Friday, November 29, 2013

One for you and one to evangelise with

I haven't finished reading Evangelii gaudium, I must admit, I found the Pope Emeritus easier to read, some bits of the Exhortation I find incomprehensible, the stuff on 'not spheres' 'but polyhedrons' seems as arcane as Pythagoras, what does it mean? Then other bits and pieces seem to be a rehash of twentieth century speculative theology, like the bit about atheist salvation. I am sure at the end there will be a bit on Mary the Evangelist, maybe I am being Promethean.

Here, at 7pm on 7th December, next Saturday, we are having our annual -we did it last year- procession in honour of the Immaculate Conception, we are going from the Church to the Clocktower in the centre of town, there we are going to say Pope Francis' prayer for the Consecration of the World.

Last year we had just under a hundred people, this year I am sure Our Lady will increase the numbers. What was so noticeable last year was the degree of enthusiasm with which the procession was met, Chinese and Pakistani waiters left their restaurants just to watch the procession pass, a few Spanish students joined the procession. Last year we handed out those cheap plastic Rosaries along with how say the Rosary cards, this year it is Miraculous Medals and a thing the Copts Orthodox here in Brighton do, so 'people will remember the sweetness of Christ' we are going to hand out sweets. Evangelisation should be about 'sweetness', I hate those sour 'marches for Jesus'.

We got hold of a thousand Miraculous Medals, I gave out about 300 hundred at Mass last week, on the basis of 'one for you and one to evangelise with' I could have given out lots more, people wanted them, not just for themselves but yes, to evangelise with.

The Church's sacramentals are a good thing to be generous with, I like to encourage people take palms and blessed candles home for the sick or lapsed, every year I keep meaning to get hundreds of little plastic bottles for Paschal Water for the same purpose and I have looked at getting quantities of bambini for distribution at Christmas, I haven't yet found a cheap supply. Books and pamphlets are useful but 'things' I suspect are a more useful way for people to begin a conversation about faith or prayer and their experience of the mercy of Jesus.

In the great days of Catholic evangelism the 'model' was invariably a Marian, one of simply showing Jesus, in Gospels it happens in the Visitation, with the Shepherds, with the Wise Men. The great shrines of Lourdes and Fatima are also great centres of evangelisation, she introduces people to the mystery of Christ.
Having just peeked at the end of E.G. the Pope doesn't exactly say that, but it works.

Mary is always lavish in her giving!


Pelerin said...

Fr Ray says he hasn't finished reading Evangelii Gaudium yet. I haven't started it yet. From various comments I think I will wait for someone to precis it before attempting it!

On the side bar I noticed that the blog 'Domine da mihi hanc aquam' has a post on EG. It says:

'Be very wary of official English translations of Vatican documents. They are almost always wrong.'

It gives a couple of examples of the English translation changing the original meaning - it was originally written in Spanish.

Unfortunately I had to miss the procession last year after an argument with a shop door on the previous day - the door won! Hope to be present this year.

Tonia Marshall said...

There's plenty in EG about the importance of popular piety. I think you're right about giving people things rather than pamphlets. I don't think many people will drop a Miraculous Medal in the nearest bin.

viterbo said...

Prayer to Our Lady of the
Miraculous Medal

You are blessed among all women!
Blessed are you who have believed!
The Mighty One worked marvels for you!
The marvel of your divine motherhood!
And in view of it,
The marvel of your immaculate conception!
The marvel of your "let it be done to me"!
You were so continually associated
to the whole work of our redemption,
associated with the cross of our Savior;
your heart was pierced, at the side of his heart.
And now, in the glory of your Son
you unceasingly intercede for us,
poor sinners.
You watch over the church whose mother you are.
You watch over each of your children.
You obtain from God, for us, all these graces
symbolized by the rays of light
coming from your open hands.
If only we dare to ask them from you
and come to you
with the confidence and simplicity of a child.
And so you guide us unceasingly
toward your Son Jesus.

~~ Pope John Paul II

God bless you all!

Physiocrat said...

I wonder if Private Eye will pick it up for Pseuds' Corner?

I my experience, that style of writing is an indication that behind it lies a confusion of ideas.

Adrian said...

Having got about half-way, I think His Holiness's comments on the city fit Brighton to a 'T'. The bit on homiletics is good also. I have turned to the Spanish version and it does seem to flow better.

Lynda said...

Great news. I hope the procession helps strengthen the Faith of those participating and those who witness it. I hope to take part in a Marian procession on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Sadly, there have been obscene words and gestures directed towards various Marian and other religious processions in Dublin during the last several years. Last August, an angry, hostile man hurtled through our small group as we went through O'Connell St. Thankfully, no one was physically hurt. Say a prayer for Ireland.

Joe Potillor said...

The Spanish version of the text is much clearer, and there are various points where the English undercuts the Spanish. I also confess to being able to read the Emeritus Pope a whole lot easier. I'm not really a fan of new Pope's writing style. I'm doing a paragraph by paragraph analysis in hopes to understand it better.