This is the eighth of a series of formation packages meant for individual or group study which was introduced in “The Contributions of the Vincentian Charism to the Mission of the Church: A Formation Journey.” In that article, we also suggested a “Lesson Plan” for use in groups.
There has been such an evolution in our understanding of evangelization over the last few decades that we now speak of a “new evangelization.”
Many ask what is “new” about this evangelization.
What is new is the explicit connection between evangelization and the mission of the church.
A new “imaging of charity.” This is an expression that John Paul II referred to in paragraph #50 of his apostolic letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte. The Pope was saying that we must attempt to continue a tradition of charity which has had many different manifestations during the past two thousand years and which today demands greater creativity. In other words, this imaging of charity requires a courageous search for new methods, new forms and new expressions of service. All of this follows from the fact that today serving the poor demands a change of intellectual framework that will allow us to set aside all forms of crippling immobility in which we simply repeat what was done yesterday.
“Let us love God, but let it be with the strength of our arms and the sweat of our brows.”
Mother Guillemin, Mother General of the Daughters of Charity, after the Second Vatican Council expressed this idea in the following manner: Each time that a seemingly new idea was put forth, I told myself with deep personal and filial satisfaction: “Saint Vincent taught us that” …
Evangelization, Mission and Charity: inseparable. Father Delgado further roots this in his section of Charity and mission.
- How often do I step back and reflect on the relation of charity and mission?
- What can I do to practice this insight from our heritage?
- What can I do to foster a greater awareness of the universal call to “proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord”?
See you next week!
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