I’d like to ask for reader input on this next bit. Which may not be so bitty.
The Year of Faith commences on 11 October and continues through November 2013. It seems appropriate to take up significant blog space here looking at faith, and particularly the effort of new evangelization. The confluence of this blog and my personal interests has never been confined to liturgy. And I think we all would enjoy a deeper delving into evangelical territory. There are numerous options, some fitting within the previous thrust of this site, and others that might be fresh ground.
The concept of evangelization did not originate with Pope Benedict XVI or his charismatic predecessor. As you may recall from our examination of the General Directory for Catechesis, one of the most-quoted documents was Pope Paul VI’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi. Of course, the seminal conciliar document is Ad Gentes, the last in our Vatican II series of five to six years ago. The US bishops have not been silent on evangelization over the years.
If we were to look at this topic over the next sixteen months, it would be good to keep in mind that the challenge has been before us lay Catholics at least since the Second Vatican Council. But like many conciliar initiatives, it has not really taken root in the Catholic imagination. At least not outside those few communities that have discerned a charism and devoted their energy to spreading the faith. All too often, Catholics treat the faith as a treasure to be guarded. I can cite personal examples in my life from both liberals and conservatives. And my own missed opportunities, too. Timidity knows no ideology.
Faith is a gift. God gives it to each believer. We cannot hope to conserve such a gift and hold it for our own. The phrase “faith sharing” may hold wince-worthy associations in some quarters. But sharing faith is part of spreading it. Wince if you must if you have to divulge some small part of yourself at a discussion table. But if you demur, make sure to surface a better idea to demonstrate Christian faith in your own life.
So what do you think? How should we observe the Year of Faith? Any intrepid writers interested in a bit of collaboration? Any topics you’d like to see covered here from a sensible Catholic perspective?