LET IT aLL sTART hERE
For Catholics who care...
I haven't written an essay for this blog in two weeks. Not because I haven't anything Christ related to share, but because I had briefly become disenchanted with this call to The New Evangelization. I'm back now.
Many Catholic folks I know, who claim to love the material at www.letitallstarthere.com, also claim that they don't have the time to visit the blog so that they might read, comment on and share its content. Doing so would make them true evangelizing disciples of Christ. But they don't seem to get that. I can't think of an easier way to evangelize and yet the common excuse is: I've been too busy to get there. These are the same people who attend workshops on The New Evangelization and are committee members with Evangelization Outreach. Go figure.
A non-believing friend of mine asked me this pointed question: What do you want from these people?
My answer: I want them to grow their imagination and their courage.
So...here is an exercise in just that: Imagine your cell phone is ringing. Imagine that on the screen the caller's name reads: Jesus. Are you too busy to answer the phone call? I feel that my well intentioned audience at Let It All Start Here is doing just that. Not answering Jesus' call.
Christ calls us every day. And it is too bad and too sad when we are too busy for Him. I have learned that the way to answer His call is to be primarily preoccupied with Him. Think of Him the way and as often as you would a new, romantic love. Look forward to speaking with Him, to seeing Him, to being with Him. Or think of Him as often and as attentively as a new mother thinks of her newborn baby. If we adopted that sense of knowing Him, we could not help but answer His call.
I urge people to use their imagination to help support their desire to be a Faithful disciple of Christ....
Okay try this: Pretend you are the great painter Caravaggio with a highly developed imagination. With this keen skill you can actually hear Christ's voice... see His kind face... feel His warmth... smell the scent of His robes. You can even imagine that, with His grace, you are Christ in this world for others.... Read the Gospel, know the scenes of His life ...imagine what was really happening. Be preoccupied with Christ Jesus.
Now, why the need for a deeper sense of courage? Because there is a considerable lifestyle change if one is to be a disciple of Christ in this increasing secular world. To be a follower of Christ requires one to experiment with new behaviors and that can make a person VERY uncomfortable.
For example, this newly formed imagination that beckons Christ to you may be as difficult to develop as learning to write beautiful cursive with your none writing hand. One must practice. One must pay close attention to the details of forming the letters. One must not get too busy to do the work. One must imagine the lovely script already formed on the paper. Courage is required to be a witness of Christ in the world. I think that lack of courage keeps most of my readership from sharing their thoughts, concerns, ideas and feelings about their relationship to Christ and His church. Being brave is not a slowly developed personality trait. One can not ease into being brave. It is a quick decision that one makes. In every difficult situation, one is either brave or one is not. Understand that being brave also means being empowered.
It is within everyone's reach with God's grace.