Being... Imitating the silent, loving action of Jesus in the Eucharist...
Amidst ordinary life...
A reader sent me this excerpt from Little Brother, Blessed Charles of Jesus:
"I am not the slightest interested in geography or exploration. Neither am I interested in evangelization as such. Of this I am neither worthy or capable; and the time for it has not yet come. My work should be the preliminaries for evangelization, the cultivation of trust & friendship, for gentling, you might say, for fraternization... " - The Sands of TamanrassetI knew that, but I had forgotten it. Rather, I lost track of that call.
The Church calls us to evangelize culture. To be sure, there are many in the business of telling one how to do that too. Yet evangelization means different things for different people.
I was watching "Journey Home" last Monday evening, a Baptist convert was on telling his story. I love those stories of conversion - his faith was alive, and he spoke about how his faith was enlivened in and through reading the Catechism. It was a powerful witness. It was almost as if I could see the Holy Spirit at work in him as he spoke. I looked the guy up online and found he had a website and what looks like a full-blown 'ministry' already. I didn't notice if there was a donate button or not.
It seems to me as if almost everyone converting-reverting to the Catholic Church feels they have to have a ministry or an apostolate. And of course, not a few who decide they have one, seem to rely on the scripture which says the worker should be supported/paid in his ministry. It seems to me rather Protestant - and indeed such methods are often based upon that model. It worked for them before 'coming home', I expect it will work for them as Catholics too. However, I wonder if there is an over emphasis on apologetics and theology degrees? And why is everything one does in the name of Christ suddenly called a ministry or an apostolate?
It strikes me as rather odd. Whatever happened to converts entering religious life or the priesthood after a significant conversion experience? What happened to them living ordinary, yet faithful lives in the state of life wherein they were called in the secular world? I know Opus Dei members do that, hence it is already an established custom in the Church. They neither call attention to themselves nor seek financial support - they seem to have jobs.
Just imagine if Mary Magdalen, instead of doing penance, studied theology and wrote her own gospel account? What if Francis of Assisi decided to live in palaces and associate with the rich and powerful, instead of doing as St. Paul instructed: "associate with the lowly"? What if Thomas Aquinas decided to continue to write books and do the lecture circuit after his revelation before the crucifix, rejecting the notion his academic achievements were simply straw? What if Dorothy Day ran for Congress instead of sitting in jail for peace? Just imagine if the saints all wrote best selling books, charged fees for their speaking engagements and healing ministries, and asked for donations to go on exotic retreats and luxury pilgrimages?
Today, it seems the trend is for people to convert/revert to Catholicism, get a book deal, television interview, and then hang up a shingle and expect people to support them in their "ministry".
God bless them! They just might already have their reward.