|To Evangelize Means to Teach the Art of Living|
|Written by Sherry|
|Wednesday, 19 March 2008 05:58|
Bobby Vidal sends this link to a truly stimulating essay by Pope Benedict (written before he become Pope) on evangelization.
I'd like to quote the first few paragraphs (it is long). You can read the whole here.
"Human life cannot be realized by itself. Our life is an open question, an incomplete project, still to be brought to fruition and realized. Each man's fundamental question is: How will this be realized—becoming man? How does one learn the art of living? Which is the path toward happiness?
To evangelize means: to show this path—to teach the art of living. At the beginning of his public life Jesus says: I have come to evangelize the poor (Luke 4:18); this means: I have the response to your fundamental question; I will show you the path of life, the path toward happiness—rather: I am that path.
The deepest poverty is the inability of joy, the tediousness of a life considered absurd and contradictory. This poverty is widespread today, in very different forms in the materially rich as well as the poor countries. The inability of joy presupposes and produces the inability to love, produces jealousy, avarice—all defects that devastate the life of individuals and of the world.
This is why we are in need of a new evangelization—if the art of living remains an unknown, nothing else works. But this art is not the object of a science—this art can only be communicated by [one] who has life—he who is the Gospel personified."
I certainly feel challenged in my own lack of joy and love. As to "he who is the Gospel personified" - Yikes! Lord have mercy!
But my life was changed by a mentor I had as an undergrad, who did "teach me the art of living."