GMD 89-90: Catholic Enthusiasm for the Faith

Sections 89-103 focus on the first goal of GMD, “To bring about in all Catholics such an enthusiasm for their faith that, in living their faith in Jesus, they freely share it with others.”

This goal has seen some attention, and some effort over the past two decades. The bishops have largely left initiatives to individuals (like Robert Barron) or lay organizations (like the North American Forum on the Catechumenate) to focus on some of the 13 objectives and 60 strategies listed in GMD 91-103.

The USCCB web site gives this explanation of continuing conversion:

This goal calls Catholics to continue to hear the Good News at ever-deeper levels. The call to holiness, given to every Catholic through baptism, consecrates each one to God and to the service of the kingdom. This deepening of faith, in holiness, fosters a desire to involve others in that faith, until God will be “all in all” in a transformed world. (GMD 89)

Two footnotes are given, uncited, but I think they refer to Pope Paul’s Evangelii Nuntiandi, the 1975 document on evangelization. This call is for everyone to go deeper, wherever they are in their faith journey, regardless of how deep they may be. This is a change from cultural Catholic expectations, as well as a dominant theme in the culture. That theme would be the accomplishment of a set level of competence (all too often a minimal one) and the satisfaction of achieving this.

GMD 90 urges a deeper sense of Word and Sacrament so as to be more open to God’s grace in prayer. It acknowledges the call of baptism–something given lip service all too often. The recent retrenchment of Rome has worked against this goal, fostering a preconciliar passivity in many believers. Or a sense of hopelessness. We might finally be seeing significant movement on this front.

 

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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