POPE Benedict has said that “No-one is exempt from missionary vocation” (World News, CL 5/2/12).
“The concern to evangelise must never be left on the margin of ecclesial activity and of the personal life of the Christian, but it must be strongly characterised by the awareness of being recipients and, at the same time, missionaries of the Gospel,” he said.
“Christianity and even religious belief are in grave danger across the globe, risking oblivion … Across vast areas of the earth, faith runs the danger of extinguishing like a flame that runs out of fuel.”
A committee of cardinals and bishops making preparations for the world Synod of Bishops on new evangelisation has discussed how difficult it is today to transmit the faith to others – there has even been talk about the current fruitlessness of evangelisation.
Our bishops have called all of us to join with them in a “Year of Grace” from Pentecost 2012 to Pentecost 2013.
Like the disciples of the first Pentecost we are urged to commit ourselves to start afresh.
What did the early Christians do?
They received the Holy Spirit with joy in their hearts and brotherly/sisterly fellowship.
They told their relatives and friends about this new joy they found in our blessed Lord.
We are called to share the gifts of God’s Spirit. How do we do this?
I suggest that everyone should purchase a copy of the book Sober Intoxication of the Spirit – Filled with the Fullness of God, which was reviewed in The Leader on February 12.
The author Capuchin Father Raniero Cant-alamessa was the papal preacher to Pope John Paul II’s pontifical household.
He states, in part, “There was a time in the life of the Church … when all of Christendom was experiencing a spiritual intoxication, an inebriation of the Holy Spirit …
“The inebriation that comes from the Holy Spirit … renews the heart in fervour and enlightens the mind by a special knowledge of God – not a rational but an intuitive, experiential knowledge, accompanied by inner joy.”
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