Friday, March 8, 2013

Right and Loud

I've spent a lot of time recently thinking about the New Evangelization.  As a Church, we are unpacking this idea slowly, and one thing that's clear is that it has a lot of layers and a lot of applications.  But I can feel confident in eliminating at least one thing from any definition.

The New Evangelization does not mean being right as loudly as possible.

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking this way - because it makes our job so easy.  Post a facebook meme of a pro-abortion politician's face with a Hitler mustache.  Storm out of Mass at a parish you're visiting in response to some liturgical wonkery.  Spend an hour trolling the comments sections of a website you disagree with.  As long as what we're saying is the truth, it's the other person's problem if their heart wasn't changed by our words.  We've done our job.

The problem is, we have the responsibility not just to make sure people hear our message, but that they listen to it.  That means that how we communicate is as important as what we communicate.

Today's faithful Catholics can find themselves falling into an "us against the world" mentality.  This reflects reality to some extent - if we're following Christ faithfully, we have been assured that we will meet with opposition, ridicule, even persecution.  But it's easy to blur the line between bold and belligerent, confident and combative.

After all, the minute we are working from the assumption that the person we are talking to is any less worthy of grace than we are, the minute correctness trumps compassion, we're so wrong that nothing right we are saying is likely to make much of a difference. 

1 comment:

  1. "Post a facebook meme of a pro-abortion politician's face with a Hitler mustache."