Thursday, 10 April 2008

The New Evangelization

Since my fathers conversion some 4 years ago now, he has taken a lot of interest in Our Blessed Mother. She, is probably responsible in some way for that conversion as my father discovered the Catholic faith in quite a profound way in Lourdes some 30 + years ago, yet he felt moved after suffering a serious stroke to finally cross the tiber in our Home parish of Our Lady of Loretto and St. Michael the Archangel.
Likewise my own journey home was due to Lourdes, where I encountered a lot of things catholics probably shouldn't do, but where I couldn't helped be moved by the faith, the joy, the hope and the deep sense of unity that united everyone there; when I came home I was a different person. Yet every day has been another conversion. I'm not perfect by any means and I now know how important it is to daily ask for that conversion of heart and plead for the grace I need.
At each time in my life where I have strayed, Our Lady has come to my help and when each time I did well, I always prayed the memorare at (the insistence of my own mother) beforehand. She has lit my path. Why am I telling you this? Well my father sent me an E-Mail today because he knew the I'm struggeling a little to settle into my new life here in England. This is what it said...

To contemplate the face of Christ, and to contemplate it with Mary, is the "program" which I have set before the Church at the dawn of the third millennium, summoning her to put out into the deep on the sea of history with the enthusiasm of the new evangelization. To contemplate Christ involves being able to recognize Him wherever He manifests Himself, in His many forms of presence, but above all in the living sacrament of His body and His blood.
The Church draws her life from Christ in the Eucharist; by Him she is fed and by Him she is enlightened. The Eucharist is both a mystery of faith and a "mystery of light". Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the faithful can in some way relive the experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus: "their eyes were opened and they recognized Him" (Lk 24:31).

John Paul II Ecclesia de Eucharistia #6 (2003)
This tells me again to turn to Our Lady, but to also turn to the physical presence of the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus in the Eucharist, the most blessed sacrament of the alter. Because only in following God, will we achieve any semblence of peace; and in drawing strength from the Adoration in the blessed sacrament, meeting our Physical Lord right before our eyes, we will have the strength and the courage for the tasks that the new evangelization calls for.
For more information on the new evangelization, run by Fr Richard and Fr Julian is a good place to visit.

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