The phrase has always gone as 'Knowledge is Power', but I (just little ol' me) says 'Ignorance has become Bliss' in some areas of the Catholic Faith. Yes, this is going to be one of my 'Evangelization' rants, so if you don't like it, click it! J
I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard "Catholic – Evangelist – now that's an oxymoron!" Yes I would be a very wealthy man right about now, but why, even to Catholics does this seem like an oxymoron? Why are we (Catholics) so afraid of the word 'Evangelization'…., because it sounds like Evangelical or Protestant? Well, my fellow Catholics I have some news for you… 'Protestants do so much MORE for the Faith, with so much less, and we (Roman Catholics) do so much LESS for the Faith with so much more.' Now I am in NO WAY Slamming my Protestant brothers and sisters, I love you guys VERY much, as a matter of fact two of my biggest fans, (aside from my wife and daughter) are my Lutheran Mother and Step-father…so I LOVE my Protestant brethren and have learned so much from them, in preaching, teaching and especially how to share the Word of God.
Let's just face it – WE – Roman Catholics – are IGNORANT when it comes to sharing our faith…let's just keep it real and be honest here. I heard on a morning radio show last week, broadcast to hundreds of thousands of people across the Midwest, a popular Roman Catholic host stating that when they were little (mid teens) they went to a Protestant Bible Camp (hmmm Catholics why don't we have a SUMMER BIBLE CAMP?!?!?), and the kids laughed at this person or thought they were strange because they did not know the books of the bible in order. The person actually said… and I quote "I'm Catholic. We don't read the Bible."
Ignorance is bliss for so many Catholic's and we just keep getting sucked into the same trap which continues in providing a slow painful death for us. St. Jerome once said; "Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ", yet we still don't want to pick up the Bible and read it… most of us (Catholics) don't even have one in our homes, let alone carry one each day and everywhere we go! I tell people, 'My Bible is like the slogan of that card company… I NEVER leave home without it!'
The Catechism teaches us (Roman Catholics) that the Eucharist is the 'source and summit of our existence'; it is why we were created, what we live for and what continues to give us strength and nourishment. Reports have said that only two thirds of Catholics really believe in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and more alarming, only 40% of Priests believe that what they are Consecrating in their hands, is the True Presence of Christ – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity!
I have been in full time Catholic Ministry for nearly 5 years now and it never ceases to amaze me at the complacency of many Catholics, wanting to remain stuck in 'we used to do it this way', I liked it the old way, when God Himself tells us even from the mouth of His Prophet Isaiah, "Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" Isaiah 43:19 and unfortunately MILLIONS of us (Catholics) are not PERCEIVING IT! We are often times stuck in 'maintenance mode' of life for our families as well as our Parishes – just Maintaining a way of Life – fulfilling our weekly 'obligation', doing what we 'think' might get us to Heaven; Charitable Works, Committees, Service Projects, etc. and don't get me wrong, all of these are GOOD THINGS…but they are NOT ENOUGH! Most do them, as I said, out of 'obligation' because that is what I am supposed to do to get to Heaven, but now out of the Obligation of Love to God? We serve Him with honor, giving HIM all the Glory in our Works, thus realizing that our service is a Privilege given to us by God Himself.
We (Catholics) must understand that we have been give so much (too much who has been given, much is expected) but yet we do so little with what we have in terms of reaching out and sharing our Faith with others. We must NEVER cease in finding ways to increase our own knowledge, and challenge each other to share the faith, because if we are not sharing the Love, then we are not fulfilling the Missionary Mandate of Jesus Christ! (For those of you who might not know where it is in the Bible; read Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 28, Verse 19)
Catholics let us not loose site of what Christ called us to do and that IS to go and make disciples. Christ calls us to be ACTIVELY seeking, Searching and Spreading His Word… BUT, if we don't KNOW His Word, then how will we be able to share it? B.I.B.L.E. – BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH! It is a great book! Try it…you might like it…OH and one more thing, the Catholic Bible is FULLY LOADED! 73 Books for Ammunition against the Evil One and not just 66! Remember, to whom MORE is given, MORE is required! Never stop learning, never stop loving and most importantly, NEVER stop sharing the Love of Christ!
God bless you and KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!
Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries – www.CatholicEvangelist.net