Wednesday 14 September 2011

Do we have an obligation to evangelise?

Well, Our Blessed Lord urged that we should ‘Go forth and teach all nations’ but that just applies to the ordained does it not?

I think not. Just imagine, if we washed our hands of the evangelisation bit we could be stealing the chance of Heaven from those whom we meet. We would become shallow and inward looking, turning up to Sunday Mass as spectators rather than doers.

The rather sticky issue is, just how do we go about evangelising today?
The Jehovah’s Witnesses route is a closed door (literally) and standing on a soapbox, if you could find one, and haranguing the Saturday morning shoppers places us in the same category as the Islamists (except that we would be the ones to be arrested).
The Legion of Mary have proved their worth by setting up a stall in Oxford on a busy Saturday, that is a possibility but not all of us live near major conurbations or have groups such as the Legion nearby.

The good old Catholic fall-back answer is to say that we teach by our example. As of tomorrow when meat comes off the Friday menu that is yet another possibility, it was always good as a conversation opener years ago when one declined the sausages and chips on the office cafeteria menu. But that’s a bit passive really. What will St Peter say to us when we present our record of achievement at the Heavenly Gates:

 “What! When faced with abortion, euthanasia, apostasy, sacrileges, blasphemy, acceptance of homosexual practices, war, poverty, famine, disease, and secularism in general you opted for the egg and chips?”

                                       Are we egg and chips Catholics?

I don’t see setting an example as the prime weapon in our Christian Witness war chest.

We need an action that is a little more demanding, a little more effective but, before we get to action perhaps we should consider targets and those, according to the blogger called Catholic Gadfly, who left a comment on my blog, could be much closer to home than we think.
Gadfly’s point is that we need to catechise contemporary Catholics who, generally speaking, do not know a great deal about what goes on in Rome or their Diocese today.
I am not being patronising; I know many Catholics from diverse backgrounds who would describe themselves, in all modesty as being average, good Catholics but who have little concept of what Summorum Pontificum is or, even, what an EF Mass is.

So possibly, Gadfly is right, this is the audience that needs evangelising to make them aware. Now he goes one step further and asks why the Guild of Bl Titus does not shoulder this responsibility and produce an online poster giving blog details of all members, the theory being that, if it was posted on church notice boards, this might open the eyes if not the minds of the faithful.

 The concept is a good one but whether the Guild sees this as part of its portfolio is another matter; perhaps we could place it on the agenda for the October 1 meeting. And before anyone gets upset by this proposal let me say that the Guild has always stated that it is open to all shades of opinion.
Now it is a matter for Guild members to consider.

I would not like the conceit of believing that reading my blog would help deepen a person's appreciation of the faith (it may quite possibly, have the opposite effect) but there is value in reading a broad spectrum of blogs, it certainly opens my eyes.

Maybe a poster placed on church noticeboards could be one step in the right direction?

Oh, and just for the record a gadfly is a fly that has a nasty sting that it inflicts on the thick hides of livestock - perhaps it's best left there!

Posted by Richard Collins - Linen on the Hedgerow

1 comment:

  1. Discerning how I personally am called to evangelize is tough.

    Hi, and welcome to the Catholic Blogs list. I'm RAnn and I host a weekly meme called Sunday Snippets--a Catholic Carnival in which Catholic bloggers gather to share posts with each other. I'd like to invite you to join. This week's host post is at


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