“We can only share what we have received”

December 16, 2019

I am at Saint Meinrad for a couple of days. In the quiet of my room last night, I read portions of the USCCB strategic plan for evangelization, Go and Make Disciples.

I found the section on conversion to be very enlightening. We must be open to the Holy Spirit’s conversion efforts and, as stewards of the Church, we must help facilitate the conversion of others.

Tomorrow I’ll share the conclusion and an invitation from the USCCB to participate in the implementation of this plan.

Conversion

12. Conversion is the change of our lives that comes about through the power of the Holy Spirit. All who accept the Gospel undergo change as we continually put on the mind of Christ by rejecting sin and becoming more faithful disciples in his Church. Unless we undergo conversion, we have not truly accepted the Gospel.

13. We know that people experience conversion in many ways. Some experience a sudden, shattering insight that brings rapid transformation. Some experience a gradual growth over many years. Others undergo conversion as they take part in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults—the normal way adults become members of the Church today. Many experience conversion through the ordinary relationships of family and friends. Others have experienced it through the formation received from Catholic schools and religious education programs. Still others have experienced ongoing conversion in renewals, ecumenical encounters, retreats, parish missions, or through some of the great spiritual movements that have blessed church life today.

14. This is crucial: we must be converted—and we must continue to be converted! We must let the Holy Spirit change our lives! We must respond to Jesus Christ. And we must be open to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit who will continue to convert us as we follow Christ. If our faith is alive, it will be aroused again and again as we mature
as disciples.

15. We can only share what we have received; we can hold on to our faith only if it continues to grow. “But if salt loses its taste,” Jesus asked, “with what can it be seasoned?”

28. We must evangelize because the Lord Jesus commanded us to do so. He gave the Church the unending task of evangelizing as a restless power, to stir and to stimulate all its actions until all nations have heard his Good News and until every person has become his disciple.

To read the plan in its entirety, go to: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/evangelization/go-and-make-disciples/go-and-make-disciples-a-national-plan-and-strategy-for-catholic-evangelization-in-the-united-states.cfm

 

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