The “E” Word

One of the many blogs that I keep tabs on (with a great thanks to Google Reader!) is the Catherine of Siena Institute’s Intentional Disciples, moderated in part by Sherry W whom I met a few months ago now.  They focus on helping the laity to live out their call to be witnesses of Christ in the world, specifically through their Called and Gifted program, but through many other ways as well.

Well, Sherry posted a link to another Dominican today on the difference between Evangelization and Proselytism.

Brother Robert raises and interesting point, and one that should be considered by all Catholics: why do we witness to our faith?  It is because it follows the Gospel mandate to be an evangelist.  This is different from ‘winning souls to Christ,’ for that is proselytism, which as Catholics we see as that in your face, bold, street preacher.  His success is on getting butts into his pews on Sunday mornings.  The success of the Evangelist is getting the person on the receiving end to think about the concepts presented, it does not necessarily result in the conversion of the person.

As a reminder, it is for everyone in the Church to be an evangelist, a witness to Christ, through the joy the emanates from that deep and profound relationship fostered with Him through the Sacraments and a personal prayer life. 

How that works out, well that’s the challenge, and it is unique for each person within the Church.  Just take a look at the line-up of authors we have here: a priest, a radio producer, a school teacher, a lay evangelist, and a mother of ten; a disparate group, but all motivated by our love of Christ and a desire to share that joy.

How have you been an evangelist for Christ today?

– Fr. Schnippel


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