Day 9, January 22nd
Pope Francis: in Evangelii gaudium writes on ‘The new evangelization for the transmission of the faith’ and focuses on three principal settings:
Attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit who helps us together to read the signs of the times, the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops … reaffirmed that the new evangelization is a summons addressed to all and that it is carried out in three principal settings.
Firstly the area of ordinary pastoral ministry, which is “animated by the fire of the Spirit, so as to inflame the hearts of the faithful who regularly take part in community worship and gather on the Lord’s day to be nourished by his word and by the bread of eternal life”. In this category we can also include those members of the faithful who preserve a deep and sincere faith, expressing it in different ways, but seldom taking part in worship. Ordinary pastoral ministry seeks to help believers to grow spiritually so that they can respond to God’s love ever more fully in their lives.
Secondly the area is of “the baptized whose lives do not reflect the demands of Baptism”, who lack a meaningful relationship to the Church and no longer experience the consolation born of faith. The Church, in her maternal concern, tries to help them experience a conversion which will restore the joy of faith to their hearts and inspire a commitment to the Gospel.
Lastly … evangelization is first and foremost about preaching the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ or who have always rejected him. Many of them are quietly seeking God, led by a yearning to see his face, even in countries of ancient Christian tradition. All of them have a right to receive the Gospel. Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone. Instead of seeming to impose new obligations, they should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet. It is not by proselytizing that the Church grows, but “by attraction”.” Evangelii gaudium 14-15.
St Vincent Pallotti described the inspiration to establish the Union of Catholic Apostolate, received on January 9th 1835 in very similar terms, with just the order of the points inverted:
“My God, my mercy, you in your infinite mercy grant me in a special way to promote, establish, propagate or spread, perfect and perpetuate with a desire no less than the most living desire within your Sacred Heart:
1. a pious institution of a universal apostolate among all Catholics in order to promote faith in, and devotion to, Jesus Christ among all non-believers and non-Catholics:
2. another hidden apostolate in order to revive, conserve and increase faith among Catholics:
3. an institution of universal charity for the exercise of all the corporal and spiritual works of mercy so that, as far as possible, you may be known to people because you are infinite love.” OOCC X, p. 198-99.
St. Vincent Pallotti, you were formed and called by God, the Infinite Love.
You answered God’s call to serve.
You were there:
for those seeking forgiveness and counsel,
for the sick,
for the youth and the aging,
for the rich and the poor,
for the people of every profession and walk of life.
Every person is important to you.
You inspire us to seek God in all things,
Reminding us of our call to be apostles
In the Church and in the world.
Now we call upon you to intercede for us.
Help us to pray. Help us to pray only for what we truly need;
Help us to grow in holiness, to live for the honour of God and for the salvation of our neighbour. You received many graces from God and we ask you to bless us now by presenting our petitions to God (Pause to mention your intentions)
With you we give thanks to God as if He had already granted us what we have asked in the name of Jesus who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen!
St. Vincent Pallotti, pray for us
Our Lady Queen of Apostles, pray for us
Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory be…