Lawn Chair Catechism: June 12, 2013

Posted: June 12, 2013 in Lawn Chair Catechism

The question has been asked. Do today’s Catholics think a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is possible. I would have to answer, Of course, they do! At least in my parish.

I grew up in South Alabama in a town where the Protestants were many and the Catholics were few–in fact, for many years, there were only a handful of us, along with a handful of Jews. The Jews and the Catholics stood out. And sometimes, we were looked at with caution. We were used to hearing about ‘a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.’ We were used to talk about ‘getting saved.’ And it was talked about often. As Catholic children, we were told by our parents and grandparents to defend our faith, and that meant we had to know it. That was ‘normal’  for me then.

Today, I think having grown up in the midst of Protestants who never seemed afraid to talk about their Christian faith, made me stronger in my own. It’s not much different today in the South. God and Jesus Christ are words people use often. The reality that God is present has not left the mind of most people. So a Catholic here can readily converse about God. But do we do it? I would suggest that many don’t. There are lots of reasons for that, but the main one is that over the years we have lost what Catholicism actually is. That it’s not just a Sunday Mass thing; it’s an everyday living thing. We each have to become personally aware of that before we can evangelize to others. So, last year, my parish initiated The Light of the World Program in an attempt to bring individuals closer to Christ.

Last night, I went to a meeting about The New Evangelization. In October, 2012, Sr. Sara Butler, MSBT, attended the International Synod of Bishops, assembled in Rome at the request of Pope Benedict XVI who called for a New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Faith. The statistical report she brought  to us was depressing–too many Catholics, especially in Europe, have totally abandoned our Faith. She spoke about Pope Benedict’s proclamation of an “urgent need to proclaim Christ anew in places where the light of faith has been weakened, in places where the fire of God is more like smouldering cinders, crying out to be stirred up, so that they can become a living flame that gives light and heat to the whole house.”

A smouldering cinder. Today’s ‘normal’ Catholic parishioner?

We had better re-light the flame of our faith, and there’s no time like the present to do it.

Join the conversation at  – Lawn Chair Catechism

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