What is the New Evangelization?
An easy way to think about the new evangelization is to break it down into three parts: Know the Faith, Live the Faith, and Share the Faith.
For the new evangelization to work, it is necessary for each of us as Catholics to engage in all three areas and do so on a constant, unending basis. The new evangelization is a challenge to continually grow in our relationship with Jesus and to help others do the same.
This starts with knowing our Faith.
When giving talks to groups, I regularly remind people that from the moment we are conceived, we are 2,000 years behind the curve when it comes to learning about the history, traditions, and sacramental life of the Catholic Church. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do!
We can (and should) spend our entire lives on an unending quest of knowing as much about our Faith as possible. Our hunger for the truth should drive us to question our misunderstandings and incomplete knowledge and seek out answers that the Church readily provides.
But if we stop at just knowing
the Faith without living
it out, then we’re just talking the talk and not walking the walk. I know many people who can quote the Bible, chapter and verse, but do a miserable job actually acting in the way that Christ commands. Therefore, the second aspect of the new evangelization is living the Faith through regular reception of the sacraments (especially the Eucharist and reconciliation), as well as striving to be Christ to others in this world. It is finding ways each day to actually implement the teachings of the Faith through our thoughts, words, and actions.
Lastly, if we just know
out our faith without sharing
it with others, we are not living out our faith with the zeal of the first apostles. To truly be new evangelizers, it is not enough to just focus on one of these areas. It is absolutely mandatory that we strive to grow in all three.
Know the Faith. Live the Faith. Share the Faith.
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is the editorial director for Our Sunday Visitor and the author of The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid.
With his wife, Jennifer, he founded the New Evangelizers
and Rosary Army
apostolates, authored The Catholics Next Door: Adventures in Imperfect Living,
and hosted “The Catholics Next Door” daily talk show on SiriusXM. In addition to raising their five children, Greg and Jennifer also chronicle their adventures in life, family, and ridiculousness in their weekly “Adventures in Imperfect Living” podcast at www.gregandjennifer.com