Courageous Catholics Leader Guide


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Courageous Catholic takes all of the successful tools and ministry resources that CCO has developed since 1988 and has crafted it into a program for parish evangelization. This 10 week program is an expression of twenty five years of fruitful outreach and leadership formation on Canadian campuses.

Our goal is not just to share the message of Jesus, but to spread his mission. This mission is to form apostles – believers who, through the empowerment and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, send others to proclaim the message. This multiplication strategy comes from scriptural models which will be expounded in the study.

The print material, which includes both leader and participant guides, are completed and we are looking for funding to complete the video portion of the program. The videos offer direct wisdom from CCO Founders Andre and Angele Regnier, along with illustrations to further the understanding of the teaching.

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Courageous Catholics Leader Guide

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  3. 3. Courageous Catholic Leader Guide Created and published by Catholic Christian Outreach Canada. Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Catholic Christian Outreach Canada. 1247 Kilborn Place Ottawa, ON K1H 6K9 Canada Phone: 613-736-1999 Fax: 613-736-1800 Printed in Canada. 3
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  5. 5. The Courageous Catholic program is an adaptation of the Commission study, which is the fifth study in the Catholic Christian Outreach Faith Study Series. ____________________________________ th th Quotations from: Pope John Paul II messages to the youth for the 7 and 17 World Youth Days, Incarnationis Mysterium, Evangelii Nuntiandi, Address of his Holiness John Paul II to the Bishops of the United States of America on their "ad Limina" visit March 20 1993, Deus Caritas Est, Apostolic Letter Ubicumque et Semper, Decree on the Apostolate of Laity, Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church, Verbum Domini, Redemptoris Missio, Lineamenta for 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization and Catechism of the Catholic Church, used with permission from Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Pope Benedict XVI, On Christian Unity in 2009, "When He Wishes and When We Are Prepared, [God] Will Create Unity". Used with permission., Fr. Jean C. J. d’Elbée, I Believe in Love, Sophia Institute Press 2001 (English translation by Marilyn Teichert and Madeleine Stebbins of Croire á L’Amour. All rights reserved. Used with permission. This book can be ordered at or by calling 1-800-888-9344. Referenced from The New Evangelization: Overcoming the Obstacles, edited by Steven Boguslawski, OP and Ralph Martin. Copyright © 2008 by the Sacred Heart Major Seminary of Detroit. Paulist Press, Inc., Mahwah, NJ. Used with permission of Paulist Press, Inc. Excerpt from Evangelization for the Third Millennium, by Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ. Copyright © 2009 by New York Province of the Society of Jesus. Paulist Press, Inc., Mahwah, NJ. Reprinted with permission of Paulist Press, Inc. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The Confessions of St. Augustine by Bishop of Hippo, Saint Augustine. Public Domain The excerpt regarding Dr. Peter Kreeft at Boston College is used with permission from Dr. Peter Kreeft, May 2002. Fr. Bob Bedard, CC (founder), quoted with permission from Companions of the Cross. All rights reserved. Merriam Webster Dictionary, _____________________________________ The image on the cover of the Courageous Catholic booklet is of the hand of St. Peter, stretched towards the horizon. This statue is found in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. He holds the keys of the Church in his fingers and points to the world, representing the mandate of all baptized Catholics to go and reach the lost with the Gospel. St. Peter’s arm is stretched out in an image of the strength and courage offered to those who respond generously to the call. Our confidence comes in knowing the authority of the Church, an authority against which the gates of hell cannot prevail. Image © Mark Burdett 2008 Cover Design © Chris Pecora 2011 5
  6. 6. Dedication to John Paul II All CCO staff and students would agree that laced throughout our formation on evangelization is the teaching and heart of Pope John Paul II as exemplified in his various addresses to the youth of the world and, in particular, his encyclical Redemptoris Missio. During the early formative years of CCO, André and Angèle Regnier regularly immersed themselves in John Paul II’s writings as published in the magazine The Pope Speaks. As a result, CCO has endeavoured to put into action what John Paul II taught about the missionary identity of the Church. In 2002, CCO was honoured to receive a personal letter of encouragement from the Holy Father following World Youth Day (see a copy of the text on the next page). Three years later, CCO members, gathered at our national student conference, sent the Pope a pledge signed by nearly 400 young people. Through this pledge, they committed themselves to the Pope’s World Youth Day Toronto vision of “a new generation of builders” and promised to join in the work of evangelization. Canada’s Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, forwarded the pledge to John Paul II while he was ill in the Gemelli Poly-Clinic in Rome. As we now know, the Pope had only a few more months to live. Shortly after the message was sent, Archbishop Ventura wrote to CCO: I am pleased to inform you that your message was presented to the Pope by Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, his private secretary. The Holy Father has responded in turn by signing, in his own hand, a copy of the text and returning it to you, as an expression of recognition to the organizers of the initiative and all those who participated. With great affection and admiration, the Courageous Catholic program is dedicated to the memory and legacy of Blessed Pope John Paul II. We thank God for the privilege to be formed under his leadership, and in his ‘school of evangelization.’ 6
  7. 7. The following is a letter written and signed personally by His Holiness, Blessed Pope John Paul II, to Catholic Christian Outreach Canada on the occasion of the Rise Up 2002 Christmas Conference in Edmonton, Alberta. From the Vatican, December 28, 2002. It is a great joy for me to greet you on the occasion of your National Christmas Conference. The memory of my meeting with you and so many other young people from around the world in July of this year remains vividly etched in my mind. At the World Youth Day Prayer Vigil held in Downsview Park on Saturday, the evening of July 27, I called for a new generation of builders to respond to the aspiration of humanity for a civilization of love marked by freedom and peace. Indeed I entrusted this hope of mine specifically to you, my dear young people. As members of the Catholic Christian Outreach you are generously responding to that appeal through your courage to be disciples of Jesus, living the life of the Beatitudes on campuses throughout Canada. In this way, as you strive to be the salt of the earth and light of the world for others, you become shining beacons illuminating the way of the Lord, answering the question that stirs in the hearts of all young people: "to whom shall we go?" (Jn 6:68). Yes, Jesus Christ is the sure foundation of your hope and joy. Immersed in him and his paschal mystery your own lives will grow in holiness, which is the authentic path of true witness to the light of his loving presence in our world. And so I confidently renew my appeal to you: listen to the voice of Jesus! Let His light shine in your lives, continue steadfastly on the path of holiness, share with everyone "the good news of a great joy which will come to all the people" (Lk 2:10). Invoking upon all of you the joy and peace that the birth of our Savior brings, I cordially impart to you and your families my Apostolic Blessing. JOANNES PAULUS PP. II 7
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  9. 9. Table of Contents Dedication 6 Introduction 10 Getting Ready 11 Lesson 1 – Orientation and Premise 14 Orientation to the program. Recognizing that evangelization is our deepest identity. Lesson 2 – CCO 101 31 Review of St. Catherine's bridge illustration and the relationship diagrams as used extensively in CCO's evangelization. Lesson 3 – Holiness and Mission 46 Understanding the interdependence of holiness and mission and an Introduction to the Paul-Timothy model in 2 Timothy 2:2 Lesson 4 – The Message 58 Comprehending the necessity of clearly and simply proclaiming the kerygma Lesson 5 – The Message and You Recognizing how we have experienced God's saving action in our own lives. 73 Lesson 6 – Heart for the Lost Uniting with God’s heart of compassion and concern for those who are far from him. 89 Lesson 7 – Understanding “Timothy” Taking into consideration the perspective and experience of those we want to evangelize. 104 Lesson 8 – See Opportunities Identifying people and situations in my sphere of influence that could be transformed through the clear proclamation of Jesus. 118 Lesson 9 – Next Generation Mindset Understanding a ministry of spiritual multiplication. 131 Lesson 10 – Struggles and Doubts Examining common areas of discouragement for missionaries 142 Lesson 11 – Commissioned Recognizing, with great expectations, the work of the Holy Spirit both in the evangelizer and the one being evangelized. 153 Appendix 165 Personal Opportunities Worksheet 166 Preparing a Personal Testimony 170 Leading Your Own Discovery Group 172 9
  10. 10. Introduction Courageous Catholic is an adaptation of the Commission faith study written by Catholic Christian Outreach. Commission is the fifth study in the Catholic Christian Outreach Faith Study Series. In it's development stages it was piloted in three cities as a diocesanwide training component for parish leaders in our domestic summer mission called Impact Canada. Courageous Catholic is an expression of more than twenty years of outreach and leadership formation on Canadian campuses. In our evangelization efforts, we strive to identify with people, and celebrate the beauty and good in each individual. We also look for appropriate opportunities to lovingly introduce these people to Jesus in a nonjudgmental, relevant, clear and simple way. We also believe that the principals we have learned over the years in our studying and experience are applicable off campus and can be integrated in other ministries, parishes and in one's personal outreach efforts. The three pillars of CCO are to proclaim, equip and commission. It is our belief that a clear and simple proclamation of the Good News of Jesus is urgently needed in the world, even among Catholics; this is the mandate of the new evangelization. Having proclaimed the Gospel, we then seek to equip those who have experienced conversion with the necessary skills to evangelize others. We hope that through this Courageous Catholic program our alumni, supporters and friends will internalize and put into action the great task Jesus gave his disciples, “to go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18). Our goal is not just to share the message of Jesus, but to spread his mission. This mission is to form apostles – believers who, through the empowerment and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, send others to proclaim the message. This multiplication strategy comes from scriptural models which will be expounded in the study. Since the present study can offer only a summary of the Church’s teaching on the new evangelization, we strongly recommend some background reading on this topic, namely, the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi by Pope Paul VI and the Encyclical Redemptoris Missio by Pope John Paul II. (These documents can be found on the Vatican website: I Believe in Love, by Fr. Jean C. J. d’Elbée, is another text that expounds ideas briefly presented in this study. Many of the dispositions CCO members strive to embody in their missionary work come from the teachings of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Fr. d’Elbée beautifully articulates St. Thérèse’s spirituality in this book. In fact, all three of these works are required reading for CCO full-time lay missionaries. It would also be expected that participants have completed CCO’s Discovery study in order to understand the concepts and illustrations referenced repeatedly in the program We hope that as you study this material and take it to prayer, the Father will commission you, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to send others out to boldly proclaim that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 10
  11. 11. Getting Ready Notes for the Leaders Ideally, Courageous Catholic participants would have the opportunity to take Discovery. As such, they will be familiar with the concepts, tools and diagrams CCO uses in evangelization. Organizing opportunities for people to take the sixweek Discovery faith study be an advantageous first step. Recognizing, that participants may not have that chance, or signed up at the last minute, lesson 2 offers a brief orientation to the two major concepts of St. Catherine's bridge illustration and the relationships diagram in an attempt to ground them in CCO fundamental evangelizing pedagogy. Courageous Catholic program leaders should not only be familiar with Discovery but should have previously taken Courageous Catholic (or Commission) as well. Prior to beginning, leaders should do all, or at least some, of the suggested reading prior to leading the program in order to add depth and context when responding to questions from the participants. As you are aware, Courageous Catholic's initial audience is the dioceses where CCO's Impact missions are hosted. You will notice that some of the notes in this guide are specific for its continuing use on the Impact mission. If you are using it outside of that context, please disregard such notes and directives and adapt to your situation. Thank you in advance for your understanding. Although Courageous Catholic has been created to reach a large group setting, it could be used in a small group context, or one might opt to use Commission which is designed for small groups. It does not have a DVD component however. When running this program in a large group context we recommend a leadership team with individuals serving in the roles of: team leader, MC, administrator, technician, and a number of small group leaders (ratio of 1 small group leader to approximately 6 participants). Team leader is overall responsible for the program, team meetings, supporting and guiding team members, promotion, liaison with parishes/diocese and being sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit (that is, in tailoring the program's schedule, or discerning necessary clarifications of content with the participants). The MC will need to create a certain rapport of good humour with the crowd, along with professionalism and organization — keeping the program moving and on time. MC will give the team a run through of the evening prior to each lesson. The MC will want to be free to move around the room and get a feel of what is happening in the various small group discussions. The MC in conjunction with the administrator needs to be aware of announcements to make at the end of the evening. Together with the discernment of the team leader and the team, the MC will make any clarifications to the large group of point of misunderstanding with the content, or "course corrections" on topics of discussion that became a distraction or took away from the intended purpose of a section or lesson. 11
  12. 12. Team administrator is responsible for (or delegating): venue bookings, registrations, weekly email to participants, welcoming participants, establishing small groups, name tags, materials, payments, sign up for snacks, coffee percolator, and assisting the MC to keep the program on time throughout the lesson each week. [The weekly email to participants would include reminders: the lesson's challenge or homework, who is on for snacks, upcoming event announcements, etc. When booking the venue, it should be large enough to have room for a table and chairs for each of the small groups, a podium, and ability to accommodate necessary AV requirements for the DVD segments. The technician is responsible for room set up and clean up, procuring AV equipment (speakers, microphones, projector/TV, DVD player), doing AV set up, as well as providing flipcharts/white board and markers. Although the majority of the program is animated by the MC and video segments, small group leaders are very important as well. Their interaction with the small group members besides facilitating the questions and discussion includes listening to them, discerning what they are getting and not getting, praying for them and for guidance in how to direct the conversations. They need to be in constant conversation with the Holy Spirit on how to best help their small group members understand. It is recommended that members stay the same in small groups from week to week. In particular, small group leaders, help and support the participants. They should be ready to answer their questions be willing to find additional resources to aid them in the work of evangelization. Above all else, they should be ready to instil hope and to delight in their efforts. Often one of the most overlooked roles of a leader is affirming and inspiring those they lead. For example, when participants speak about their experiences sharing the Gospel, small group leaders could congratulate them for their courage. Leadership team, there are some other aspects for your consideration in running the program. You may desire to close each lesson with a brief time of praise and worship. This will depend on your participants overall openness to this music, the schedule timing, and if there is a worship leader. You may want to consider including conversion testimonies (or testimonies of witnessing to the faith) weekly or occasionally to inspire and reflect the need for evangelization with your participants. Such testimonies will also help your group become more familiar and comfortable with sharing personal stories of conversion. The testimonies should be limited to 3 minutes and should be formatted as the training suggests in the appendix. You can decide on the most appropriate spot to have a testimony on any particular lesson. Have fun! May the Lord bless your every endeavour as you seek to be the missionaries that our world so desperately needs! 12
  13. 13. Courageous Catholic Small Group Information Time: Place: Study Group Leader: Phone Number: Email: Study Group Members: 13
  14. 14. Lesson 1 Preparation Notes "Orientation and Premise" In Brief: Evangelization is our deepest identity. Key Elements:  Orientation to the program's purpose, goals, leadership team, and key terms  This lesson looks at Church’s teaching that show that evangelization is our deepest identity.  It then looks at identity in self-knowledge, and how this concept relates to the Church. The aim of this discussion is to show that if we understand evangelization to be our deepest identity, then we can be united in purpose in the various ministries and organizations within the Church, or within a parish.  There are many quotes in this lesson. Encourage participants to underline or circle things as the text is being read so that, during the time for questions and discussion, they can refer to the things that stood out to them.  All team members must prepare a brief introduction. Sample team member intro (30 seconds each) Eg: “Hi my name is Angele Regnier, I'm originally from Leask, Saskatchewan. I encountered God's personal love for me on a high school retreat which changed my entire perception of God. I attended the University of Saskatchewan where I received a Bachelor of Education. Upon convocation, my husband and felt a strong call to evangelize university students and we have been doing that with CCO for the past 22 years. I currently work at our National Headquarters." Administrative Tasks  First time for AV setup!  Registration desk at the entrance. Get all information (name, address, parish, email, phone, mobile, date and leader's name when they took Discovery, registration fee).  Sign up sheet for snacks.  Have workbooks ready for handout later in the evening's schedule.  Have The Ultimate Relationship booklets available to handout for their homework reading. Recommended Reading: (General note: The titles in the “Recommended Reading” section of the Preparation Notes are valuable resources. If you have not yet read them, you should do so before leading the study.)  Evangelii Nuntiandi  Redemptoris Missio  Message of the Holy Father for the VII World Youth Day  Lineamenta for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization 14
  15. 15. Lesson 1 Orientation and Premise Outline of the Evening Introduction to the Program MC - 20 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Courageous Catholic and Key Terms Video - 20 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Break - 15 minutes Deepest Identity Video - 30 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Closing Elements MC - 10 minutes Introduction to the Program MC 20 minutes + Small Group 10 minutes MC say: Welcome - We are very excited to see you here tonight. We have been anticipating this for a very long time. Our desire is that after tonight you will be committed and encouraged about this program created by Catholic Christian Outreach. For those who aren't familiar, CCO a Canadian national university student movement dedicated to evangelization. It challenges young adults to live in the fullness of the Catholic faith, with a strong emphasis on becoming leaders in the renewal of the world. Courageous Catholic was developed for CCO’s domestic summer mission projects to train parish leaders in the new evangelization. Tonight will be an orientation to the purpose and foundational content of Courageous Catholic, with an overview of the program's content, and inspiration for you to be committed to attendance in the upcoming 9 weeks, and that you’ll be mobilized to invite others. Let's open our evening in prayer. [Offer a brief prayer] Could you please shout out what parishes are represented here. 15
  16. 16. At this point I'd like to introduce the team putting on this Courageous Catholic program. Have them each say where they are from, one sentence testimony, one sentence why called to staff, where they serve on staff now and for how long. Sample team member intro (30 seconds each) Eg: " Hi my name is Angele Regnier, I'm originally from Leask, Saskatchewan. I encountered God's personal love for me on a high school retreat which changed my entire perception of God. I attended the University of Saskatchewan where I received a Bachelor of Education. Upon convocation, my husband and felt a strong call to evangelize university students and we have been doing that with CCO for the past 22 years. I currently work at our National Headquarters." Have team return to their seats. After those introductions, say: Let's take just a couple of minutes right now to introduce yourself to your small group. Small group leaders (10 minutes): Have them introduce themselves. Instead of asking them why they have come to the program, ask them to share their name, parish and what is their great hope in taking this program. By asking this question it will give you a sense of where they are at (ie. do they have a lot of fear in sharing the gospel, are they identifying a specific area in which they want to evangelize, are they worried about the faith of their children, etc.) and where you can help to lead them through these lessons. Take mental notes of each individual’s hopes and throughout the study pray intentionally for those hopes to be discovered. If a person is not sure what their hope is then pray that the Lord would infuse them with hope and vision for their personal role in evangelization. Administrator: during this time get the workbooks ready for handing out. The team will now hand out the program to you. I'll give you a brief overview of the workbook for the next couple of minutes. Let's start with the cover of the workbook. You may notice how the image compliments the title of our program. If you haven't figured it out yet, this photograph is of the arm of Peter from the huge statue of him in St. Peter's square. It speaks to the commissioning and call the Church is giving us to go courageously to all people with the message of Jesus. As you flip through the work book with me you will see there is a very interesting article on why this material is dedicated to John Paul II that you can read on your own. The table of contents give us a helpful outline to the topics of each lesson. Together these lessons build upon each other to accomplish the overall goals that we have for you: 16
  17. 17.  To be convinced of the centrality of evangelization to the life and identity of the Church and us, as the people of God.  To have a heart of compassion and concern for those who need to personally encounter God's love and mercy.  To gain understanding as to why some people are far away from God and the Church; and how to best relate to them.  To make evangelization a desired, uniting purpose of all parish ministries.  To identify opportunities for evangelization in your ministries, and with your friends and acquaintances.  To become familiar with practical tools which can help you to be able to communicate a clear and simple gospel message, such as: The Ultimate Relationship booklet, the Discovery study, and tips for developing a concise personal testimony.  To multiply your efforts through entrusting this mission and message to other faithful people.  To encounter and understand the primacy of the Holy Spirit in the work of evangelization. You'll notice that each week has a challenge or homework for you. There is also a take home lesson for your personal reflection between weeks 9 and 10. Every week you should bring a Bible, your workbook and a pen. It is not recommended to miss any weeks, as the lessons build on each other. However, if for any reason you cannot make it some week, please email the administrator, who is ….(introduce). Every week, you will get updates by email, so please make sure we have your email address. You are also invited to give feedback by email every week if you wish on the lesson, (things to improve on, clarifying questions, or even encouragement). Each lesson typically includes video teaching segments, live teaching presentations, and time for small group discussions. You can expect the course to run from __pm to ___pm. If you arrive on time, and come back from your break promptly, we will be able to accomplish our lessons on time. Speaking of video segments, we will now go into our first one which will introduce you to the program and key vocabulary used in it. 17
  18. 18. Courageous Catholic and Key Terms Video 20 minutes + Small Group 10 minutes ) Hello my name is Angele Regnier. My husband Andre and I are the founders of Catholic Christian Outreach. We launched it at the University of Saskatchewan in the fall of 1988. Our mission was evangelization! I can assure you that when CCO began oh so many years ago, "evangelization" was definitely not a word Catholics were comfortable with, it would probably be more accurate to say they were scared of it. I hope you’re not scared of it, and if you are just a little, I am confident that Courageous Catholic will help you fall in love with the word and all the hope and joy it actually holds. The purpose of Catholic Christian Outreach when we began in 1988, was to reach into the university campus to find those thousands upon thousands of Catholics who had wandered, and bring them back to the faith. We wanted to bring them to a place of encounter and conversion to Jesus. The next part of the plan was to build them up in their faith and send them out to reach others. Many thought CCO wouldn’t work, but the young people were waiting to be reached with the Gospel. Even in our beginnings, we strongly felt that the Holy Spirit was preparing CCO to expand. For that to happen, we needed to know how to clearly explain and replicate what we were doing in our evangelization. We needed to invest in creating materials to multiply our efforts and better equip others. It took time to refine and sift through methods, approach and philosophy of ministry. Our failures were an opportunity to learn and grow. At this point we are so pleased that CCO has not only touched the lives of thousands of Canadian university students, but it has been able to help other apostolates, in the States, Australia and Uganda. Many times over the years we’ve been asked, “How can we take what CCO is doing to help our parish?!” We took this question very seriously because we are more and more convinced that a new springtime in the Church will best happen though renewal in the parishes. CCO wants to assist parishes by offering some of the tools and resources that have been effective for us on campus. Right off the bat, I want to tell you that Courageous Catholic is not a program to tell you how to do your ministry. You are probably experts in your ministry area, and I recognize that. But what we can offer is to influence how you think about your ministry. You can best make decisions on how to adapt the messages presented in this program to serve your situation. Yes we believe that parishes are vitally important to the work of the new evangelization. However, in a parish, there can be a tendency to focus on maintenance rather than mission. You see, typically we spend a great deal of energy on the small amount of people who are already coming to the parish, but what about those who aren't coming to Church? 18
  19. 19. Now I bet you're thinking “But, I’m not maintenance! I am involved. I’m actually the one who does mission and outreach.” That’s exactly why you're here. You are the most strategic place to start! Courageous Catholic will help you think about your parish and ministry with a heart of evangelization, and we are confident that you will influence other leaders in your parish to catch that same spirit too. This spirit of evangelization is well portrayed in the parable of the lost sheep. Remember how Jesus describes the good shepherd — who leaves the 99 and seeks out the lost sheep. This parable calls us to and ask ourselves if we too seek out those who are far away from God. (Truth is, many of these "lost sheep" are the ones who come to our parish office needing to bury a loved one or seeking out other sacraments like; baptism, first communion, confirmation or marriage, Christmas and Easter our churches are full with people who don’t attend mass otherwise. How can we take advantage of these opportunities to evangelize the people who come through our parish doors — so they are no longer lost but found — in him! We could resent them, or seize this open door to engage them in matters of faith. Heaven knows we try to come up with programs or events to draw people to Church, which is good, but how can we maximize the opportunities we have when they come to us for something? We will wrestle with these kinds of questions over the course of the next few weeks Now before we go any further I would like to clarify some terms that we will hear a great deal in this program. Since they are used so frequently, I want to make sure there are no misunderstandings in how we are using them. First term is "the gospel" The Gospel: What do we mean when we say, "the Gospel"? To answer this, I would like to reference the Lineamenta document in preparation for the 2012 synod of Bishops. In case you are not familiar: about every three years there is a General Ordinary assembly of Bishops at the Vatican representing countries around the world, typically with about 400 Bishops in attendance. They gather for about three weeks to discuss a particular topic. For example in 2005 it was on the Eucharist, in 2008 it was on the Word of God, and in 2012 it is on the Promotion of the New Evangelization, which is very exciting. This preparatory document, the Lineamenta is rich, and well worth the read. AND it offers us a great explanation of what we mean when we say "the gospel" in this program. Please underline the key words as I read it. In referring to the Gospel, we must not think of it only as a book or a set of teachings. The Gospel is much more; it is a living and efficacious Word, which accomplishes what it says. It is not so much a system of articles of faith and moral precepts, much less a political programme, but a person: Jesus Christ, the definitive Word of God, who became 19
  20. 20. man. The Gospel is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, not only does the Gospel have Jesus Christ as its content; but even more, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is also the promoter and the centre of its proclamation and transmission. Consequently, the goal of the transmission of the faith is the realization of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, in the Spirit, thereby leading to an experiencing of his Father and our Father. Transmitting the faith means to create in every place and time the conditions for this personal encounter of individuals with Jesus Christ Lineamenta, 11 Did you catch it? The Courageous Catholic program wants to help you learn how to transmit the gospel, which is - the message of the salvation offered in Jesus so that you can "create in every place and time the conditions" by which you can help people "personally encounter Jesus Christ". Love it! New Evangelization: Next. The "new evangelization" is a term coined by John Paul II. A good synonym would be ":re-evangelization". It concerns clearly proclaiming the message of salvation in Jesus — to those who are baptized, have received the sacraments, but whose hearts and lifestyles do not reflect this faith. It is to bring them to a personal encounter with God’s love. Again, we read in the Lineamenta document to the synod: The new evangelization is not a matter of redoing something which has been inadequately done or has not achieved its purpose, as if the new activity were an implicit judgment on the failure of the first evangelization. Nor is the new evangelization taking up the first evangelization again, or simply repeating the past. Instead, it is the courage to forge new paths in responding to the changing circumstances and conditions facing the Church in her call to proclaim and live the Gospel today.... Pope John Paul II again took up the expression in his Magisterium and proposed it to the universal Church. "Today the Church must face other challenges and push forward to new frontiers, both in the initial mission ad gentes and in the new evangelization of those peoples who have already heard Christ proclaimed.... In facing these challenges, the Church does not give up or retreat into herself; instead, she undertakes a project to revitalize herself. She makes the Person of Jesus Christ and a personal encounter with him central to her thinking, knowing that he will give his Spirit and provide the force to announce and proclaim the Gospel in new ways which can speak to today's cultures. Lineamenta, 5 Just to repeat and clarify, the new evangelization is re-evangelizing those cultures who have a Christian history, whereas, in the "mission ad gentes" evangelization is directed at those who have never heard of Jesus. Interestingly, the new evangelization in the past decade has been widely regarded as a key pastoral concern in parishes, dioceses, and countries. Why? Because our Bishops and priests recognize what the Lineamenta says in paragraph 9, 20
  21. 21. The time has also come for a new evangelization in the West, where many of those baptized lead totally un-Christian lives and more and more persons maintain some links to the faith but have little or a poor knowledge of it. Lineamenta, 9 The laity are key to the Church's mission! Because we are the ones who have direct contact with those who may have walked away from the Church or do not believe. Pope John Paul II calls us: A disciple of Christ is never a passive and indifferent observer of what is taking place. On the contrary, he feels responsible for transforming social, political, economic and cultural reality... You must have the courage to speak about Christ in your families and in places where you study, work or recreate, inspired with the same fervour the Apostles had when they said: "We cannot help speaking of what we have heard and seen" (Acts 4:20). Nor should you be silent! There are places and circumstances where you alone can bring the seed of God's Word. Message by the Holy Father John Paul II 7th World Youth Day, 4 In Evangelii Nuntiandi Pope Paul VI described how we witness in the world in 2 ways: the witness of life and witness of Word. That is, our lifestyle and actions witness to a life redeemed by Christ, and our words proclaim the truth of Jesus' love and mercy for the world. There are many apostolates, outreaches, and activities that fall under the umbrella of evangelization. For example the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, are all are an opportunity to communicate God's love for people. The training for evangelization predominant in this program is to prepare you to clearly proclaim the message of hope and mercy in Jesus, whenever appropriate and possible. In our experience there are few opportunities to learn and develop these skills specific to the Church's missionary call. Speaking of missionary… Now I'd like to look at how we use the word Missionary (as a noun). 21
  22. 22. Missionary When we say people are "missionary" we want you to understand that this word is not exclusively referring to someone who leaves home and serves the Church overseas although that is an important and heroic part of it. A missionary is anyone who is engaged in Christ's mission. Actually, the word missionary encompasses each and every person in the body of Christ because The Catechism tells us that by virtue of our baptism we have all been called to be witnesses of our faith. [T]he faithful, who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ and integrated into the People of God, are made sharers in their particular way in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly office of Christ, and have their own part to play in the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the World. CCC 897 To be frank though, the reality is that many Catholics do not feel any personal responsibility for the work of evangelization and mission. They perceive this work to be for those who seem more directly called: priests, nuns and a few radical people who choose to be missionaries. But this is not what the Church is telling us. Bottom line, if you are baptized, you are missionary. More about this in the next video with Andre. So to wrap things up, in Courageous Catholic we hope to influence the way you approach your ministry, parish and the Church, . We desire to affirm and solidify your missionary call and identity. We want to inspire and challenge you to reach ut to those who have wandered. Evangelization must not only be spoken about, written about or even understood, — it must be done! And finally, I want to encourage you that your engagement in this program and in the grassroots work of evangelization is a sign of the working of the Holy Spirit in our times. Thank you for responding to the Lord's promptings in your life. The Church needs more people like you. MC: Now enter into small group discussion around what you just heard and answer the question. We will follow up with a 10 minute break after that. [Say it’s a 10 minute break, because it takes an extra 5 minutes usually to settle everyone into their seats] (10 minute small group discussion) 22
  23. 23. 1. John Paul II explained that a lack of missionary activity indicates a crisis of faith. How do you see this being played out in a parish, for example? Common answers may range from being people being too busy or fearful, people aren’t held accountable to share their faith, or many people feel that faith is just a private matter. Some people feel like they have tried and failed, or just become complacent. We want participants to see that if people are just silent specators, they can easily fall into complacency. Their faith life can become dull, irrelevant, self-focused and unattractive. Faith can be reduced to simply cultural elements, rather than a living relationship with a God who loves us and invites us, as his disciples, to find life by sharing him with others. MC: At 7 minute mark of their small groups, let them know they can finish up and go on their 10 minute break. Break 15 minutes 10 minutes into break time, flicker the lights to let people know to gather up for the second half. 23
  24. 24. Deepest Identity Video 30 minutes + Small Group10 minutes One of the most challenging and directed quotes of John Paul II “A radical conversion in thinking is required in order to become missionary, and this holds true both for individuals and entire communities.” (Redemptoris Missio, 49) A radical conversion in thinking is needed- This is not a call to a minor adjustment but a complete turnaround a change of direction. Courageous Catholic is not telling you how to do your ministry it is about how to think about what you do. Proper Thinking is vital to any successful undertaking. If we do not know what we are doing, the likelihood of success is put into question. It’s a major detriment on what you do and how you do it. Fundamental to proper thinking is identity — knowing who you are what you are about. As Catholics involved in the life of the Church if we are going to “think properly” we need to ask the question, who are we? Why do we exist? What is our purpose? We understand at a basic human level the importance of identity. Answering the questions , “Who am I”? Self-awareness is essential to self-esteem. Maturity, and a sense of belonging and the ability to make a contribution and reaching our potential are all by-products of knowing who you are. Confusion or loss of identity, will effect how we live our lives- feel about ourselves and our ability to engage with the world around us. They will always be in search of a past identity or striving to create a new one. This search or yearning for identity will often lead to unhealthy and destructive behaviour. In light of these basic human principles Let us now turn our attention to the Church and ask the question, "Who are we?” It is a question we must be able to answer with confidence and clarity as individuals and as a community. When we know our deepest identity we experience— abundant, meaningful, vibrant and fruitful Christian lives. If we do not have clarity in regards to that question we will consequently suffer individually and as a community the negative effects of the identity crises as we explained earlier. The Church’s identity Let us look at our Catholic identity. I invite you to listen carefully for what I am about to say are not suggestions but defining words that are meant to direct our thinking and behaviour of us as individuals and as a community. Being Christian and "being Church" means being missionary; one is or is not. Loving one's faith implies bearing witness to it, bringing it to others and allowing others to 24
  25. 25. participate in it. The lack of missionary zeal is a lack of zeal for the faith. "Are we truly missionary at heart?" The new evangelization is the Church's undertaking her fundamental mission, her identity and reason for existence. Linementa for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 10 Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14 Evangelization is not an optional contribution it’s, “our deepest identity”. It is why we exist - it is who we are as individuals and people. We also learn that it is our nature, The missionary thrust…belongs to the very nature of the Christian life. Redemptoris Missio, 1 The Church in her very nature is missionary, sent by Christ to all nations to make disciples of them. CCC, 767 Hence the mission of evangelization, a continuation of the work desired by the Lord Jesus, is necessary for the Church: it cannot be overlooked; it is an expression of her very nature. Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization Missionary activity comes from an inner disposition, it's what naturally flows out. Think of a person who is naturally pleasant or cheerful, like me, cheerful responses are what usually comes out of them. We are naturally missionary what naturally comes out of us is the message of Jesus. Mother Church understands clearly her nature and her mandate. For her to be effective in living out of this mandate her members have to have the same understanding and live out of this out of this nature, naturally and daily. The level of congruence and identification we have with what we live and what the Church says significantly influences how we live out our faith individually and as communities. Is our personal faith life or our parish dynamic, healthy, productive and effective or confused, divided and ineffective I would like to focus on three areas that affect our own spiritual life and our parish. I am going to approach these areas in a positive light but the lived reality in most of our communities it is more negative effects. 1. Revitalized parish There were some significant words in that quote: renewal, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, fresh enthusiasm and new incentive vitality. 25
  26. 26. Is this not what we would like to describe our parish. It is not simple activity that is a sign of life in a parish it is missionary activity which revitalizes our parish. This idea of mission revitalizing the parish community is reconfirmed in the preparatory document for the synod of bishops on the new evangelization. The agent for transmitting the faith is the universal Church...In past decades; the local Churches have done their utmost in this field. Yet, “the cultural climate and the general state of fatigue in many Christian communities in our local Churches is endangering the proclamation of the faith, its transmission to others and instruction in the faith” Linementa for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 15 Indeed, a “new evangelization” is often synonymous with dynamic functioning, with “renewed spiritual efforts in the life of faith within the local Churches…” Linementa for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 10 We tend to look to the amount of activity found in the parish bulletin as a sign of vitality. Or the number masses or the amount of people that fill the Church as the sign of vibrancy. Or the number of candidates registered for Sacramental preparations as a sign of growth. I would suggest that ministries like baptismal, sacramental, marriage preparation are less a sign of parish vitality than a cause of concern and disappointment. We are well aware that the vast majority of those who go through these ministries are never to be seen once there child is baptised or receive the sacrament of marriage. Even the work that we put into major feasts like Christmas and Easter break our heart as we know so many in attendance are merely doing a holiday observance. What revitalizes a parish is not simply activity, it must be evangelical activity . Imagine for a moment if all those people that come to marriage and baptismal preparation (who commonly leave after they have received the necessary sacrament)- testified to the parish that they returned due to the profound encounter they had with Jesus through their preparation class. Imagine how encouraged and hopeful it would be to see crowds of young people coming to mass due to the effective parish youth ministry which was reaching out to the teens at the local high school. What joy it would be to hear of how there were so many those who came to the Easter and Christmas masses have continued and integrated into the parish community. They share how they were impacted by the liturgy, the music ministry, and felt so welcomed as soon as they stepped into the Church. This is what missionary activity can do to a parish. When people return, this brings new life to the parish. New and renewed people bring new life to a parish which leads into my next point: 26
  27. 27. 2. Revitalized Faith Faith is strengthened when it is given to others! For in the Church’s history, missionary drive has always been a sign of vitality just as it’s lessening is a sign of crisis of faith. Redemptoris Missio, 2 We learn that faith is “primary victim” of a Church that does not live out of its missionary identity. Bu the good news is that faith, the ability to trust and believe will flourish in a missionary environment . Why is that? Evangelization challenges us to step out of our comfort zone which forces us to turn to God for help. Our faith is strengthened as we see God answer our prayer as we see people respond to Jesus in there lives. She (the Church) is called to broaden her horizons, to go beyond boundaries since “the new evangelization is the opposite of self-sufficiency, a withdrawal into oneself, a status quo mentality and an idea that pastoral programmes are simply to proceed as they did in the past” Linementa for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 10 3. Unity The strength and possibilities that come from unity in any organization and community is obvious. The greater the unity, the better we are able to accomplish our mission and purpose together. Unfortunately there is little unity or shared vision in our communities. It is common for people to define "being Catholic" by their personal involvement in church activities, by what Church teachings they personally believe, or by how they practice their faith. He is conservative he is not. This way of defining Catholic identity lacks consistency — being Catholic seems to mean something different for everyone. In these conditions it is easy to see how far to much time, energy and resources are forced to be focus on division, miscommunication, differences of purpose and focus. We learn from the Church, this unity that we seek in our communities is found in living out missionary identity: ..only by becoming missionary will the Christian community be able to overcome its internal divisions and tensions, and rediscover its unity and its strength of faith. Redemptoris MIssio, 49 As a national movement, CCO recognizes the importance of unity. However, it is not events or gatherings that bind us together as a family – our unity stems from our shared mission. I may not particularly connect socially with a fellow staffer, next to me, but we do share the same missionary heart. What matters to the members of my movement, matters to me. This unity runs to the very core of our being it is our common nature. 27
  28. 28. At a diocesan or parish level, the same principle is true. We all have unique vocations and gifts, but if we share the same ideal and purpose, we will be united. The Baptismal Preparation team and the Social Justice Committee should not have varying goals; rather, there should be unity in the ideal and purpose of the teams. The difference between the groups is merely in how they achieve their purpose. Mutual respect, support, and encouragement could exist among different groups if they know the others are working for the same purpose – to lead people into a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. Unity of purpose will also enable new members to recognize opportunities and know what is expected of them. They will understand what it means to be an active member of the parish, which makes it easier to be united and engaging in evangelization. Being active would be the standard, not the exception. There would be no comfortable place for indifference or inactivity. Unity in mission makes missionary activity, not simple membership rather the nature of the parish. 2. What would happen if every member of your parish understood their deepest identity as Catholics? MC say: Now we are going to go into our small groups for the next 10 minutes for small group discussion for general sharing on what stood out to you in that segment. (10 minutes) 28
  29. 29. Closing Elements MC 15 minutes MC say: I invite you to wrap up your sharing now. We have a few more things to do before we are finished this evening. First some announcements. [space to write Announcements] Challenge Read The Ultimate Relationship booklet this week. Summary If we, as Church, do not know our deepest identity, how can we really be who we are meant to be? The Church exists to evangelize. This truth has the power to transform how we see ourselves as Church and minister to the world around us. We, too, are personally invited to connect with this identity and engage in the lifegiving mission of evangelization. 29
  30. 30. Prayer MC: Invite everyone to pray the following prayer aloud together. Let us pray: Heavenly Father, As difficult as this may be to pray, I know that I must surrender my very identity to you. In you alone can I find my true identity to be who I am meant to be. Help me to see all aspects and activities of my life through the lens of my deepest identity: evangelization. Lord God, I want to embrace your plan for my missionary identity and I also desire this for the whole Church! I pray that you would pour out your grace so that many more would come to embrace who they are as a missionary people. I desire to see the whole of God’s people united in that same call and purpose. May your Kingdom come and your will be done! Amen. 30
  31. 31. Lesson 2 Preparation Notes "CCO 101" In Brief: Review of St. Catherine's bridge illustration and the relationship diagrams as used extensively in CCO's evangelization. Key Elements:  This week is an attempt to instil the fundamentals of how CCO evangelizes through Discovery and The Ultimate Relationship. Ideally, Courageous Catholic participants would have the opportunity to take Discovery. As such, they will be familiar with the concepts, tools and diagrams CCO uses in evangelization. Recognizing, that participants may not have that chance, or signed up at the last minute, lesson 2 offers a brief orientation to the two major concepts of St. Catherine's bridge illustration and the relationships diagram in an attempt to ground them in CCO fundamental evangelizing pedagogy.  We also want them to see how valuable St. Catherine's bridge and the relationships diagrams are for explaining the message of salvation and introducing a person to Christ.  A personal encounter and relationship Christ is paramount for being able to engage in this program. We desire that they experience Jesus, and the power of these illustrations in introducing people to Jesus. This week, ultimately, is an evangelistic opportunity. We will invite participants to pray and put Christ at the centre of their life. Please soak this lesson in prayer, that the Holy Spirit will move hearts to a deeper and fuller conversion, surrender and experience of God's love.  There is no small group discussion after the second section with the relationships diagram, because of the sensitive and personal nature of the teachings. We want people to deeply think about the challenge to put Christ at the centre of their life, and we do not want to embarrass anyone who is struggling with this, or has never done it or heard about it.  Small Group leaders should personally contact, by at least email, every participant in their small group this week to follow up on their experience and impressions of the evening. A phone call would be better, especially for those who may have encountered Jesus in a deeper way as a result of this lesson. The conversation should affirm, and celebrate their decision to put Christ at the centre of their life. Perhaps others participants will need encouragement to make that decision, if they were not ready during the closing prayer at the end of this lesson. Administrative Tasks:       Complete outstanding registrations and fees. Remind about snack sign up if necessary. Find out if any participants not receive the email with the links to the documents from last week Make sure there is a whiteboard or easel for drawing out the bridge or relationships diagram Having the diagrams on screen would be helpful as well. In this week's email be sure to include the above readings as hyperlinks so it’s more convenient for participants to simply "click" and go to these sites, as opposed to typing out the long urls. Recommended Reading: (General note: The titles in the “Recommended Reading” section of the Preparation Notes are valuable resources. If you have not yet read them, you should do so before leading the study.)  Evangelii Nuntiandi  Redemptoris Missio  Message of the Holy Father for the VII World Youth Day  Lineamenta for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization 31
  32. 32. Lesson 2 CCO 101 Outline Welcome MC - 2 minutes Small Group opening question - 10 minutes MC - 2 minutes St. Catherine's Bridge Illustration NC - 20 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Break - 15 minutes The Relationships Diagram MC - 30 minutes Closing Elements MC - 20 minutes Welcome MC 2 minutes + Small Groups 10 minutes + MC 2 minutes MC: Welcome. Invite people to take 10 minutes to do the opening sharing questions in their small group. 1. What thoughts have you had this week related to last week's lesson or the homework reading? 2. How familiar are you with CCO's materials: Discovery and The Ultimate Relationship? 32
  33. 33. MC: Regain the group's attention. Begin with a brief prayer. Introduce today's lesson: In our first lesson, we were introduced and oriented to the Courageous Catholic program. A highlight was exploring the Church’s teaching on our calling and identity as Catholic disciples of Christ. Today we want to continue setting some foundational pieces in place for this program, and today's lesson is called CCO 101 or you might say you're in "CCO Bootcamp". We want to refresh and get you up to speed on two analogies that CCO uses extensively in our materials and programming: St. Catherine's bridge illustration and the relationships diagram. It is extremely important that you have a strong grasp of them because we will be referring to them many times over the course of the next ten weeks. Not only do we want you to be familiar with them, we hope they will speak to your heart the truths of God's love for you. And since they are analogies, they are meant to be remembered and shared with others! So let's get started. St. Catherine's Bridge Illustration MC 20 minutes + Small Groups 10 minutes To help us better understand Jesus as Saviour, we will look at insights from St. Catherine of Siena, a Doctor of the Church. In her writings she shares a visual description of salvation which God revealed to her. St. Catherine describes Adam and Eve and how they were created in God's image. In Eden, they tasted the beginnings of communion with God that would have grown as they spiritually matured, so that eventually, they would fully know his eternal goodness, tenderness and love. However, sin created irreparable problems; it caused an impassable division between God and man. St. Catherine describes this separation as a great, raging river that made it absolutely impossible for man to reach God, as much as he might try. This impassable, powerful river of sin leads to death. The picture painted at this point is very bleak indeed. Let's draw out the picture to better understand it as we answer the following questions. STAGE 1 – [Draw Heaven/God and Earth/Humanity with a line connecting them. The line represents the connection and unity they had at creation before the fall]. 33
  34. 34. MC say: In light of this description and what are the results of sin? Answer: Separation from God (his love), and death. STAGE 2 – [Erase the line from heaven to earth (or draw a squiggly line over top of it). Write: "separation", "sin", then an arrow pointing to the word death"]. Say: "This is the situation. How does this make you feel?" Answer: Hopeless, upset, discouraged, defeated, abandoned, angry. How would you feel if we ended the study here? Do not be afraid to emphasize the bad news. The gap between us and God is huge, insurmountable. We must understand how bad this situation is in order to appreciate the full impact of the Good News. The Good News is not just touching and nice, it is vitally important. As you can see, the river leaves us in a place of desperate need, and can only lead us to death should we try to overcome it on our own. God the Father deals with the problem of sin by sending his Son into the world. Through his death on the cross, Jesus becomes a bridge so that we can reach heaven. Read the following quotes: So I gave you a bridge, my Son, so that you could cross over the river, the stormy sea of this darksome life, without being drowned….And how foolish to choose to drown rather than accept the remedy I have given!...And why should he have made of himself a roadway? So that you might in truth come to the same joy as the angels. St. Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue, p. 58-59 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:19-20 34
  35. 35. MC say: Jesus came from heaven to earth to deal with the problem of sin, death and separation. STAGE 3 – [Draw a vertical line coming from heaven to earth, and then continue by making it into a cross. Draw a corpus on it]. How did Jesus’ death on the cross deal with the problems sin created? I would like you to turn to some Scripture verses now, get out your Bibles, and turn to… John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" What did the Lamb of God take away? Answer: The sins of the world. [Draw an “X” through sin]. Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. What has Jesus done for us in this verse? Answer: Defeated death and given us eternal life. Of course, we still have physical death, but we have life in heaven and we look forward to the resurrection of the body when Christ returns again. Jesus dealt with eternal separation from God. [Draw an “X” through death]. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. Ask: If we are reconciled through Christ, then what has been overcome? Answer: Separation. Jesus has dealt with separation as well. [Draw an "X" through separation]. 35
  36. 36. Invite participants to discuss question 3 in their small groups. 3. Read Romans 5:16-19. In light of this Scripture passage and the bridge illustration, why did we need Jesus to die for us? And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. We are all sinful and unable to reach God. The consequence associated with our sin is death — eternal separation from God. Adam started it, Jesus healed it. Jesus was fully God and fully man. As a man, he physically died for our sins. He was condemned as a man. He hung on the cross as a man. He hung in pain; he bled as a man. He suffered human pain and he endured separation from his Father: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Though he never sinned, he took our sin upon himself and suffered its consequence. This was real physical pain and real spiritual pain. As a human being, Jesus could die on our behalf. As God, his sacrifice has infinite value. How? As Jesus hung on the cross, it was as if his right hand extended infinitely into the past and his left hand extended infinitely into the future, symbolizing that he has redeemed all of history — past, present and future. Leaders: To illustrate the magnitude of our inability to reconcile with God through our own strength, you can elaborate further on St. Catherine of Siena and the bridge. St. Catherine painted the picture for us of that wild, massive river of sin dividing Heaven and Earth, and how Jesus came from Heaven to be the bridge to make the way for us to get back to God. Her writings on this image cover several pages, but at one point she talks about people who try to get across the river to Heaven on their own. They scale down the treacherous cliff to access the river bank. They come up with all kinds of ways to get across the river, such as swim, build their own bridge…things like that. What they don't fully grasp (until they actually tackle the river) is that it is enormously vast! The incredible width, depth and raging speed shows no mercy, is absolutely futile and only leads to a sure death. Those who have ever gone down white water rapids can just imagine how hard it would be swim across to the opposite side. It would be all the more impossible to do with this immensely wide river of sin. (To help situate the imagery, you could mention that the widest river in the world is the Rio de la Plata in South America, which at certain points is 225 km wide!) Imagine crossing violent river rapids that distance! It is absolutely humanly impossible - even to construct a bridge to span it. The same is true in our relationship with God: even our best efforts do not restore what was severed by sin. We need Jesus to bridge this gap. The theological term for this is atonement. Think of atonement as "at-one"ment. Through Christ's death and resurrection, we are made “at-one” with God. Reconciliation happened through Christ's atonement for us. Jesus, motivated by love, freely sacrificed himself on our behalf. He was the Mediator who brought peace and healing to the severed relationship between God and man (salvation comes from the Latin word "salus," which means healing). Leaders: Mention the incredible generosity of God’s gift in this sacrifice. God was not bound by necessity to make this sacrifice for us, nor did he owe us anything. Jesus’ death on the cross was a marvelous free gift. To honor the Father, that man [Jesus] — although not obligated to die, because not a sinner — freely gave something of his own when he permitted his life to be taken from him for the sake of justice. St. Anselm of Canterbury, Meditatio Redemptionis Humanae, p. 422. Leaders: If your group is struggling to understand this concept, try guiding them as follows. Begin 36
  37. 37. by asking: “What is justice?” Justice is “giving to each person his/her due.” From there, look back to the bridge illustration and say, “Well, what is our due?” We actually deserve to be separated from God’s love — our due is eternal separation, hell. Then say: “God is perfect justice, and according to justice, we merit separation from him. But God is more than perfect justice, he is also perfect mercy.” Leaders: You can then share the story of Jean Valjean: In Victor Hugo’s classic novel Les Misérables, the character Jean Valjean is taken in for the night by a bishop the day he is released from a 19-year prison term. Afraid for his future, Jean steals the bishop’s silverware and runs off in the middle of the night. He is caught by the police and brought back to the bishop for punishment. If the bishop confirms the crime, Jean will be put away for the rest of his life — but he doesn't. Instead, he tells the police that the silverware is a gift to Jean. Everyone is dumbfounded. The bishop effectively pays the price of Jean Valjean's crime with that silver, even though he was the one who was sinned against, and has every right to demand repayment. Yet instead of this, he makes the payment himself, to save Jean's life from imprisonment. When the police leave, the Bishop looks intently at Jean Valjean and tells him that he “bought” his soul and now he “gives it [back] to God.” He paid the price of Jean’s crime in order to bring him into a profound encounter with mercy. This is not unlike what the Father does for us. In justice we are convicted for our sins, but God offers forgiveness to all who ask. After 10 minutes, invite them to take their break. Break 15 minutes Invite everyone back to their seats. 37
  38. 38. The Relationships Diagram MC 30 minutes Gain the groups' attention. Let's start this segment off with a big question, probably the biggest you will ever face. Dr. Peter Kreeft is a respected professor of Philosophy at Boston College. During his many years of teaching at this Catholic university, he has asked many students this thought provoking question: “If you were to die tonight and God asked you, 'Why should I let you into heaven?', what would you say?” What would you say? Before the break we were left reflecting on how we will get to the other side of the bridge. Looking at St. Catherine's bridge, in what must we place our faith to get to God? Be very specific. Answers: Jesus, or some might say the cross. To clarify, say, “Be more specific, what about Jesus?" ("Or what about the cross?") We put our faith in the fact that Jesus is God and that he died on the cross to save us from sin, death and separation from God. We believe that he rose from the dead as the promise of eternal life. "I choose to believe that Jesus' death and resurrection are powerful enough to save me." How do we actually cross that bridge? Read Acts 2:36-38 and Romans 10:9 Answers: Three key elements: Repentance, Faith, Baptism Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified." Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?" Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit ...because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Repentance: this means being truly sorry for our sins and desiring not to sin again. If we could do it all over again, we would want to choose differently. Faith: trust, belief that Jesus has accomplished this redemption for us. Baptism: through Baptism, we are cleansed from original sin and receive the gift of salvation Jesus won for us on the cross. Jesus himself chose Baptism as the means by which we would receive salvation. 38
  39. 39. Through the cross, Jesus offers us forgiveness, mercy, eternal life, peace, love and intimacy. What prevents us from receiving this gift of salvation? Or he's another way of looking at it, if the diocese was offering a bursary of $50,000 to all Courageous Catholic participants, what would keep you folks from getting it?” Possible answers: we are not aware it is being offered, we are proud, we do not see a need for it, do not know where to go to get it, are not motivated to make the effort to find out how to get it, do not feel worthy or qualified to received it. How does this relate to our response to the gift God offers us in Christ? Now think about answering our opening question: "Why should I let you into heaven?" Why? — Jesus! It is because of Jesus' death and resurrection that I have received forgiveness and mercy and the promise of eternal life. This understanding sets the stage to approach the relationships diagram. You should be familiar with it from reading The Ultimate Relationship booklet, but I would like to take the opportunity to present it to you right now. This illustration helps us to identify how we are living our relationship with Jesus. It also helps us to understand the kind of relationship he desires to have with us: a relationship of friendship, intimacy, commitment, fidelity, mercy and love. 39
  40. 40. The top three images represent levels of commitment in three kinds of human relationships. The dashes around the person represent various aspects of their life such as: career, school, family, recreation, etc. The first image represents someone who is single; there is no romantic relationship in their life. The second image represents someone who is dating. This relationship is a part of their life, but commitment is limited. The third image represents someone who is married; there is an intimate relationship and a permanent mutual commitment. Let's compare this to our relationship with God. The bottom three images represent levels of commitment in a relationship with God. The first image represents someone who does not have a relationship with Jesus. As far as this person is concerned, Jesus is outside their life. The second image represents someone who acknowledges Jesus as a part of their life, but has not completely committed to him. Jesus is just one aspect of their life among many others. The third image represents a Christ-centred relationship. This relationship is primary and central, influencing all decisions and every aspect of their life. Now that these three kinds of relationships have been explained to you, I’d like you to consider some important questions: “Which image best represents your relationship with God?” (Pause … so they can think about it for 5 seconds, then ask...) “Which image would you like to have represent your relationship with God?” “What would prevent you from choosing the Christ-centred relationship?” I want you to just mull over those questions for a little while, as I explain more. Starting a relationship with Jesus is much like exchanging marriage vows. You begin by saying “yes” or “I do” to Jesus. You ask him to be part of your life, in good times and in bad, and you commit yourself to him. For those who have been baptized, it is making an adult faith decision to affirm what our parents chose for us at our Baptism. Jesus knows your heart and is not concerned if you have been good or bad in the past. He already knows everything about you anyway. What counts for him is the present attitude of your heart. As you continue to consider those questions, I wanted to point out a few common misconceptions people can have when they consider this diagram. Often when asked "which image are you in?", people will say, " 2.5 - somewhere between the two". 1 - Intimacy, not Perfection The relationships diagram shows commitments we make (whether consciously or not), not degrees of spiritual perfection. Although living our faith is essential to our relationship with God, the person in the second kind of relationship with God is not necessarily less “religious” than the person in the Christ-centred relationship. The defining question is one of commitment: 'whom have I chosen to place at the centre?' Looking at the commitment between spouses can help us understand commitment to God. Marriages take time to mature. A newly married couple has more to learn about being good spouses than a couple that has been married fifty years. However, although one couple has been married fifty years and the other only one day, both are equally in a committed marriage relationship. 40
  41. 41. The same concept can be applied to the spiritual life. Consider a person who has lived a life of sin (e.g. the 'good thief' next to Jesus on the cross). He sees the light and turns his life over to Jesus. Even though Jesus is now at the centre of his life, this person may not demonstrate a real maturity and ability to trust in God shortly after his conversion. He is no less a child of God than the greatest of saints. He just needs time to grow in holiness and conform himself to God. Inevitably, you will encounter people who feel uncomfortable claiming they are in the Christ-centred relationship. They may think it would be too arrogant to do so, that it would be more humble to say their commitment is represented by the second image or somewhere between the second and third image. Or perhaps they are trying to live the commitment shown in the third image, but realize that they often fail. This attitude can often be attributed to the mistaken belief that being in a relationship with Jesus is about ‘measuring up’ or mastering the Christian life. Ask participants, “What do you think is the difference between the person who sees their commitment to God represented by the second image and the person who would say it is like the third image?” They will likely answer, “The person who says the third image trusts more, is more committed, etc.” From this perspective, it is completely understandable that they would hesitate to say they are in the Christ-centred relationship. To say you have the Christ-centred relationship would sound arrogant, as if you were a saint! In their minds, a person who has not yet mastered the Christian life can only be in the second kind of relationship. To address this misunderstanding, remind participants of Peter Kreeft’s question, “Why should God let you into heaven?” This question will help them to see upon whom they depend for salvation. Have them look at the second image and ask, “What would the person in the second kind of relationship answer if they were before Jesus?” They would answer with a list of all they have done for God, how good they are, or perhaps how 'not all that bad' they are. This person trusts in himself/herself (his/her works alone) to get into heaven. Many Catholics, knowing the Gospel, still have the mindset that they have to 'measure up' before God will 'show up'. The second image is actually a place of independence and pride. “Yes, I believe in Jesus, and I have to somehow keep him happy with me, or prove myself to him.” Look at the third image and ask, “What would the person in the Christ-centred relationship say?” This person would say that God lets him/her into heaven because of Christ’s death and resurrection. Assure your group that if we understand who Jesus is, we will see that it is not proud to say, “I am in the Christ-centred relationship”. If we think salvation is about how good and skilled we are at living the Christian life, then the third image would indeed be a proud choice. But if we understand that it is Jesus who opens heaven to us and gives us the grace to follow his model of life, then we see that the Christ-centred relationship is the most humble. 41
  42. 42. Most participants do not choose a “works” (it depends on me) mentality with a rebellious attitude. They just need to be encouraged to freely choose Christ with childlike faith. They do not need to prove anything, but they will have to cooperate with God’s grace — hence the need for follow-up teachings to help them live their conversion in an ongoing way. Understanding that we do not have to be perfect to live in the Christ-centred relationship is very freeing. We realize that our relationship with Jesus is secure. This does not mean that we believe we are “once saved always saved” — through serious sin we can still choose to turn our back on Jesus. We trust, however, that our security is established by God, not by our level of spiritual mastery. Without a sense of security and safety, it is difficult for this relationship to grow in intimacy and fidelity. 2 - Fear of Failure If we are not confident in the security of our relationship with God, we will live in fear of failure. It is essential to remember that though our failures are inevitable, Jesus will not fail us. We fear that if we fail, God will abandon us; we must recognize that God's love is unconditional (Lesson 1). Jesus said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5). This is his promise to us. He will not jump in and out of our lives. We can count on him to work with us, despite our failures. When we work with him and co-ooperate with his grace, we can trust that our relationship is secure. Using marriage as an analogy can help participants to understand this concept. For the first few days of marriage, the husband and wife live perfectly together, playing house. But for the rest of their lives, they will fail each other on a daily basis; they are both human and thus tend to live for themselves in many ways. Despite their failures, however, they are confident in their relationship because they are committed to each other. Because of their commitment and love for each other, they work and struggle to strengthen their relationship. Their marriage is a work in progress; failures and mistakes do not end the relationship. Failure is an opportunity to repent. The same thing is true of our relationship with Jesus: we will fail on a daily basis. The Lord knows our weaknesses and he is not surprised by our sin. We need only to come to him in honest repentance and ask for his grace to help us overcome our failures and weaknesses. Knowing God’s mercy does not give us license to sin, however — we still ought to try to avoid all serious and deliberate sin, as well as those “everyday” failures. We must also recognize that if we rebel through actions that “bring death” into our relationship with God, and choose not to repent, we are not co-operating with him or his grace. In fact, mortal sin cuts us off from God’s love and salvation. It is like severing a branch from a tree, so that the sap can no longer reach it. The sacrament of Reconciliation is our opportunity to be reconciled with God. We must remember that our failure is an opportunity to repent and grow. It need not be the destruction of the relationship. Struggles and challenges are all part of the development of the relationship. As long as there is repentance and forgiveness, the relationship can continue to grow. 42
  43. 43. So with these misconceptions dealt with, I ask you to look at the invitation this diagram is describing. Christ wants to be at the centre of your life. Pope Benedict XVI communicates the invitation and the attitude we should have in approaching God beautifully in that quote you read in The Ultimate Relationship booklet you read over last week. Please read this quote aloud with me, it's on page 10 of the booklet. If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed.… Dear young people: do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ — and you will find true life. Pope Benedict XVI Mass for the Inauguration of his Pontificate As we finish this evening, perhaps some in this room feel they have never actually prayed to put Jesus at the centre of your life, to be your Lord and Saviour, in a definitive way. Perhaps it has been the desire of your heart and how you have lived your life for a while now, but you want to plant your flag and concretely do it. Prayer MC say: Let us take a moment right now and pray to open our hearts to the "love of God, who invites (us) to enter into a personal relationship with himself in Christ". I will lead the pray aloud for everyone. I ask that everyone keep their eyes closed. If after praying you verbalized this commitment to Jesus for the first time, I ask you to just look up at me while everyone else has their eyes closed as an expression of your decision to put Christ at the centre of your life tonight. MC lead the prayer aloud: Father, I believe that you know me and love me. I have not always chosen to love you, and have broken my relationship with you through my sins. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus who proved your love for me on the cross. (Take a minute to reflect on how you have failed God and others). Lord Jesus, I open the door of my heart and I invite you to be at the centre of my life — to be my Saviour and my Lord. Direct me by your Holy Spirit and help me to live the Gospel with my whole life. Amen. 43
  44. 44. MC continue the atmosphere of prayer, say: Please, for just a few moments longer, continue to keep your eyes closed. Those of you you who prayed this prayer for the first time with a sincere heart, I invite you to just open your eyes and look up at me. [Wait 30 seconds for this, nod your head or say "thank you" to acknowledge them. Close with the following prayer, led by MC only.] Thank you for acknowledging that commitment. I will now close our time of prayer: God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever. Amen. You may open your eyes now. I invite you to tell someone about what happened to you tonight, if this was the first time you put Jesus at the centre of your life. I invite you to gather now for a few minutes of small group sharing. Small Group leaders: ask them to share if they experienced encountered Christ in a new or deeper way through this prayer. Ask, they to share what they learned about evangelization tonight. Leaders: reminder to personally contact by phone or email every participant in your small group this week to follow up on their experience and impressions of the evening. A phone call would be better, if you have the time, but certainly make a special effort to phone those whom you sense have encountered Jesus in a deeper way as a result of this lesson. Closing Elements MC 20 minutes (including prayer above) Although we have prayed our closing prayer, we do have a few more things to do before we are finished this evening. First some announcements. [space to write Announcements] 44
  45. 45. Challenge Do at least 30 minutes of reading from: Evangelii Nuntiandi, Redemptoris Missio, or the Message of the Holy Father for the VII World Youth Day. Be prepared to share what you learned about evangelization. MC say: These documents can be found online. The first two can also likely be found in a parish library or Catholic bookstore. They are a great investment and worth owning. Mention that the Courageous Catholic administrator will email these hyperlinks to group members so it’s more convenient for them to go to those sites.  Evangelii Nuntiandi:  Redemptoris Missio:  Message of the Holy Father for the VII World Youth Day: p-ii_mes_24111991_vii-world-youth-day_en.html Summary St. Catherine's bridge illustration is a helpful tool to communicate and visually grasp God's plan for our salvation. We see creation, the fall, the incarnation, and Christ's death and resurrection clearly laid out. The relationships diagram helps us to understand the kind of relationship we have with our loving God, and invites us to put him at the centre of our lives. 45
  46. 46. Lesson 3 Preparation Notes "Holiness and Mission" In Brief: Introduction to the Paul-Timothy model in 2 Timothy 2:2. Key Elements:  Holiness and mission are complementary and united. One is not more important than the other; one cannot be separated from the other. They work together for our sanctification and salvation.  The lesson ends with an overview of the discipleship model from 2 Timothy 2:2 which will be used throughout the study. The goal of this section is to have participants get a sense of the legacy of Paul’s discipleship model (entrusting the message and the mission to faithful people). The model will be further unpacked in upcoming lessons. This is just an introduction. Administrative Tasks:     Complete outstanding registrations and fees. Remind about snack sign up if necessary. Find out if any participants not receive the email with the links to the documents from last week Make sure there is a whiteboard or easel for drawing out the 2Timothy 2:2 circles. 46
  47. 47. Lesson 3 Holiness and Mission Outline Welcome MC - 2 minutes Small Group opening question - 10 minutes MC - 2 minutes Interdependence of Holiness and Mission Video - 20 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Break - 15 minutes Reach the World One Person at a Time MC - 20 minutes Small Groups - 5 minutes Closing Elements MC - 10 minutes Welcome MC 2 minutes + Small Groups 10 minutes + MC 2 minutes MC: Welcome. Invite people to take 10 minutes to do the opening sharing question in their small group. 1. Share with the group what you learned from your reading assignment last week. Did you find any inspirational quotes? 47
  48. 48. MC: Regain the group's attention. Begin with a brief prayer. Introduce today's lesson: Last week's lesson was a refresher for some, and for others it allowed you to get caught up with 2 central analogies and illustrations CCO uses in their evangelization. It was important to get that framework in place to build your understanding of CCO's methodology. Today's lesson provides more of a framework for Courageous Catholic. We will open with a very interesting perspective on holiness and mission. Our spiritual life can be understood as being both interior and exterior. The interior life is our personal relationship with God. It is our personal growth in holiness that happens through prayer, study, obedience, repentance, and the pursuit of Christian perfection. Our exterior life can also be called our apostolic life, or our apostolate. It is our call to mission: our actions of service, witness and proclamation which invite others to encounter the love of God through the person of Jesus Christ. Today, we will look at how these two aspects of our spiritual life intersect. We will then wrap up the lesson with an introduction to 2 Timothy 2:2 — a verse which will inform the rest of the program. So let's start things off with the video segment on the "Interdependence of Holiness and Mission". Interdependence of Holiness and Mission Video 20 minutes + Small Groups 10 minutes “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mt 4:19) Jesus at the beginning of his ministry on the Sea of Galilee calls out to Peter and Andrew in the boat fishing, to be a disciple. In baptism we are also called to be a disciple a follower of Christ. In this call there are two aspects that are fundamental to being a disciple of Christ. The first is Jesus asking them to “come after Him”. In these words Jesus is calling us to Himself to conversion: changing the way we live and think of our lives. Our lives are to be oriented to Him as in the words of St. Paul who says, we live no longer for ourselves but for Christ who died for us. It is a call to following in the footsteps of Christ who sacrificed his life for others. We are talking about intimacy, relationship a pursuit of holiness, to be holy as he is holy. The call to holiness is universal meaning all baptised are called to it, 48
  49. 49. The Second Vatican Council has significantly spoken on the universal call to holiness. It is possible to say that this call to holiness is precisely the basic charge entrusted to all the sons and daughters of the Church by a Council which intended to bring a renewal of Christian life based on the gospel. This charge is not a simple moral exhortation, but an undeniable requirement arising from the mystery of the Church…whose members share in the same life of holiness of the Head who is Christ. Christifidelis Laici, 16 The Church understands the importance of this pursuit of holiness. It needs to be encouraged, supported and cared for. At the local level it is obvious that the pursuit of holiness is the central and primary challenge and message to their people. Maybe not at the level that it should be but there is a general focus on being a better person, more forgiving and loving etc. This call to be better, holy, is the predominant message in most homilies; countless books on Saints and sacraments are there to assist us in our spiritual life. There are conferences, lectures, retreat all directed to teach and encourage us to live holy and Christcentred lives. The care that the Church provides is very beneficial for us personally. The closer we are to Christ the more alive, peaceful, confident we become. It is also good news for the world around us. The more the light of Christ shines in us the brighter it shines in a world overcome by darkness — which leads me to the second dimension of being a disciple of Christ, which is evangelical mission. Jesus says to Peter and Andrew, “come after me”, be Holy as I am Holy. As if one thought or expression Jesus continues to call them to evangelical mission, “I will make you fishers of men”. Missionary activity is equally important to the Christian life. It cannot be seen as lesser or an optional contribution for some and not for others. Blessed John Paul II says, The universal call to holiness is closely linked to the universal call to mission. Every member of the faithful is called to holiness and to mission. Redemptoris Missio, 90 As Pope Benedict explains, The Church's holiness and missionary character are two sides of the same coin Benedict XVI's Homily at Port of Brindisi Holiness and mission are interdependent, equally expressing the Charter of the Church of you and me. When one looks at the Church, when they see her people, they see our true Charter, which is a people pursuing holiness and at the same time active in the mission. The best way to explain the interplay or interdependence of holiness and mission is to say that Holiness is necessary to our missionary life as is missionary life necessary to the pursuit of holiness. 49
  50. 50. We naturally understand how the pursuit of intimacy and Holiness is necessary for mission. St. Paul explains in 1 Cor. 5:14, that “the love of Christ impels us” to evangelical action. We can’t give to others what we are selves do not have. What may seem a little little less natural is seeing how the reverse is also true: missionary activity stirs up holiness. Blessed John Paul II explains, … The Church's missionary spirituality is a journey toward holiness. The universal call to holiness is closely linked to the universal call to mission. Every member of the faithful is called to holiness and to mission. Redemptoris Missio ,90 To be true disciples of Christ, we must live a deep spiritual life woven together with apostolic (missionary) life. One is not more important than the other; [pause] I want that statement to sink in. This is the most important point I want to take from this presentation — holiness and mission operate in complementarily. They are two sides of the same coin. As one area grows, the other should also be stirred to action. If this communion internal and external spiritual action is not happening in a believer, something is out of order. This is a radical shift from viewing evangelization as an optional activity. Evangelization affects our spiritual life and our relationship with God. If Catholics are to live holy lives, they must engage in the work of evangelization. Pope Benedict XVI explains this dynamic in the lives of the apostles. Reflecting on the term “holiness-mission,” he observes that “holiness is always a force that transforms others.” In this regard, it is useful to reflect that the Twelve Apostles were not perfect men, chosen for their moral and religious irreproachability. They were indeed believers, full of enthusiasm and zeal but at the same time marked by their human limitations, which were sometimes even serious. Therefore Jesus did not call them because they were already holy, complete, perfect, but so that they might become so. Benedict XVI visit to Brindisi July 2, 2008 We are not missionary because we are holy, we engage in missionary activity so that we might become holy. These are extremely important words that we must understand and live. The same care and attention we place on our personal spiritual life we need to care as John Paul II describes the “Church's missionary spirituality”. Meaning that mission, evangelization is a spirituality not simply an actively. To help explain how missionary activity supports our spiritual life I would like to turn to the words of Blessed John Paul II 50
  51. 51. In the spiritual realm, too, no one lives for himself alone. And salutary concern for the salvation of one's own soul is freed from fear and selfishness only when it becomes concerned for the salvation of others as well. This is the reality of the communion of saints, the mystery of "vicarious life", of prayer as the means of union with Christ and his saints. Incarnationis Mysterium, 10 He explains that in the spiritual realm, here in our heart, no one lives for himself alone. This is the reality of the lives of the saints, who we as Catholics see as invaluable companions on our pursuit of holiness. We are encouraged by their stories, assisted through their prayers, and challenged by their example. If we are to follow their lead, we have to recognize that the saints were deeply concerned for the salvation of others, not the salvation of their own soul. What we learn is that our concern for the souls of others, that is engagement in “mission”, will free us from fear and selfishness. Are not these two of the biggest bearers to holiness and intimacy with Christ? For we learn in words of Jesus, “do not be afraid” he followed it up with “have faith”. The ability to trust and be confident that God could do what he promised he would do for us. What we learn from the Church is that faith (trust) is strengthened when it is passed on. Evangelical activity places us in an environment where we are forced to turn to God for help. The thousands of people we challenge to evangelize by using our small group faith studies or The Ultimate Relationship learn first hand, by lived experience that God can be trusted. There first response to the challenge is, “I could never do that, I do not know enough, I am to shy etc." After lots of encouragement, training and support they come back after there evangelical experience with joy and amazement of how God used them, even in there weakness to spiritually impact a persons life. There faith was strengthened that day. Missionary activity places us in the right conditions for God to prove his faithfulness. Take that opportunity away from our people - what will suffer will be our faith, “its lessoning is a crises of faith” Selfishness is an obvious vice that any person that is in pursuit of Holiness in constantly battling. We learn that Evangelical Mission by definition focuses not on ourselves but on the other. The Church speaks directly to this point when she says, I quote She (the Church) is called to broaden her horizons, to go beyond boundaries since “the new evangelization is the opposite of self-sufficiency, a withdrawal into oneself, a status quo” Lineamenta, 10 In this environment of looking outside of ourselves and wanting to reach others it will encourage, stir up a culture with in our people, not “a status quo” but a willingness and desire to do or say or go where ever we are called. All for the 51