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Fr. Barron comments on Effective Evangelization
Fr. Carl Zoucha
Great insight, Fr. Barron. I like to encourage people to consider those who do 'Extreme Sports' and the exhilaration they display on completing their routine. That's what a true friendship with Jesus feels like. That's the exuberant joy Fr. Barron talks about. And it's evangelical because we want to share it.
2/8/2012 2:28:18 PM
Fr. Barron, you forgot to mention the most important first step: conversion and belief in JESUS' SALVATION as a reason for our exuberant JOY!! First things first, it's because God sent his son so that we might have life to the full--yay! :) Our own personal conversion and re-conversion keeps us ever grateful for the mercy of the Father and is precisely how we can bear witness to others how God has come into our lives.
2/8/2012 3:21:12 PM
I agree with him, first joy and friendship THEN share (or evangelize) not the other way round. Sorry AlisaK
2/8/2012 4:37:20 PM
When you start talking about the top evangelists of the modern age don't neglect to look in the mirror, Father. You have done yoeman's work and are a very effective spokesman for the faith, I think one of the most I have ever experienced.
2/8/2012 5:09:15 PM
heres the thing,ilove this guy!
father barron has a great way of explaining things so that we can all understand.
keep up the great work.
2/8/2012 5:28:12 PM
Nice sweater, Fr. Barron!
2/8/2012 7:28:44 PM
What happens when you lose your joy? What happens when you long for it, you search for it but it is no where to be found?
2/8/2012 7:37:57 PM
Wow, at first you conjure up the Joy that I felt when we switched from the ridged legalistic Pre-Vatican II Christianity to the warm fuzzy Christianity of my junior high and high school years. Then you proceed to attack that period. I am not saying your criticisms are invalid but based on a totally opposite experience. My main criticism of that period was it was all love and flowers with no place for justified anger and sadness. You must be a bit older than I am. I was Class of 80. After seeing the movie "Godspell"recently, I realized how much I miss that period! Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton were a Godsend literally, in that they provided a third way in between.
2/8/2012 7:59:30 PM
We are also blessed in the Diocese of Peoria to have the joy and enthusiasm of Bishop Jenky. He always leads with this. Recently, he has issued a very strong letter concerning the HHS mandate. It is very compelling to have someone who is so joyful and at the same time such a strong shepherd.
2/8/2012 9:20:30 PM
His joy may be a prime example of what happens when we take the lord's strange advice and try to find a way to serve others.
2/9/2012 1:42:57 AM
That is so funny that this video would open with Cardinal-Elect Dolan. As he was walking up the center isle with all the "meet and greet reaffirmations" he does show a lot of joy, but that doesn't display the pomp,and circumstance usually present with the clerics' entrance into mass, to help me re-focus on God. It re-directed me to self and other.
The beauty and distinction of the difference between politics and religion for me, is that to a certain degree, we can cut through the attention-seeking displays for public affection, and focus on God. I know that God calls us into right relationship with others too, but we are taught through our faith which order that falls to....first God, then others. Cardinal-elect Dolan displays dedication to holding fast to the dogmas and teachings of the church, and he is a great role model. When speaking, he speaks the truth from his heart, just like Father Barron, and his clarity is undeniable. Clarity is what we need right now with all the confusing messages we get in politics, and not more "Look at us, aren't we great!" signs. I loved the fact that in your Catholicism series, Fr. Barron, you did not focus on yourself, but pointed to the beauty of the history of right relationship with God.
2/9/2012 8:57:39 AM
Bravo! Reminds me of St. Francis of Assisi...preach the gospel always, but use words when necessary. We need to be that light shining on the hilltop that is attractive.
2/9/2012 11:42:45 AM
The Catholic certainly grabbed people's attention when damaged by the inmpropriety of the religious, and the innocent suffered. Now again The Church is making news, moving against the Obama mandate, now attempting to protect the innocent. It is difficult to proceed in Joy, evangelize with Joy, without acknowledging the timing of both the irreverent acts, and the acts of our conscious to prevent abuse of the unborn by the state. Can our Joy be complete, and encompass others in love, in such a varience of darkness and light? God Speed!
2/9/2012 3:59:07 PM
I'm 50. I went to Catholic grade school for 8 years and then to a Catholic high school. A seminary no less.
And yet I could not answer this most fundamental question about Catholicism until I was nearly 40: What is "good" about the "good news" of Jesus Christ.
Think about it. If you can't answer that question, then what has been the value of the evangelism directed towards you?
Never mind trying to "spread" the good news. What if you don't even know understand it yourself?
I agree with Fr. Barron's observations in this video. It tells a story about my lost generation, and indeed about the lost knowledge about Catholicism that, thankfully, Fr. Barron and the new generation of priests is recovering.
There's a lot of attention paid to Vatican II and the decades after as possibly being the cause of or contributing in large part to our lost knowledge. But a case can be made, I think, that our parents, and perhaps their parents and grandparents, too, themselves knew more about the "ethics" of Catholicism than the "joy." And so I think that perhaps the knowledge about what is "good" about the "good news" had been lost before the late 1960s.
2/9/2012 6:16:02 PM
Sometimes it is difficult to smile through the pain, and share the joy. What has obstructed the joy for me many times has been the lack of transparency, on all levels, and the spiritual lectures/ punishment that occur not only from the ambo, but associated with the day to day workings of a large Parish that is overtaxed. Communication can be poor, non-existent or rude-particularly from front office personnel. There is even a sign in our Parish Center which assumes people will whine, and it says "Thou shalt not whine." There can be an attitude that "We don't care, nor do we want to hear whatever you have to contribute." It has improved as the Pastoral Council has tried to address the issues, but those character defects of the staff still outweigh the progress that has been made-and sometimes it's easier to walk away, than contribute and share the joy through the muck. For me, blogging and Facebook helps channel my desires to share my spiruality and love for God and my faith with others, without the risk of geting too hurt.
2/9/2012 7:57:03 PM
Nice Father Barron! How ironic that you mention joy this week. This past Saturday my daughter who needs "community service" hours for her confirmation went to a soup kitchen to assist for 5 hours at a Catholic church in a poor neighborhood. (I understand that the soup kitchen is not a church soup kitchen, but is useing the Catholic facilities). When my daughter came out later she said that the people running the soup kitchen were crabby (she had nothing bad to say about the people who were getting food). Okay it may have been a secular group running the soup kitchen but they are in church facilities and that may give a bad image of us. I've also heard some negative comments about people who run church food pantries. All week long I asked myself 'where is the joy?' How do we attract people if there is no joy? Thanks for your post! It confirms my own thoughts. Now what do I do with this, I wonder?
2/10/2012 7:03:03 AM
One of the really great icons in the life of the Church today, is you, Fr. Barron! I am a convert and not since M. Theresa, have I seen the work of God so clearly expressed. You a source of great teaching and encouragement to me. Thank you so much!
2/10/2012 7:28:40 AM
Well said! Maybe one of your best!! Thank you. I have been thinking a great deal about the place of joy in the spiritual life and your using Cardinal Elect Dolan as an example is spot on.
2/10/2012 11:20:39 AM
Brian S. Donahue
The message of joy is so absolutely central to our evangelization! I'm thrilled to hear it preached so well by Father Barron. It's the reason we should be running out of Mass each week, grabbing our ex-Catholic and protestant friends, saying "you gotta come with me next week and hear this!"
2/10/2012 11:56:51 AM
This piece reminded me of the following quote...Joy makes people wonder!
“If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
2/10/2012 2:15:14 PM
Fantastic, Fr. Barron! Christ is the origin of our greatest joy and peace. Everything else flows from the joy we first receive in Christ, including ethics. Thanks for pointing us in the right direction!
2/11/2012 10:33:11 AM
I am 57 and served as an altar boy both for Latin Masses before and English Masses after Vatican II. I think Fr. Barron accurately describes the church at that time concerning itself with rules, to the point that the Holy Spirit and Jesus were reduced to social concepts. It was only when I ran into the Charismatic renewal that I became aware of a personal relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit and found people to help me through that process (spiritual direction, imagine that!). My experience of the Charismatic renewal was far from typical, since I experienced it through a committed covenant community - not merely a prayer group. I still see that as a major lack in the church's evangelization: where are the communities of radically committed believers? Unfortunately, almost no parish I know of qualifies - because there is a LOT to it. St. Benedict's rule is a good place to start, and the community I was a part of back then adapted many elements of that rule for both married and single lay people. This gave members of the group a basis in joy that caused others to desire it - the basis as Fr. Barron points out for effective evangelization.
2/11/2012 10:35:45 AM
How I wish I could have heard these words as a teen... Only by the grace of God am I where I am today. Let us do a better job with our young people today and let it begin with me...
2/11/2012 6:13:24 PM
Joy in relationship with Jesus Christ first, then the ethics--dogma, doctrine and discipline. Absolutely right! Just like the apostles on Mt. Tabor, we cannot remain in the initial joy. We must grow beyond the warm fuzzy honeymoon period, roll up our sleeves and learn the faith. Fr. Barron and many others are helping us learn (and teach others) our Catholic faith in a methodological and systematic way. Then our joy becomes even greater. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
2/12/2012 11:55:53 AM
Needless to say but… you don’t need a PhD in Theology to be an evangelist. You can be totally illiterate, blind and/or deaf mute in fact, and be an evangelist. You can be dying under the care of hospice and be an evangelist. You can give a rose to someone you don’t like this Valentine’s Day and be an evangelist. You can be a Cistercian Monk in silent prayer and be an evangelist. You can spend time feeding the homeless on Thanksgiving Day, and be an evangelist. You can confidently and publically pray the Rosary, and be an evangelist. You can give someone a Bible as a gift, and be an evangelist. My point is: We will gain far more converts by what we do than alone by anything we say. Father Barron is a great example of someone who lives what he believes, who acts upon what he believes. What he shares is greater than words alone.
I couldn’t agree more with what Father Barron had to say about Bishop Dolan and the living EXAMPLE of his deep faith, another fine example of one who is Christian, who lives what he believes. I can easily see Bishop Dolan giving Jesus a big hug, mostly because he does just that every day of his life.
When we sin, we are wasting time, no matter the Commandment broken, no matter the sin, you will always find that the precious gift of life has been wasted in some way… never to be relived, never to be undone. But with one, heartfelt, sincere apology and thanks directed to our Dear and Sweet Living Lord Jesus, our souls can be washed clean and the friendship restored with He Who loves each and every one of us as if no one else existed. There is nothing greater than God’s love – no greater love than Jesus. And that’s the truth.
If we don’t live or make an attempt to live the Word, they are just words. I genuinely believe that even the Apostles were converted first by what they witnessed, what they experienced, than by what Jesus said to them. At first, what Jesus had to say seemed like riddles, puzzles, it was like a foreign language to them. But when they saw numerous people being cured, Jesus walking on water, demons expelled by just a word to two from his mouth, the transfiguration, the multiplication of loaves and fishes, His very death on the Cross, and I dare say far more than anything mentioned in the Bible… what Jesus did could never be un-experienced by any of them. St. Maximilian Kolbe just came to mind – what he did that day in Auschwitz I’m certain converted both Jew and Christian alike, and I dare say, instantly.
Someone once told me, “you are only worth what you are willing to die for.” As I grow older and my death becomes closer, these words have greater meaning. During Adoration many moons ago, in quiet Holy Silence, the Spirit shared this with me: “Faith without works, is like prayer without trust, is like love without respect, is like conversion without repentance… that any one of these is not complete without the other.” Now St. Paul comes to mind… “… I made up my mind to forget everything except Jesus Christ and especially his death on the cross” (Corinthians 2:2). How could any Catholic or Protestant ignore the profound importance of that statement, i.e., especially his death on the cross… when this is precisely where life springs eternal. For me, this is where forgiveness of sin begins. His death on the cross, what He did for us, confirmed ALL that He ever said as TRUE.
Thank you Father Barron for reminding me of the huge importance of Joy in living the Word of God... that really does make it complete. God Bless you and all those who make Word on Fire possible. All of you are in my prayers.
2/12/2012 11:53:51 PM
Thank you Father for putting into words what I’ve been experiencing ever since my “reconversion” in 2003. That year I was diagnosed with cancer of the liver. I was 59. My pastor (he is now Bishop) offered me the Sacrament of Anointing. I literally felt ALL my anxieties were lifted from me. I was touched by the Holy Spirit.
I was baptized while attending high school (run by the Canossian nuns) in Hong Kong. I did it to keep up with my class mates and to be in the “good books” of the nuns. I was a “nominal” Catholic and while at university in Canada professed being an “agnostic”.
In 2004 I signed up for the International Eucharistic Congress in Mexico to make up the number as my teenage son was the organizer of this pilgrimage. I just attended the opening and closing ceremonies, skipping the conferences in between, opting for a relaxed week at a Riviera resort. However, I was immensely touched by the solidarity of world wide Catholics congregating to celebrate the Eucharist, the source and summit of the life and mission of the Church. In addition the Mexicans in cities and villages, rich and poor demonstrated their strong faith in packing the churches. My heart was inflamed!
Father, you “put the finger on the pulse”. For me, effective evangelization means showing others the reason for my joy despite life’s obstacles. (I’ve raised a cerebral palsied son and my husband has Parkinson’s disease now). This will lead them to “come and see”.
When I returned home from the IEC Congress 2004, I not only signed up for courses and seminars, to learn as much and as fast as I could to make up for lost time, I also had this burning desire to serve. I was excited about everything I learnt. I was dying to tell my story, to infect others with my joy, to set others on fire too! Ever since, I have been showing inspiring videos/DVDs on various topics of our Faith to a few friends in home (Emmaus Group was formed) and recently moved to the parish hall. We pray, we share and we discuss referring to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
We are now studying The CATHOLICISM series. It is a God-send. There are 20 of us. We all enjoy and are excited about what we have learnt! We are spreading the word too!
“We keep thanking God for all of you and we remember you in our prayers …”
1 Thessalonians 1:2
2/16/2012 7:58:36 PM
Joy is a difficult thing to measure and be certain of. I think this reflection limps a bit. Keep up the good work. Many blessings. Thank you for your service to the Church.
2/22/2012 7:16:18 AM
I am so happy to see this series cimong to PBS. I know it will reach a lot more people as some people do not watch Catholic TV station. This is an amazing series not for just the Catholic faithful but it will also give insight to those who otherwise do not know anything about our faith and may in fact bring the Church conversions. Thank you Father for this project. I enjoy all your WOF talks that I have been watching on Catholic TV. God Bless you and all who are part of this project.
6/1/2012 7:53:52 AM
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