Friday, September 14, 2012

MCF New Evangelization The Holy Spirit

MCF New Evangelization 
Renewing our personal and communal 
devotion to the Holy Spirit    

Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will." Mark 11: 24
"...Collaboration with the mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit, which is now the mission of the Church, is the object of the prayer of the apostolic community.... By prayer every baptized
person works for the coming of the Kingdom." The Catechism of the Catholic Church #2642
"Evangelization will never be possible without the action of the Holy Spirit... It is in the consolation of the Holy Spirit that the Church increases." EN #75

"It must be said that the Holy Spirit is the principal agent of evangelization; it is He Who impels each individual to proclaim the Gospel and it is He Who in the depths of conscience causes the word of salvation to be accepted and understood.... The faithful [ought] to pray without ceasing to the Holy Spirit... and let themselves be prudently guided by Him as the decisive inspirer of their plans, their initiatives, and their evangelizing activity." EN # 75

"Our prayer should not be narrow, personal prayer; it should reach to the throne of God only after having touched the farthest bounds of God's creation and mourned in every human misery, and rejoiced in God's goodness to men. We should pray for the Church, the Holy Father... We should pray ... that the reign of the Holy Spirit will come in the hearts of men ..." -
Missionary Cenacle Meditations: Wednesday Fifth Week of Easter
In 1976, Paul VI wrote EN following up on the bishops' synod on evangelization. As the Church
prepares for another bishops' synod to be held in October, 2012 dealing with the New Evangelization, we can use EV as a sure guide as we study, pray, and plan so that each of us in the MCF can take an active part in this new evangelization.
What makes this the NEW evangelization? Following up on the thoughts of Paul VI, John Paul II and our present pope, Benedict XVI, point out circumstances in our modem world which call for
different approaches. Not only does the Church in this age continue her mission ad gentes - to those who have never known of Jesus Christ, but she is especially concerned with
- people of age-old Christian countries like those in Europe and North America where radical secularism, consumerism, etc. are eating at the soul of cultures, and where knowledge and
practice of the faith is way down;- and people of traditionally Catholic countries like those in Central and South America where non-catholic groups are growing exponentially, as many baptized Catholics who have had little opportunity for learning more about the faith and often infrequent chances to attend Mass and receive the sacraments, find a welcome among these other communities.

Evangelization is both a supernatural and human undertaking. And while not underestimating the human means needed - religious and cultural studies, catechesis, preaching, lives of Catholic witness, etc. - the primary means employed will be the supernatural means, especially prayer and acts of self sacrifice (mortification) which some authors refer to as " prayer of the body". Perhaps the importance of these means is shown by the Church's naming St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower to whom Fr. Judge has great devotion, a young woman who lived a short and cloistered life, as the patron of her mission! along with St. Francis Xavier who went to the farthest ends of the earth to spread the Good News.

As we ponder the quotes cited at the beginning of this note, we can ask ourselves
1. How and when do I pray for the coming of the Kingdom? Certainly each time I say the Our Father, but is this an intention that I include when I celebrate or assist at the Mass?
2. Do I ask the Holy Spirit for His aid as I attempt to be an apostle, an evangelizer in the providence of my every day life as a member of the MCF, whatever branch I am part of and whatever my position in life?

3. Do I make use of the Cenacle's customary prayers to the Holy Spirit - the novena and the litany to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity - in asking for His gifts especially wisdom and fortitude?

4. If I am not now using these prayers, can I incorporate one or the other or both of them into my day, and if I do recite them daily, can I take them to my personal prayer so as to
deepen my "devotional knowledge" and love for the Holy Spirit?
5. Can I concretize my efforts to take part in this New Evangelization by asking the Holy Spirit to help me formulate a specific plan for each day - be it prayer, self-sacrifice,
speaking to a friend, reading or preaching from one of the sources suggested to the MCF during this time before the Synod of Bishops, teaching catechism, etc. depending upon my
personal circumstances?

Let us ask Mary, the Queen of the Missionary Cenacle, to help us with the efforts we will make for the preservation of the faith and to think with the Church as the Church concentrates on the
New Evangelization in 2012.

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