True Evangelization

According to Pope John Paul the Great, evangelization works like this:

1. Spend time (lots of time) in contemplative prayer
2. Because we become like the thing we worship, we will eventually become more like Christ
3. As we become more like Christ, we will reflect his glory in our own lives, and our faces will become radiant with glory like Moses.
4. Because we are becoming more like Christ, we will want to spend more time with people and for people
5. They will see the beauty of Christ in our lives and be drawn to Christ as a magnet draws iron filings.
6. This will happen, because they will instinctively recognize in Christ the fulfillment of their heart’s true desire.

This evangelization is effective because it is:

1. Appropriate for each person in a natural way
2. Totally the work of grace and not human effort
3. Free of personal ego on the part of the evangelist
4. Non-threatening and naturally attractive
5. Free of guilt, pressure of propaganda or coercion of any sort

In Evangelization, like all things in the Christian life, the most rapid progress is made on our knees.

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  • Father,Thanks for posting this little spiritual snipit this mornging it is great. I am going to have to use this!

  • beautiful. “our Father please, grant us rough knees.”

  • Anonymous

    Gonna copy and send this to all my friends–speaks truth to me. I’m always a bit repulsed by Christians proverbially beating each other over the head with the Good News. Much better to LIVE the Good News…Blessings, Jenny

  • Benfan

    Excellent post Father.

  • Anonymous

    “In Evangelization, like all things in the Christian life, the most rapid progress is made on our knees.”Father, I want to quote the above sentence to some friends/family. Is this strictly yours or should I reference another author? Thanks much!

  • Beautiful!

  • I appreciate the post as well, though of course more could be said. The apostles went where the crowds were and preached to ’em. And missionaries– I don’t think they just settle in with the natives and wait for the beauty of Christ in their lives to be noticed (or do they? I’m a recent convert from evangelical Protestantism and I’m not sure if Catholic missionaries have a different M.O.)And then, is it not ever the case that a friend of yours has questions about the faith, wants to know more, and is too shy to ask? Is there a place in JPII’s evangelization for the Catholic to broach the topic? Maybe he’ll just naturally talk about what’s important to him, so he’ll be talking about Christ all the time and that’ll give others a chance to ask questions if they want to.Would JPII’s method of evangelization have been recognized by the early fathers, or by people like St. Francis de Sales? It seems to be much influenced by the time we live in. It’s appropriate to adapt methods to the circumstances, to be sure. But I wonder if the JPII method (as stated and no doubt simplified) is too passive. Though perhaps if it seems too easy, that’s because I’m forgetting the first step. Contemplative prayer is very hard!

  • W.

    Speaking of knees, you might enjoy this post on Kneeling before the Lord, wherein you will find these lines from Gertrud von Le Fort (not to mention some from then-Cardinal Ratzinger):I know many words, O men, but today you must kneel–Your knees are your wings.

  • “Because we become like the thing we worship,” Oh yes we do!

  • Interestingly i’m after a kneeler for my room to encourage myself! lol

  • Anonymous

    Reminds me of what St. Francis once said: “Preach at all times; when necessary, use words”. Thank you, Father Dwight, for sharing these thoughts with us. BTW, Jim Thompson, I like your prayer for “rough knees”!

  • Sounds like JP2 is describing Mother Teresa, whose Evangelizing by Doing was a critical influence on my life.

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