1. In order to sharpen our intellect.
2. In order to deepen our faith.
- Development of “a heart that sees” (Deus Caritas Est, #31b).
- Imitate Christ.
- Fulfillment of our baptismal call as priest, prophet, and king.
3. The Bible tells me so. In Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples, “Go and preach the Gospel to all nations.”
4. Christ promises to be very near to the poor / broken-hearted / down-trodden. He is already present.
5. If not us, then who?
- Harvest is plenty, the workers are few.
- Era of the “new evangelization”—not new in content (the message of Christ is timeless) but rather a new emphasis on engagement of our culture.
- Expanded role of the laity.
6. Evangelization is most appropriate in a context of freedom.
- Basic needs are provided for.
- Our love is not tied to their acceptance.
- Our conversations can be done in the context of personal relationships. You are able to be present to the gift.
7. Preach always, when necessary use words. “The importance and necessity of preaching . . .‘And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?’” (Evangelii Nuntiando, 42, quoting Romans)
8. True charity offers the truth.
- “A Christianity of charity without truth would be more or less interchangeable with a pool of good sentiments, helpful for social cohesion, but of little relevance.” (Caritas In Veritate, #4)
- “Because it is a gift received by everyone, charity in truth is a force that builds community, it brings all people together without imposing barriers or limits.” (Caritas In Veritate, #34)
9. To be a part of the authentic development of the human person.
- “…the whole Church, in all her being and acting—when she proclaims, when she celebrates, when she performs works of charity—is engaged in promoting integral human development.” (Caritas In Veritate, #11)
- “…authentic human development concerns the whole of the person in every single dimension. Without the perspective of eternal life, human progress in the world is denied breathing-space.” (Caritas In Veritate, #11) It is this perspective that is the foundation of our hope. (Spe Salvi)
10. We give our greatest gift.
- To love someone is to desire that person’s good and to take effective steps to secure it. (Caritas In Veritate, #7)
- Similar to the example of Mary, effective evangelization involves self-gift and immediately points beyond ourselves to Christ.
“Charity, furthermore, cannot be used as a means of engaging in what is nowadays considered proselytism. Love is free; it is not practiced as a way of achieving other ends. But this does not mean that charitable activity must somehow leave God and Christ aside. For it is always concerned with the whole man. Often the deepest cause of suffering is the very absence of God. Those who practice charity in the Church’s name will never seek to impose the Church’s faith upon others. They realize that a pure and generous love is the best witness to the God in whom we believe and by whom we are driven to love. A Christian knows when it is time to speak of God and when it is better to say nothing and to let love alone speak. He knows that God is love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8) and that God’s presence is felt at the very time when the only thing we do is to love. He knows—to return to the questions raised earlier—that disdain for love is disdain for God and man alike; it is an attempt to do without God. Consequently, the best defense of God and man consists precisely in love. It is the responsibility of the Church’s charitable organizations to reinforce this awareness in their members, so that by their activity—as well as their words, their silence, their example—they may be credible witnesses to Christ.” (Deus Caritas Est, #31c)
—Mary PetersonShare on Facebook