Both Protestants and Catholics often suffer from cognitive dissonance. We look at the Bible, see what Jesus requires of are lives, and then look at the lackadaisical lives of our fellow Christians and think, “something is just not adding up.” Evangelical pastor Francis Chan has made a name for himself by preaching this theme repeatedly.
One thing that comforts me is reading the texts put out by the Catholic Church’s leadership. I think they’re fantastic. Whether it’s the Catechism, a papal encyclical, or simply a speech given by a high-ranking official, I am infused with energy and reminded of why I believed the fullness of Truth was found in the Catholic Church.
I highly recommend reading today’s speech by Archbishop Rhino Fisichella, the President of the Vatican Council for New Evangelization. Here’s an exciting excerpt:
We cannot conduct a new evangelisation without new evangelizers. In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, we find written: ‘For whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But they will not ask his help unless they believe in him and they will not believe in him unless they have heard of him and they will not hear of him unless they get an preacher and they will not have a preacher unless one is sent, but, as Scripture says: “The footsteps of those who bring good news is a welcome sound” ’ (Rom. 10:13-15). As we may note, the idea which emerges from the apostle, in the first place, is that of the necessary relationship between invoking the name of the Lord and having faith in him and of being sent out to proclaim him, so that all may believe.
At the root of this mission is the call; that extends from invocation to mission, because it recognises that Jesus is Lord of everything and of all people. Therefore, to be an evangelizer is a vocation so that all people may be able to hear the Gospel of Jesus, believe in him and call upon him. That vocation is born on the very day of our baptism and it is a vocation to every believer in Christ to make of himself or herself a credible bearer of the good news encapsulated in his teaching. To be sent, then, is intrinsic to the baptismal vocation; this implies for all Christians that they assume this responsibility, each one in their own person, without any possibility of delegating it to others. The proclamation of the Gospel cannot be delegated to others; rather, it requires the awareness specific to the believer that he or she is to be a bearer of Christ wherever they go.
Now we just have to put it into practice!