed.

No one will be convinced of the truth of the Gospel unless we live the Gospel without compromise. The Gospel, wholly lived, yields a bountiful harvest.
Twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.
All great renewals in the Church have been accompanied by a simple and profound return to the Gospel.
Recall the renewal the Holy Spirit brought through the cooperation of Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Dominic.
Recall the renewal of religious life wrought by the Holy Spirit through the great Carmelite reformers Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross. 
Recall the working of the Holy Spirit through the great Benedictine preservation which guided the Church through the Middle Ages.
Recall the Holy Spirit's magnificent work of liturgical renewal through His faithful instrument Pope Saint Gregory the Great.
How does one become holy? How does one become perfect?
Put God first in one's life!
In the words of Our Lady—"Do whatever he tells you." (St. John 2:5)
  1. Adore and offer praise to God. Adoration reminds us that we all are made in the image and likeness of God, and that He alone deserves our adoration. Christian, remember your dignity!Pope Saint Leo the Great.
  2. Train the heart by keeping God's commandments. St. John 14:15
  3. In good times and bad, give thanks to God. Embrace the Cross and trust in God. (St. Luke 9:23)
  4. Rely on God for grace to live the Gospel. Pray the Mass! Remember—the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life (CCC 1324).
  5. Be docile to the Holy Spirit. Listen for His voice—in Holy Scripture, the teachings of the Church, and in every moment: pause; listen; pray.
  6. Practice the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy (cf St. Matthew 25:35-46)
  7. Fast and pray.
  8. Go to confession weekly.
  9. Make an act of contrition every day. Expose your weakness; exercise your ability to reject sin and evil. Call on the Lord for help and mercy. Ask the Lord to bless your persecutors; forgive.
  10. Ask the saints—earthbound and heaven dwelling—to pray for you to Almighty God. Seek, especially and often, the intercession of Mary, most holy!
In summary, be a faithful disciple of the Lord. Be the light God calls you to be and let that light shine wherever God places you (St. Matthew 5:14-16).

The saints resembled our Lord and Saviour because they took the Gospel 100% seriously. They were humble enough to know that they depended on God for the very air they breathed, the food and water they needed to survive, and the illumination of the Holy Spirit they needed to thrive. They knew they needed God. Do you know that you need God?

All people are drawn to God, whether they realize it or not. All seek God Who alone can satisfy their deepest longings. Be the compass which points people to the True God. Let God write you into being an icon for Him, a window through which others can glimpse the perfection of their heavenly Father. Allow God to rule your life and boldly go wherever the Lord leads you (St. Luke 5:4).

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