Vol. X, No. 1
Mystica, Evangelization, and the Media Just How Good Is the Good News? Hope Does Not Disappoint
letter from the editor
sail for new media technology as gifts of God and pulls in the net to sort out these gifts on the shores of our media culture.
Pauline style of Evangelization
Fr. Silvio Sassi, Superior General of the Society of St. Paul, presents a capsule account of the hope that is in Paulines for evangelization today:
By Sr. Margaret Kerry, FSP
There is a unique style of evangelization that we can call “Pauline,” which you will encounter in this issue. One article introduces Fr. Bernardo Antonini, a member of the Pauline Institute of Jesus the Priest, who found that Blessed Alberione’s prophetic charism assisted him in his vocation as a diocesan priest announcing the Gospel in Russia. Recently the Church opened his cause for beatification. Sr. Mary Margaret Tapang explores Pauline evangelization as a Sister Disciple of the Divine Master. Introducing us to a Lectio Divina approach to Sunday worship, she explores how the Internet is “a new forum” for proclamation. In her article “Just How Good Is the Good News?” Sr. Mary Lea Hill, FSP, whom someone described as “the happiest pessimist ever,” gives pointers on the basics of evangelization. Sr. Mary Lea also hosts the Twitter site CrabbiMystic. In March of this year, I attended the Archdiocese of Boston’s Co-Workers in the Vineyard Conference. As Dr. Mary Healy gave the opening presentation, the Spirit took me up and set me down in front of her to request a copy of her talk! In order for our evangelization and ministry to be fruitful, she says, we must first put out into the deep and enter God’s heart. We encounter the essence of Pauline outreach — putting love in the sometimes-noisy gong of communication media — in “Fishing in the Deep” by Sr. Rose Pacatte, Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies. She hoists up the 2 Pauline Cooperator Magazine
The Society of St. Paul and, later, the entire Pauline Family, through Father Alberione, was born of the Spirit and approved by ecclesiastical authorities for a pastoral mission. First, the press became an influence in societies, then mass media, which consolidated in digital communication. Pauline evangelization has always been characterized by a desire to create an atmosphere for an encounter with God through all the forms and languages of communication. No form of communication is irrelevant to the work of evangelization: Meeting God is not limited to specific situations or types of human communication. St. Paul traveled and wrote a great deal, and his preaching was carried out through his travels, through his presence, and through his letters. Paul was the first, in the early Christian community, to write a letter, overcoming the impossibility of communicating face to face. Today, both forms of preaching remain necessary and complementary. Pastoral activity carried out in every parish community lends itself to interpersonal communication; the pastoral activity in communications today has no geographical or statistical limits. Father Alberione often repeated to us Paulines: “Your parish is the world,” which means that our parishioners are anyone we can reach with communications. Enjoy this issue in one hand and the Bible in the other as you fulfill your call to bring the good news of God’s love to a waiting world.
Publisher Pauline Family in North America Creative Director Sr. Margaret Kerry, FSP Editor Daughters of St. Paul Photographer Sr. Mary Emmanuel Alves, FSP Advisory Board Fr. Ernesto Tigreros, SSP Sr. Nieves Salinas, PDDM Sr. Margaret Sato, FSP The Pauline Cooperator is a magazine of information and formation for members of the Pauline Family founded by Blessed James Alberione (Italian version founded in 1918). The English edition, founded in 2000, is owned and edited by the Society of St. Paul, the Daughters of St. Paul, and the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master within the American Province and Region. It is published bi-annually and distributed to members of the Pauline Religious Institutes, Aggregated Institutes, Pauline Cooperators, and friends of the Pauline Family. Copyright © 2010 Vol. X, No. 1, 2010 Postmaster: Send address changes to: Pauline Cooperator Magazine 50 Saint Paul’s Avenue Boston, MA 02130 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
contents contents 4
Dr. Mary Healy’s presentation will leave you convinced that our common call is to be bearers of a hope that does not disappoint.
You will want to join her Twitter followers on CrabbiMystic after you read Sr. Mary Lea’s article, “Just How Good Is the Good News?”
Sr. Mary Margaret Tapang, PDDM, explores Lectio Divina as an approach to Sunday worship through the Internet as a new forum for the Gospel.
Pauline Offertory The spirituality of communication is rooted in the reality of Trinitarian communion and calls us to become the communication of the Father’s love for humanity.
Sr. Rose Pacatte, FSP, director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies, writes about re-focusing our Pauline lens on personal renewal so that our evangelization will contribute to the transformation of the world.
The inspiring life of Msgr. Bernardo Antonini, diocesan priest, member of the Institute of Jesus the Priest, and Pauline evangelizer.
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hope does n Hope Does Not Disappoint Us Dr. Mary Healy
“Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Rom 5:5). Imagine for a moment a parish that was once a vibrant faith community, founded by fervent immigrants in an urban setting. Today, however, the community seems to have lost its bearings. Among some parishioners there is a lack of faith in Catholic doctrine, even in matters as central as the resurrection of Jesus and his real presence in the Eucharist. Others, meanwhile, approach the altar for communion while living in flagrant disregard for Catholic moral teaching. Moreover, there is tension and disunity among the parish staff, which has also spread to parishioners. The charismatic prayer group is at war with the traditionalists. A number of couples in the congregation are struggling with marital problems. Some, lacking a solid foundation for their faith, are dabbling in New Age forms of spirituality. Even worse, parishioners have been disregarding the poorest and most vulnerable in their midst. Besides all this, the parish is beset with problems of gossip, judgmentalism, and accommodation to the surrounding secular culture. What parish have I described? The Church in first-century Corinth! Every one of the problems mentioned above is detailed or alluded to by Paul in a letter we know today as
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First Corinthians.1 This gives us reason for hope: whatever pastoral challenges we have today were experienced in one way or another in the early Church—even a local church founded by no less than Paul, the great apostle to the gentiles. Yet this is the same body of believers Paul refers to as “those made holy in Christ Jesus, called to be holy” (1 Cor 1:2), “not lacking in any spiritual gift” (1:7), and “God’s holy temple” (3:16) for whom he thanks God continually “because of the grace of God given you in Christ Jesus” (1:4). Paul is neither discouraged nor defeated by their problems, but maintains his vision of their true identity as God’s beloved people, redeemed by Christ. He is filled with hope. What is Christian hope? It is not secular hope, which is optimism regarding an uncertain future. For instance, “I hope it won’t rain on the picnic tomorrow.” “I hope the Red Sox will win.” Rather, Christian hope is confident expectancy based on the faithfulness of God, a deep assurance that God will bring to completion the good work he has begun (Phil 1:6). It is faith stretched out into the future. 1. For unbelief in the resurrection, see 1 Cor 15:12; unbelief in the real presence, 11:29; disregard for moral teaching, 5:1; 6:9; disunity, 1:11–12; 3:3; charismatics at odds with others, 14:39–40; marital problems, 7:3–5; “New Age” spirituality, 10:14; 12:2–3; disregard for the poor, 11:21–22; gossip, 11:18; judgmentalism, 4:3–5; accommodation to the culture, 8:10.
not disappoin It is well known that the Church in Boston today, as in other places, has been suffering. Because the Church in Boston has been the center of controversy, its problems often make headline news around the country. Besides the trauma of clerical misconduct, there is the closing of parishes and schools, and the increasing hostility to faith in the culture around us. Yet in a real way, this time of trial is a gift from the Lord—a wake-up call inviting us to become more radical (literally, return to the roots), to be revitalized and reenergized in our Christian life. What would Paul’s answer be to the challenges of the Church in Boston and in the United States today? I’d like to share with you what I have gleaned from Paul’s writings in praying and reflecting on this topic. I’ll call it “St. Paul’s Recipe for Parish Renewal.” It has three primary ingredients: vision, motivation, and empowering leadership.2
1. Vision: Sound Theology and a Clear Proclamation of the Kerygma
power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Cor 2:2–4)
This is how Paul preached: he was determined to give them the unvarnished message of the Gospel centered on Jesus crucified and risen. He refused to massage, embellish, or dilute it in any way to make it more palatable. Earlier in the letter, Paul writes:
For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Cor 1:22–25) The message of the Gospel was absurd then, and it is no less absurd now: a crucified criminal has become the Lord of the whole universe! Yet when it is proclaimed with deep conviction and heard with faith, the kerygma has an intrinsic power to set people free. Indeed, Paul experienced this in his own life. He tells the Philippians:
“Without a vision the people perish” (Prov 29:18). First and foremost, the Catholic faithful need to be renewed in a clear vision. Who is God? Who am I? What is the purpose of life and my ultimate destiny? What is God’s plan and how do I fit into it? What is our mission as a Church? Having a vision means having clear answers to these questions. In his encyclical on catechesis, Catechesi Tradendae, Pope John Paul the Great made the astute observation that many Catholics today have been baptized and catechized without ever having been evangelized. That is, they have never heard a clear proclamation of the basic kerygma— the good news of God’s love and his forgiveness of our sins by sending his Son to die for us—in a way that moved them to fall in love with Jesus Christ and give their whole life to him. Of the immense edifice of Catholic doctrine and devotion, they have the upper stories but not the foundation. In such cases, there is a risk that the doctrines are learned as mere formulas, without any power to impact one’s life. Paul tells the Corinthians: I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of 2. These three elements are adapted from James Torrens, “Lessons from Evangelicals: An Interview with Manuel Flores,” America (July 19, 2004).
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encountering the risen Lord. Those who preach and teach need to present that vision, relying on the Holy Spirit and not on themselves. The U.S. bishops expressed this well in their document on lay ecclesial ministry, Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord (p. 18): A personal experience, in and through the Church, of the love of the Father in Christ and through his Spirit is foundational for all ministry, as it is for true discipleship. If ministry does not flow from a personal encounter and ongoing relationship with the Lord, then no matter how “accomplished” it may be in its methods and activities, that ministry will lack the vital soul and source needed to bear lasting fruit. John Paul II similarly spoke of the need for vision in his address to ecclesial movements at Pentecost 1998: Often in today’s world, which is dominated by a secular culture that proposes models of life without God, the faith of many is greatly tested and often suffocated and put out. Therefore there is an urgent need for a strong testimony and a Christian formation that is solid and deep. What a great need there is today for mature Christian personalities who are aware of their baptismal identity, of their call and mission in the Church and in the world!
Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…. (Phil 3:7–11) What led Paul to speak that way? On that unforgettable day on the road to Damascus, he had discovered the hidden treasure, the pearl of great price—and he sold everything to buy it. Christ had captured his heart. From that day forward, he knew Jesus not just as a historical figure but a living Lord. Did Paul see his personal knowledge of Jesus as something totally unique to himself that others could not hope to attain? Not at all. He tells the Ephesians: I do not cease to … remember you in my prayers … that the eyes of your hearts may be enlightened, to know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe. (Eph 1:16–20) That is vision! The Catholic faithful need to be illumined with the vision that St. Paul describes, that comes from 6 Pauline Cooperator Magazine
Recently I heard Deacon Alex Jones, a former Pentecostal pastor, share about his meeting with priests in Africa. He was invited to speak to priests there because they are concerned about how many Catholics are leaving the Church for Pentecostal groups. Since Deacon Jones had gone the other way—from Pentecostal to Catholic—they wanted to know his secret. He said to them: “You are wondering why your people, whom you’ve baptized and catechized, to whom you preach at Mass every Sunday, are going off to the run-down shack of a church down the street, the one whose pastor is an ex-crackhead who just five years ago was doing drugs on the corner? I’ll tell you why: because that man met Christ in a powerful way, and he was transformed in that meeting. And when he speaks to your people, it carries over to them: here is somebody who has been with Jesus. If you want your people to stay with you, then you’ll have to encounter him anew. You’ll have to preach like you had breakfast with Jesus!” This is a powerful exhortation to everyone in ecclesial ministry, priests and lay people alike.
2. Motivation: A Deep and Vital Spirituality People may have a great vision, but what will give them the energy and courage to carry it out over the long haul? This is the second ingredient in Paul’s recipe for Church renewal: motivation, which comes from a deep and vital spirituality. We can tend to think of spirituality in a generic sense: spirituality is “a path toward achieving union with the Continued on page 20.
just how go Just How Good Is the Good News? Sr. Mary Lea Hill, FSP
As Paulines, we are known to be people of good news; people of God’s Good News. How often do we consider these powerful little words: good and news? Both are among the most overused words in the English language. Classic introduction: “How are you?” “Good!” Classic advice: “I only want you hanging around with good kids.” Classic quote (from G. K. Chesterton): The word good has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man. The dictionary offers lots of options for using the word good: proper, expedient, commendable, worthy, morally excellent, virtuous, efficient, competent, thorough, considerable, valid, genuine, financially sound, not less than (as in: I waited a good hour), etc. All in all, a pretty good word, this word good! But, also so commonly used, while we ignore all those synonyms, that it suggests either a poor vocabulary or just a weak imagination. So, why do we call the major books of Scripture, simply, the Good News? And what about news? What makes something news?
• The news is information about what has happened recently: anything from a major crisis to a local garden party; • The news is what is reported by the various media: TV, radio, print, online, in-ear, and of course, by word of mouth. If I were a news editor, my idea of good news would be: 1. Short: the essential; 2. Simple: the human interest; 3. Strong: the unique angle. Do the Gospels meet my criteria? Well, they are short: to the point of irritation. We always wish the evangelists had said more. As for human interest: their 2,000 plus years on the best-seller list attests to our fascination with their simple message. The strength of the Gospels is definitely in the unique angle from which they present their breaking story. In good writing, the knack is to say a lot with a single word. So, all authors seek the perfect word for the message. God is no different. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son” (Heb 1:1–2).
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In the beginning, as Genesis relates, God made order out of chaos and saw that it was good. But, our first parents, his images, our prototypes, when put in charge of things — like many low-level managers — decided it would be better their way. And so, they reinvented chaos. Then came Moses, charged with restoring order. God entrusted to him the Ten Rules, setting them down in concrete form. And, after some wrangling, God’s People settled down to live these rules, but not for long. Over the ensuing centuries, a string of the pseudo-enlightened tried shuffling the deck for a better hand. Collective forgetting and conniving set in, and many prophets came and went without lasting effect … until the fullness of time. Once again, as at the dawn of creation, God said: “Let us make Man.” He spoke another Word into flesh: this time not an image, but his very Self. This is the wisdom of God at work. He took what was good in itself — humanity — and spruced it up, retooled it, making the perfect specimen, and presented it as his news item. God’s plan was not simply to reveal himself in words, but to incarnate his word; to let that Word live among us in a way that we could see it, hear it, and really appreciate it. Through his Word, God spoke to us about our reality and our redemption. We are now man re-made in Christ.
Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father’s one, perfect, and unsurpassable Word. In him, he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one” (no. 65). So God has a message: 1. Short: The Kingdom is at hand! 2. Simple: We need only repent and believe! 3. Strong: God visited his people! And all this in a single Word — a power-filled, Living Word. Blessed James Alberione, our founder, was a true disciple of the Word. Among his many writings on God’s Word is my favorite: “The Latin liturgy contains the phrase, Edidit nobis Salvatorem: The Virgin Mother gave us the Savior. The verb edidit is used” (Pr 1954, 137). “Publishers (take a word), multiply it, and distribute it clothed in paper, type, and ink. On the human level, they have the mission that Mary had on the divine level. She was the Mother of the Divine Word. She contained the invisible God and made him visible and accessible to men by presenting him in human flesh” (CISP, no. 599). In other words, Mary edited God’s Word in her womb and published him at his birth. And this at what Scripture calls the fullness of time. God shows himself savvy about another publishing principle: timing is important.
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Imagine this perfect man. How often we wish we could see Christ. Erasmus said that the Gospels “bring back to you the living image of that holy mind, the very Christ himself speaking, healing, dying, rising, in fact so entirely present, that you would see less of him if you beheld him with your eyes.” As a baby, Jesus came to us in weakness and helplessness. He had to grow and develop over the years. His personality unfolded through his formation and education. We see all of this in the pages of the Gospels. Jesus’ life is of profound importance to our own. In truth, he recreated us in his own image through baptism. He is both God’s Word spoken to us and our word of response to God. We now speak to God only in him, with him, and through him. He is always the most contemporary means of communication with God. There is no other way for us. That is because he opened the lines of communication; he redeemed the conversation with God. Jesus is what God wants to say to us; he is God’s Word spoken humanly. And so, we can expect Jesus to appear very much like us in the Gospel stories — an “us” without sin, but still a man. And this makes him our response to God (and the model of all of our responses). One of the great Scripture scholars, Rene Latourelle, tells us to watch Jesus in the Gospels. Observe how he does what he teaches. “He went about doing good” (Acts 10:38) “in order to give us an example” (Jn 13:15). So this Word made flesh, this Word of the Father to us, is engaging us through the Gospels. These four books
aren’t just to be admired, but they are to be lived. “He went about doing good.” He went about showing us who we are, the reconditioned us. We, too, become the Good News. The holy martyr Archbishop Oscar Romero reminds us that “Jesus Christ and the Gospel are not two separate things. The Gospel is not a biography of Christ; for St. Paul, the Gospel is the living power of God. […] Christ is God’s homily preaching to you while you try to fill yourself with the divine power that has come in Christ Jesus.” Want an example of this powerful, living Word? A Franciscan brother told me the story of one of his confreres who decided to dedicate a year to witnessing against abortion. He began attending prayer demonstrations. Soon enough he was arrested and, believe it or not, sent to maximum security. The inmates could not see one another’s cells. After the guard locked him in, the other inmates started yelling their greetings and asking for an introduction from the “new guy.” When he told them that he was a priest, the man next door began to cry. The priest asked what was wrong. The man replied that they had recently begun a Bible study group. Every Sunday night, the group would choose a point of Scripture and yell the discussion up and down the corridor. But they had
come to a text that none of them could explain. “So,” the prisoner said, “we have been praying that God would send us a teacher. Will you lead our Bible class?” Doesn’t that remind you of Paul’s words: “There is no chaining the Word of God.” Paulines by definition are evangelizers. Well, what does that mean? It means I am going to evangelize! But, what does that mean? I’m going to spread the Gospel. But how? Does it mean I will hand out little, inexpensive copies of the four Gospels? Yes, but more! I am going to do the Gospel, to evangelize. While I hand out Gospels, I am going to be the Gospel. I am Good News. Go preach and if need be, use words, said St. Francis. Be evangelization. It is the most effective means, as illustrated by God himself in the incarnation. He is the Good News! This is our job; this is our calling, our identity. When people see us as Good News they will ask for the Gospel book. We are Good News incorporated. We bring Good News on paper and in person by our presence. What does Good News ask of us? To be lived. As Paul said, “It is no longer I, but Christ living in me” (Gal 2:20). The best way to give the Gospel is to be the Good News. We spread God’s Word best by illustrating it with our own lives.
From God’s Heart to Yours See Yourself Through God’s Eyes 52 Meditations to Grow in Self-Esteem Using meditations, Scripture passages, stories, and prayers, Sr. Marie Paul Curley offers a way to develop a personal relationship with God and to discover his unconditional love for us. Curley writes from her own experience, creating a guide to fostering healthy self-esteem and a sense of personal affirmation, for even the busiest reader. #71273 192pp. Paperback $9.95 U.S.
As a Daughter of St. Paul, Marie Paul Curley finds inspiration and joy in daily Eucharistic adoration and in the Pauline mission of communicating Christ through the media. A former video producer, Sister Marie Paul writes books and screenplays, and assists young women to discern the call of God in their lives. She has a B.A. in communication from Emmanuel College, Boston. Her previous books include Bread of Life: Prayers for Eucharistic Adoration (Pauline Books & Media).
To order: Visit your local Pauline Books & Media Center*, on the web at www.pauline.org, or call 1-800-876-4463 *for a list of our store locations, please visit www.pauline.org 2010 Issue One 9
lectio divina Lectio Divina on the Internet
“Mistica, Evangelization, and Mass Media” By Sr. Mary Margaret Tapang, PDDM
For the 61st Anniversary of the Foundation of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master in the United States, February 22, 2009
The personal encounter with Christ is a mistica, that is, a profound, dynamic spiritual experience that leads to conversion (metanoia). The mistica experience and the metanoia effect enable the person to assimilate Gospel values, which contradict the world’s dominant tendencies, and to live a “life in Christ and in the Spirit.” True conversion and a dynamic, christocentric spirituality need to be prepared and nurtured by prayer, the prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture, and the celebration of the Sacraments. The Sister Disciples of the Divine Master in the United States are deeply aware of their calling to a more intense experience of mistica and to an ongoing metanoia, so that they may be able to reach the goal of “christification”: “It is no longer I who live; Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20). They lovingly live a Spirit-filled life centered on Jesus Christ, the Eucharistic Master, Priest, and Leitourgos (liturgy). They are heartened by the reality that their consecration to prayer and contemplative life accomplishes a fundamental mission in the Church in America. They are “a glory of the Church and a source of heavenly graces” (cf. PC, no. 7). To help the people in the United States to encounter Jesus Christ on the path of conversion, the Sister Disciples obtain 10 Pauline Cooperator Magazine
an abundance of grace for them through prayer and the liturgy, through penance and contemplation to which they have given their lives. Responding to the pastoral appeal that the Church in America must give prayerful reflection to Sacred Scriptures, they practice the Lectio Divina dutifully, personally, and as a community in order to encourage others, especially the laity, to assume this laudable practice that leads to holiness. Aware that the Internet is “a new forum for proclaiming the Gospel”, the Sister Disciples inaugurated on their website the pastoral tool, “Breaking the Bread of the Word: A Lectio Divina Approach to the Sunday Liturgy” (http://www.pddm.us/LectioDivina.htm). This liturgy study guide includes biblical-liturgical reflections (Lectio), points for the examination of the heart (Meditatio), praying with the Word of God (Oratio), interiorization of the Word (Contemplatio), and some proposed action-plans in view of life transformation (Actio). The first posting was a Lectio Divina on the Gospel reading for the First Sunday of Advent, Year B (December 1, 2002), prepared with much effort, difficulty, and, indeed, with some anxiety over the project’s viability and continuity. At the beginning there were only a handful of visitors to our Web site, but week by week the number of readers increased. Fr. Tom Fogarty, SSP, made mention of this
a on the inte liturgical tool in the Holy Family Institute newsletter, Concord (December 2006): “Only now am I learning of the Sister Disciples’ Web site with an extremely thorough commentary on the current Sunday Readings. Great!”
In the first three years, we dedicated our effort to the Lectio Divina on the Gospel reading of the Sunday liturgy, while in the following three years, we focused on the First Reading. At present, with Series 7, we are helping the faithful delve into the Second Reading of the Sunday liturgy, which are mostly selections from the letters of St. Paul. In the Year of St. Paul, we relished the great Apostle’s profound insights on the endeavors and challenges of the early Christian communities to live the Gospel and pattern their lives on Christ’s paschal mystery. For us Pious Disciples of the Divine Master, it is a blessing to focus our Lectio Divina on the Pauline letters and to share this with others, especially through the Internet. We remember what Blessed Alberione asserted: that if St. Paul were alive today, he would have used the greatest pulpits of modern progress, press, film, radio, television, etc., to announce the thrilling discovery of the love and salvation found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We now have over 75,000 visitors to our Web site who share the Lectio Divina with us — from all over the United States, Australia, India, Philippines, Taiwan, etc. In 2007 and 2008, our Sunday Lectio Divina was used as part
of the vocation kit for the National Vocation Week in Australia, and it is becoming a more and more welcome pastoral tool. Deacon Del J. DeSart from St. Henry Parish in Gresham, Oregon, wrote: “When I volunteer to preach on a given Sunday — I like to see what wisdom I can get from your reflections for the Sunday writings.” People are discovering that the Lectio on the Internet is “a nice help to a deeper appreciation of the liturgical readings for homilist and lay persons alike.” Since the Lectio helps the readers encounter the living Word of Christ more intimately, it has also become a means of healing. A reader from Taiwan commented: “You are bringing healing to thousands of people out there by breaking the bread of life for them.” Moreover, our Lectio visitors acknowledge, “This is indeed a great contribution for evangelization!” Finally, deeply aware of how radically the mass media shape the culture and mentality of the people today, and how the correct and competent use of the media can lead to a genuine inculturation of the Gospel, the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master live more intensely their ministry of reparation, oblation, and intercession concerning these means. They realize more than ever the importance and relevance of the “Pauline Offertory,” a prayer composed by their Founder, Fr. James Alberione, and handed on to them as a special mandate.
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A Pauline Offertory
God, to communicate your love to men and women, you sent your only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world and made him our Master, the Way, and Truth, and Life of humanity. Grant that the media of social communication: press, film, radio, television, music, and all audio-visuals may be used for your glory and the good of all. We pray: For all people, that the use of the media may become a stimulus to communion, peace, and brotherhood. For those who work in the field of communication, that through the press, movies, radio, television, internet, and all new means of communication, they might communicate everything that is good, beautiful, and true. For all of us, that we may receive with a critical sense the messages as they are transmitted to us, and that our lives may become a living communication of the love of Christ. That all those who work within the framework of social communication may grow in holiness and wisdom and bear witness to an authentic Christian life. We adore you, Lord, Creator of heaven and earth. We thank you for having placed at the disposition of humanity such a wealth of good for the present life and eternal life. â€œAll these are yours; but you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to Godâ€? (1 Cor 3:23). Amen.
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fishing in th Fishing in the Deep
New Possibilities for New Evangelization By Rose Pacatte, FSP
When Pope John Paul II issued Novo Millennio Inuente at the close of the Great Jubilee Year 2000, he invited us to evangelize anew and with courage, as Jesus called for the apostles in Luke 5:4 “to put out into the deep” or in Aramaic, the language of Jesus, “Dvareh le umqa!” (pronounced D’v-a-REH leh-oom-KAH).1 Can you imagine the scene? Peter and those first disciples shove off from the shore of Lake of Gennesaret and row out, and they probably keep looking back at Jesus for reassurance. “This far?” Peter may have been motioning. And Jesus responded, “Further! Put out into the deep!” “Dvareh le umqa!” “Is this far enough now?” Peter might have signaled with a mixture of exasperation and wonder. Peter knew the lake, but going out that far was new, untested, and maybe just a little frightening. Perhaps Peter didn’t see the hint of a smile on Jesus’ face as he gestured them to go still further. Onlookers may have laughed at the situation. What fisherman takes orders from an itinerant preacher? Finally, Peter and the disciples found the deep waters; they cast their nets wide and caught a great number of fish. “Dvareh le umqa!” indeed. 1. This translation and pronunciation were graciously provided by Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, director of Inter-faith Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, CA.
Concluding the Pauline Year at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Pope Benedict XVI commented on Paul’s Letter to the Romans, chapter 12: “The two decisive words of this verse are ‘transformed’ and ‘renewal.’ We must become new people, transformed into a new mode of existence. The world is always in search of novelty because, rightly, it is always dissatisfied with concrete reality.”2 We will consider the new evangelization proposed by John Paul II as seen through the self-reflecting and renewing lens of the Pauline charism. These themes give impetus to proclaiming the Word in new ways, in the depth of the culture in which we “live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
The new evangelization Pauline-style The Pauline mission is to communicate the Gospel using the means of communication, the media. It is a positive mandate, one that builds up the communicators as it reaches out to people in our contemporary marketplace of ideas and values. I love this quote from Blessed James Alberione, the founder of the Pauline Family: “You 2. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2009/ documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20090628_chius-anno-paolino_en.html. 2010 Issue One 13
don’t have to go about worriedly trying to get rid of the darkness. Just turn on some light.” Fr. Keller, MM (1900– 1977), founder of the Christophers, an organization that encourages people to use their gifts and talents to make a difference in the world, offered a similar motto: “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” Alberione would agree. Paul tried to turn on the light of faith in Athens when he addressed the men of the areopagus. He familiarized himself with the Athenian culture and spoke about God using language the people could understand. Only a few responded positively, but these few joined an ever-growing network of Christ’s followers that is still expanding today. Our technologically-mediated visual culture uses light to tell stories, whether through a projector, television set, computer screen, or by means of a light bulb so we can see or read in the dark. According to Genesis 1:3, light is the first “medium” created by God. In a way, we could say that there is hardly a corner of the earth without some kind of physical light because of the “explosion of worldwide interdependence, commonly known as globalization” and the consequence of advances in technology and the omnipresent media. Yet, all we have to do is watch, read, or listen to the news or view mainstream films to realize that we deeply need the light of reason and faith. As the process of globalization continues to reshape human existence, often at the expense of the poor and the earth itself, Jesus bids us: “Dvareh le umqa!”
New Evangelization: Caritas in Veritate Pope Benedict XVI, in his newest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), issued on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29, 2009), begins by saying: Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity. Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love, and Absolute Truth.3 The encyclical is a brilliant examination and expression of the Church’s consistent and cohesive social doctrine, rooted in Scripture and Tradition, charity and truth, and articulated for modern times, beginning with Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum in 1891. Pope Benedict writes that, “The Church’s social doctrine illuminates with an unchanging light the new problems that are constantly emerging” (no. 12). In 1999, Pope John Paul II offered a framework for teaching and understanding specific themes of Catholic 14 Pauline Cooperator Magazine
social teaching in his address to the Synod of the Americas. In 2005, the United States Catholic Conference articulated the themes that are contained and expanded upon in Caritas in Veritate: Life and dignity of the human person; call to family, community, and participation; rights and responsibilities; option for the poor and the vulnerable; the dignity of work and the rights of workers; solidarity; care for God’s creation. But what does Caritas in Veritate, or themes of Catholic social teaching, have to do with “putting out into the deep” to discover possibilities for new evangelization, and specifically the Pauline mission of evangelizing with the media of social communication? I would like to propose five keys way to “turn on some light” in the darkness of our times. It will require that we “put out into the deep” and cast our nets in ways that integrate evangelization, catechesis, and Catholic social teaching.
Five Ways “to Turn on Some Light” Pauline Style 1. Become mindful-media consumers by watching media together. Question and talk about the meaning of media stories, messages, images, songs. Do they reflect charity in truth? Controlling media consumption is not enough; articulating our own values and then conversing about
the human and Gospel values that we find in media has lasting value. Obtain a copy of Media Mindfulness: Educating Teens about Faith and Media (St. Mary’s Press, 2007; smp.org) and the soon-to-be-released Our Media World: Teaching Kids K–8 about Faith and Media (Pauline Books & Media, 2010; pauline.org). These books provide a strategy for all ages to engage, navigate, and evangelize the media culture. By consuming media in mindful ways, we can all become aware of the needs of the people of the world, pray for them, and participate in activities and programs that can build up the human family.
these are human, humane, and Gospel themes as well. You don’t have to make message movies, for example. Tell stories in artistic ways that respect life and the human person, and people will figure out the message. Write letters that praise the good, and when human dignity or truth is offended, write to express your objections. Invest time in media literacy education and media mindfulness so you can share these skills with others.
2. If you are a catechist, involved in RCIA, youth ministry, or adult faith formation, use mainstream media in your teaching. Here are some sources that can validate and reinforce your teaching and offer opportunities to communicate about things that matter, such as human dignity, how to respond to human need, and how to participate in society in responsible ways:
These imperatives embody the new evangelization for Pauline apostles. It requires courage to try new ways to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to permeate our mediated culture that is both the cause and consequence of the phenomenon of globalization.
• FilmClipsOnline.com offers a series of DVD’s with numerous clips from mainstream cinema on Character Education; • WingClips.com offers brief film clips from the latest films on relevant themes from accountability to wisdom; • CornerstoneMedia.org offers audio and print resources about music kids listen to every day. • JClubCatholic.org offers media-mindful activities for all grade levels and for parents as well. 3. Become a media producer and encourage students and people with whom you share faith to “make media.” First, by creating media we learn how all media is constructed; we learn that every story, every shot, every set, is chosen deliberately. Second, by encouraging the media makers of tomorrow who are in our pews, classrooms, and living rooms today, we can form them to tell stories that promote human dignity and the common good, balancing freedom and responsibility in image and sound, the measure of the authenticity of their art or service. If you have a cell phone and a computer, you can make a movie. If you have access to the Internet, you can create a Web site or a blog. (When producing anything with or by children, be sure to follow school or parish guidelines.)
“Turn on Some Light!” in Charity and Truth
At the dawn of the twentieth century, the seminarian James Alberione was inspired to do something for the men and women of the new century. Blessed James Alberione studied theology, catechetics, papal encyclicals, politics, history, and the social realities of his times so as to render the Pauline mission of evangelization with the media deeply Christian, ecclesial, human, relevant, and faithful. We are approaching the centenary of the foundation of the Pauline Family (August 20, 2014). It seems providential to re-focus our Pauline lens on personal renewal so that our evangelization will contribute to the transformation of the world for Christ and his people today. I believe it is what Blessed James Alberione would do. “Dvareh le umqa!”
4. Make media the subject of evangelization and catechesis. While similar to the first point, the aim here is to bring to catechetical sessions discussions about games, songs, films, television programs, magazines, and books. Analyze and critique them with the lens of faith in age appropriate ways. The themes of Catholic social teaching form an excellent framework for this. Making media the subject of catechesis is far more than counting bad words; above all, it means asking questions about the meaning of a story or an advertisement. 5. Become a pro-active advocate for media productions that reflect themes of Catholic social teaching because 2010 Issue One 15
Fishing in the Deep: New Possibilities for New Evangelization Text drawn from Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions (1998) and Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility (2003)
Themes of Catholic Social Teaching Life and Dignity of the Human Person The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching. In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and euthanasia. The value of human life is being threatened by cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and the death penalty. Catholic teaching also calls on us to work to avoid war. Nations must protect the right to life by finding increasingly effective ways to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful means. We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.
Call to Family, Community, and Participation The person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society in economics and politics, in law and policy directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
Rights and Responsibilities The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities—to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.
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Option for the Poor and Vulnerable A basic moral test is to look at how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Matthew 25:31–46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected—the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property, and to economic initiative.
Solidarity We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that “if you want peace, work for justice.” The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.
Care for God’s Creation We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored. Copyright © 2005, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. Used with permission. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holder.
a glory of t A Glory of the Priesthood and of the Pauline Family Opening of beatification process for Pauline Institute Member, Msgr. Bernardo Antonini, by the Institute of Jesus the Priest, Rome, and Msgr. Tom Fogarty, SSP
Monsignor Bernardo Antonini was born in Cimego (Trent), Italy, on October 20, 1932. While he was still a child, his family moved to Raldon, Verona. In 1942, he entered the diocesan seminary of Roverè Veronese and was ordained a priest on June 26, 1955. His first assignment was to St. Michele Parish in Verona, where he served as assistant pastor. In 1962, he received a Master’s Degree in Modern Foreign Languages and Literature from the Catholic University, and two years later, he obtained a Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology in Venegono. In 1975, he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and became a professor of this subject at St. Zeno Theological Institute and St. Peter the Martyr Institute in Verona. The hand of God was guiding Msgr. Antonini toward a very different apostolic path, however. As chaplain of the Daughters of St. Paul, he was introduced to the Institute of Jesus the Priest. In 1977, he entered this Institute of the Pauline Family and confided his projects and apostolic anxieties to Fr. Stephen Lamera, director of the Institute. Although he continued to maintain strong ties with his diocese and to docilely obey his own bishop, Msgr.
Antonini’s contact with the Pauline Family persuaded him to pattern his heart on that of St. Paul, focusing on the centrality of Christ and the need to take the Gospel to the modern world with modern instruments. Msgr. Antonini also cultivated a tender devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, whom he loved and prayed to throughout his life. In 1989, when it had become easier to enter Russia, Msgr. Antonini went to Moscow as a student, but quickly revealed he was a great missionary. He offered his services to Apostolic Nunzio Francesco Colasuonno, then to His Excellency Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, the Bishop of Moscow. Msgr. Antonini was the founder of Queen of Apostles Seminary, Moscow, in which he held the office of rector while also teaching courses in Sacred Scripture. He also founded the Theological College “St. Thomas Aquinas” for the laity, was a popular speaker at conferences, and founder-director of Sviet Evanghiela, which today is the newspaper of the Russian Episcopal Conference. During the Jubilee Year 2000, Msgr. Antonini was responsible for all the local initiatives: organizing pilgrimages, pastoral animation programs, Spiritual Exercises, Jubilee literature, promoting interreligious dialogue and much more. Yearning to help the Church’s poorest dioceses and to carry out the apostolate wherever it was most needed, on August 16, 2001, Msgr. Antonini, with the permission 2010 Issue One 17
of his bishop, Flavio Roberto Carraro of Verona, transferred to Kazakhstan. He offered his services to His Excellency Jan Pawel Lenga, Bishop of Karaganda, who appointed him vice-rector of the seminary and Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Work. On the Saturday before Palm Sunday in March 2002, he complained of a “stomach ache.” Some of his friends suggested that he return to Italy for a check-up. However, he had just sent a priest to Italy precisely for that purpose, so he replied: “It’s not feasible to have two priests absent from the diocese during Holy Week—don’t worry, I’ll get over it.” On Tuesday of Holy Week, Msgr. Antonini concelebrated with Bishop Jan Pawel Lenga at the Mass for the Blessing of the Oils. That evening he retired to his room. The next morning, when he was not in church (he was usually there before anyone else), someone went to knock at his door, which was open. He was found fully dressed and sitting at his desk as though working. But he had written his last line and spoken his last word. On March 27, 2002, the white stole, symbolic of his priesthood, was laid on his casket, which now rests in the cemetery of Raldon, Verona. Msgr. Antonini had gone to meet the risen Christ, to whom he had offered such zealous witness in “Holy Russia.”
What Msgr. Bernardo Teaches Us In 1991, speaking at the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Daughters of St. Paul, Msgr. Antonini said: The second great gift I received from the Pauline Sisters, during the years I was their chaplain, was my discovery of the Jesus Priest Institute founded by Msgr. Alberione in 1958 for Diocesan Priests, which is now present in Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and Poland, and, of course, in Italy. I joyfully made my vows in the Institute in 1979.
Why Make Perpetual Vows? 1. Because of the intrinsic value of the vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty… I thereby praise the Most Holy Trinity by • consecrating myself more intimately to the living God, to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; • making my personal commitment and gift to Christ as I follow him totally; • making myself and my neighbor more holy; • attaining “perfect pastoral charity,” which is how a priest becomes holy; • becoming more effective in my pastoral ministry; • establishing a deeper link of supernatural obedience and of filial collaboration with my bishop. 2. I make perpetual vows for the spiritual riches that I gain in life and after death because I belong to the Pauline Family (I will be remembered and prayed for by the members of the ten branches of the Family, a Family that is already present in the Heavenly Jerusalem and in the Pilgrim Church with apostles spread over the face of the earth). 3. I make perpetual vows because of the specific greatness of the Pauline Charism: • in relation to Christ; • in relation to the Holy Spirit; • in relation to St. Paul. 4. I make perpetual vows because of the relevance and the urgency of the Pauline apostolate in today’s world because it wishes to bring • the whole Christ; • to all peoples; • with all means and particularly the media. My resolution: In my life, I will make every effort to witness to and to proclaim the Beatitudes (Mt 5:1–12).
I would like to speak about this Institute, and I am grateful to God and to the Sisters who brought it to my attention. Why did I, a Diocesan priest, enter this Pauline Institute? First, I want to make it clear that it was not because I feel that a diocesan spirituality is inadequate to open the way to sanctity to a priest who lives in a totally-committed loving service. The reason was that the Pauline Institute offers me the gift of the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. In addition, I share in the holiness present in the Pauline Family, which has ten different branches. Through my vows in the Institute I share (and I do so enthusiastically) in the prophetic charism of Venerable Msgr. Alberione, which concentrates on announcing the whole Christ to all people with all the media. 18 Pauline Cooperator Magazine
Fr. Michael Harrington, IGS – first diocesan priest in the United States to pronounce vows in the Institute of Jesus the Priest November 22, 2009 (Society of St. Paul, Staten Island, NY)
The Spiritual Testament of Msgr. Bernardo Antonini I adore the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for everything God has done for me during my earthly life. I thank Divine Providence with the tenderness of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for all the gifts given me: my call to human life; holy Baptism; 12 years in the Seminary crowned by my priestly Ordination on June 26, 1955; my studies of languages, of theology, and Scripture; my Seminary life as Educator and Professor; various duties in the diocese; my missionary vocation in Russia (from July 2, 1989 until today); my Pauline vocation in the Jesus Priest Institute; and, finally, I thank God for the many spiritual and pastoral joys I experienced and for my considerable moral sufferings. I thank God for the ineffable gift of the Most Holy Eucharist, the Paschal Sacrifice, for Holy Communion, for the privilege of Adoration. From the age of eight, I lived for the gift of Communion and this almost daily. I thank God, through Mary. I ask pardon, one more time, for all my sins; I believe that the mercy of God is infinitely greater than my sins, that he has always forgiven me especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which I received hundreds of times, and in the Seminary almost every day, in certain times of greater grace from God. Humbly and sincerely, I ask forgiveness of all those whom I have offended, saddened, or failed to edify, even involuntarily. On my part, I forgive all those who may have done me wrong. I ask for the grace to die in a moment of greater spiritual fervor. I accept any kind of death whatever and I would be overjoyed to die on the altar after I had received Holy Communion. I wish to die in full communion with the Catholic Church; may the apostolic belief of the Church be my belief! I ask for the grace to do in every moment and with joyful love the holy will of God, in obedience to the Church and to my bishop. O Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Queen of all Saints, give me a sincere and deep desire to grow daily in holiness through the Most Holy Eucharist, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, through my activity, and through my suffering. And in return for your goodness, I offer you humbly, generously, and unconditionally my life and my death, when it will happen, where it will happen, and how it will happen in accordance with your loving Providence. O my God and my all, drown in your love the drop of love that I am, burn and consume me in the blazing fire of the apostolate and this not just every day but every instant of the life you are giving me.
Here I am, Lord, I am yours! Lord, I know the One in whom I have put my faith, and I am at peace. I ask for many prayers after my death so that I can obtain the supreme gift of Paradise where I will pray for those who have helped me in life and for all those whom I have met, even occasionally. In particular, I promise to pray for all my relatives and friends, for my beloved diocese of Verona, for Russia, and especially for Mary, Queen of Apostles Seminary and for the St. Thomas Aquinas Theological College for the laity. I will pray for our Catholic weekly “Svet Evangelia,” for Radio Maria, and for all ecclesiastical institutions, for the Church, and for the whole world. I will bless them all, as I have done every evening of my life. To everyone, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I say: see you in Paradise! Amen! July 16, 1998, Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
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Continued from page 6.
divine,” or “an awareness of the sacred,” or something similar. People are hungry for it, and bookstore shelves are lined with books on it. But for Paul, spirituality is very distinct and specific: it is a way of life inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Too often, Catholics get by with a tepid, flimsy spirituality that is not enough to energize them or sustain them in the difficult times. Sometimes it seems our life as Catholics could be described by the old Avis motto: We try harder. Yes, everyone tries to live by a moral code, to be kind, honest, and generous to the poor, but we Catholics try harder. Is there not something profoundly missing in this view? The Catholic faithful need to experience the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. If not, asking them to live up to the high demands of the Christian moral life, especially in our culture, is like asking them to fly to the moon without a rocket. Observe how Paul, as a good pastor, deals with the multiple problems in the Church in Corinth. The heart of his letter is in chapter 2: As it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God…. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. (1 Cor 2:9–12) Note that the quotation in verse 9 (“Eye has not seen…”), which is often quoted by itself, is actually incomplete without verse 10: these things God “has revealed to us through the Holy Spirit.” Paul is not speaking primarily about heaven. Rather, he is saying that the Holy Spirit makes known to us in the depth of our being the treasure that we already have in Christ. The Holy Spirit reveals even the “depths of God” — the heart of God from which came his unconditional, unlimited, reckless love for us, given to us in an act of love in which Jesus died. Catholics need to experience that love, through the Holy Spirit making it real in a vital and ongoing way. Paul expresses a similar idea in Romans: You did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (Rom 8:15–16) This inner revelation of God’s love, given by the Holy Spirit, is part of the equipment we need in order to carry out the mission God has for us, because when we experience that love our hearts burn to share it with others. “The love of Christ compels us, because we are convinced that one has died for all” (2 Cor 5:14). If we are going to impact this generation, if we want to set the world on fire, we need the power of the Holy Spirit to 20 Pauline Cooperator Magazine
enkindle us with that love. “When lay ecclesial ministers cultivate a special devotion and complete openness to the Holy Spirit, the power of Pentecost will be alive in their hearts and at work through their ministry.”3 The Holy Spirit changes everything! In the memorable words of an Orthodox metropolitan,
Without the Holy Spirit, God is far away, Christ stays in the past, the Gospel is a dead letter, the Church is simply an organization, authority a matter of domination, mission a matter of propaganda, the liturgy no more than a evocation, Christian living a slave morality. But with the Holy Spirit, the cosmos is resurrected and groans with the birth pangs of the Kingdom, the risen Christ is there, the Gospel is the power of life, the Church shows forth the life of the Trinity, authority is a liberating service, mission is a Pentecost, the liturgy is both memorial and anticipation, human action is deified.4
In 2001, Pope John Paul II issued his apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, a beautiful document that is a kind of a charter for the Church as it enters into the new millennium. The great theme he announced was Duc in altum! “Put out into the deep!” It is from the story in Luke 5, where Peter has been fishing all night and caught nothing. Jesus says to him, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” We know what “letting down the nets for a catch” signifies — it alludes to the disciples’ call to evangelize, to catch souls for Christ. Jesus had said to them, “I will make you fishers of men.” But note that in this story, Jesus tells Peter first to put out into the deep. What does “put out into the deep” signify? In short, the deep is the heart of God — the depths of divine love that we are called to enter. This is why John Paul II goes on to speak repeatedly of the “depths of the mystery” of Christ.5 Until Jesus gave his command to Peter, this seasoned fishermen had “toiled all night and took nothing.” What conclusion can we draw? Our evangelization and all our ministry, well organized though it may be, will be limp and fruitless unless we first put out into the deep—unless we ourselves enter into the heart of God. This point is absolutely essential; it is the key to the fruitfulness of any specific pastoral effort. The pope goes on to say: 3. Co-Workers in the Vineyard, p. 52. 4. Metropolitan Ignatios of Latakia, Syria, address to the World Council of Churches, Uppsala, Sweden, 1968. 5. Novo Millennio Ineunte, 19, 21–23.
Mission: Empowering Leadership and Mobilized Laity With clear vision, and strong motivation to carry it out, the final ingredient in Paul’s recipe is the nuts and bolts needed to implement the vision: empowering leadership and mobilized laity. Notice how Paul describes how the Church is built up: “His gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Eph 4:11–12).
It is not therefore a matter of inventing a “new program.” The program already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition, it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its center in Christ himself, who is to be known, loved, and imitated, so that in him we may live the life of the Trinity, and with him transform history until its fulfillment in the heavenly Jerusalem. This is a program which does not change with shifts of times and cultures, even though it takes account of time and culture for the sake of true dialogue and effective communication. This program for all times is our program for the Third Millennium. How, concretely, do we help people nourish and sustain a deep and life-giving spirituality? There are many ways; here I will briefly suggest two. First, people need vital daily contact with the word of God, especially in the form of Lectio Divina, to which the Church has recently been urging Catholics in a new way. Lectio Divina is reading Scripture in a dialogue with God, where we hear him speak to us personally in his word, and respond to him in prayer. Secondly, Lectio Divina leads to contemplation. People often have the idea that contemplation is something esoteric, only for spiritual experts like monks or nuns. But it is really very simple. Perhaps the best definition of contemplation is in Psalm 27: “One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: / To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, / To gaze on the beauty of the Lord, to inquire in his temple.” In fact, the very meaning of the word is related to this psalm: con - templatio, being “with” the Lord in his “temple,” gazing on his beauty. This is what Paul is referring to when he says, “The God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6–7).
Paul lists here charisms of leadership, both ordained and non-ordained. Then he describes the function of leaders: not so much to do all the ministry as to equip the saints to do ministry—that is, to release and direct the Churchbuilding power latent in every Christian by baptism!6 (By “saints” of course he means all Christians, not just canonized ones. By baptism we are all made holy, though some live it out to the nth degree.) “Equip” has here the connotation of training and preparing, as in mobilizing an army. They are equipped “for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” How is the body of Christ built up? Basically in two ways: by gaining new members (which itself happens in two ways, through procreation and through evangelization), and by growth into maturity and holiness of the members it already has. The role of leadership in the Church is to equip the laity to build up the body of Christ in both these ways! Yet all too often there is a dependency model of ministry in the Church. The priest (and perhaps the lay ecclesial minister) is viewed as the professional with the skills and the know-how, and the laity come to be ministered to. Their role is entirely passive. This whole idea has to be overturned. Vatican Council II represented a rediscovery of two absolutely foundational interrelated truths: the universal call to holiness and the universal call to evangelization. In its Decree on the Laity, the Council made clear that not only the successors of the apostles but all Christians are to participate in the Church’s apostolate. In fact, if they don’t, they’re “useless.” Are Catholics today aware that every single one of them has a mission, an indispensable role in the body of Christ, a unique, God-given task that no one else can fulfill? We are only beginning to implement the Council’s teaching. The Church is a big ship; it takes a long time to turn it around. The laity is nowhere near as fully equipped and mobilized as it needs to be for the new evangelization. In this regard, it is important to consider what Paul teaches about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of 6. See George Montague, The Living Thought of St. Paul (Enrico, CA: Benzinger Bruce and Glencoe, 1976), 201. 2010 Issue One 21
working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor 12:4–7).
• Offer training workshops in practical evangelization — how to share one’s faith humbly and effectively within the family, at the workplace, using the media, etc.
Our idea of unity is often “uniformity,” but God’s idea is more like a symphony — a rich variety of gifts and charisms freely given by the Holy Spirit as he wills, all working together in harmony. Paul says that to each person is given the manifestation of the Spirit, that is, a charism that in some way shows forth the presence and power of the Spirit. Everyone has a charism for the building up of the body of Christ. Here Paul mentions some of the more obviously supernatural charisms: prophecy, healings, discernment of spirits, tongues. Elsewhere he mentions more ordinary gifts: service, teaching, exhortation, contribution, administration, and acts of mercy (Rom 12:6–8). And there are many other charisms mentioned in the New Testament: intercession (Acts 12:5), hospitality (Acts 16:15), music (1 Cor 14:26; Eph 5:19), poverty (Phil 4:12), martyrdom (Acts 7:59–60; 12:2).
• Provide opportunities for healing prayer. Many people are in deep need of healing, both physically and emotionally, and the Lord still heals today. The first evangelization was accompanied by healings and miracles that corroborated the message; why would the new evangelization need them any less?
What is meant by a charism in these texts is not merely a natural endowment or talent or skill. Rather, it is a supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit that either enables what is humanly impossible (like the reading of hearts), or elevates a natural endowment like hospitality or music to a supernatural level. A charism is not for the personal sanctification of the individual but for service to others. In an “equipping” model of the Church inspired by these texts, we might think of the pastor as the general who runs the training camp. He does not train everyone personally, but he sets things up so that some people are being trained according to their charisms, and they train others.7 The ministry is gift-oriented: people are constantly being called to mission, invited to exercise and develop their gifts, mentored, challenged, and encouraged. This was Paul’s way. He constantly relied on his “co-workers in Christ Jesus,” both men and women, and called them to share his ministry according to their gifts. As Vatican II reminds us, the mission of the laity is specifically secular in character — it is to bring Christ into every sphere of human life and culture, working toward the transformation of the world in accord with the Gospel. In a healthy parish, the laity are being constantly prepared and equipped for this task. What are some practical ways we can implement Paul’s vision? We need to be willing to think outside the box, and to look at what is working well elsewhere. Here are a few suggestions: • Form well-run small cell groups, where people can experience real Christian fellowship in a way not usually possible in the parish as a whole, where there is transparency, support, accountability, the sharing of joys and sorrows, and help in times of crisis. 7. See Torrens, “Lessons from Evangelicals.”
22 Pauline Cooperator Magazine
• Provide inspiring worship, where people are free to lift their hands, sing, praise God aloud and exercise the gifts of the Spirit. I recently saw an example of this in Uganda, where the liturgy is celebrated with great exuberance and joy, and where, by no coincidence, the Church is growing by leaps and bounds. What is the hope for the parish of the future? Ultimately, it is Jesus. Paul says it succinctly: “Christ our hope” (1 Tim 1:1). Jesus is still the head of the Church; thankfully, he has never abdicated. Our hope is not in ourselves but in him. Sometimes when I am overwhelmed with frustrations and difficulties, I turn to the Lord and simply say, “Lord, this is your problem. I can’t deal with it. I’m counting on you to deal with it.” In the passage I quoted at the beginning, Paul tells us his reason for hope: “Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” Our hope is Christ, and he will not disappoint. Paul is alluding to the promise in Isaiah: “Those who hope in me will not be put to shame” (Isa 49:23). We can sometimes feel like, and act like, a Church under siege. But Jesus said to Peter, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18). Notice that gates are not offensive weapons but defensive. Have you ever see anyone fleeing in terror, pursued by gates? The enemy wants us to feel like we are on the defensive, barely holding out, but the truth is that the Church is making a great onslaught against the kingdom of darkness. Talk given at St. John’s Seminary Master of Arts in Ministry Program, Co-Workers in the Vineyard Conference, March 20, 2009, http:// www.salvationhistory.com/ St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology Dr. Mary Healy is associate professor of Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and senior fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she earned an MA in theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville and a licentiate at the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria. She completed her doctorate in biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2000. Dr. Healy served for several years as the Coordinator of Mother of God Community, a lay Catholic community in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She is the author of Men and Women Are from Eden: A Study Guide to John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and co-editor of three books on biblical interpretation. She often addresses conferences on biblical interpretation, the theology of the body, and the spiritual life. She is currently involved in a major new biblical project, the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, a series of commentaries that interpret Scripture from within the heart of the Church. She is author of its first volume, The Gospel of Mark, which has just been released.
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2010 Issue One â€ƒ 23
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Pauline Pilgrimage to Alba & Rome, Italy Join us for a ten-day pilgrimage to Alba and Rome in mid-October 2010! Visit the foundational cities of the Pauline Family. See the birthplace of Blessed Alberione, Venerable Thecla Merlo, and Blessed Timothy Giaccardo. Visit the churches built by early members of the Pauline Family, the press rooms, the book centers, and places that inspired the foundations. Meet brothers and sisters who knew the founder and listen to their stories. Pray in the Major Basilicaâ€™s of Rome, including the Queen of Apostles Temple. Walk where Peter and Paul walked and gave their lives. Side pilgrimages include the Catacombs, Assisi, Turin, and Milan. A Pauline priest and sister will be your guides. Sr. Margaret Kerry 617-522-8911 Mkerry@paulinemedia.com
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