Renewing Our Faith by Old Habits
Here I am in Rome all month for the Synod on the New Evangelization. I miss all of you already – – but my next bowl of Spaghetti alla Carbonara will snap me out of it.
How do we renew, restore, repair, re-energize our faith in the Person, message, and invitation of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
That’s the challenge posed by the New Evangelization.
To renew, restore, repair, and re-energize our faith, individually, and communally, as the Church . . .
. . . and then to be agents of the New Evangelization to others.
One of the most prominent and influential converts to Catholicism in the history of the Catholic community in the United States was Dorothy Day.
I’m reading her excellent biography by Jim Forest, All is Grace.
Dorothy herself relates a number of features that drew her to Jesus and His Church.
One especially powerful one was when she shared a meager room with two other young women, struggling, like her, to make it, down in Greenwich Village.
These two roommates were Catholic. Simple Catholics, but sincere. And Dorothy at the time was a socialist, probably an agnostic, living a rather hedonistic life.
And Dorothy watched the two other girls. She admired them. What moved her? What inspired her?
One, they went to Mass every Sunday morning (their only morning to sleep-in, by the way);
Two, they prayed silently every night before bed;
Three, they were deeply in love with two men, and had set their wedding date, but they wanted “to wait” until marriage something they admitted was tough to do. That virtue impressed Dorothy;
Four, they were from poor, struggling families, and thus had a heart for others in need.
Not bad: Sunday Mass; daily prayer; virtue, even when it’s tough; and a humble charity.
Their example evangelized a future saint, Dorothy Day.
Maybe the “New Evangelization” requires the recovery of some old stuff!