How can Catholics at once renew their commitment of faith and connect with the liturgy while spreading the Word? There are definitive camps within Catholicism – some believe that focusing on Christ and their own worship is enough while others are embracing the New Evangelization that has Catholics reaching out to those who have fallen away, non-believers and the curious.
Deal W. Hudson wrote an interesting article on Catholic Online that brings these questions to the forefront for Catholics to contemplate and take action. He speaks of the approach of enthusiasm rather than evangelization for those that may apply negative connotation to the word “evangelism”. Encouraging a connectedness and a renewal of connection, he believes that focusing on the beauty of the liturgy is a way for many Catholics to renew their faith.
In 2002, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger delivered a sermon, “The Feeling of Things, the Contemplation of Beauty,” where he said:
“[T]he most convincing demonstration of [faith’s] truth against every denial, are the saints, and the beauty that the faith has generated. Today, for faith to grow, we must lead ourselves and the persons we meet to encounter the saints and to enter into contact with the Beautiful. How much lost “connectedness” would be recovered if more attention were paid to encounters with “the Beautiful” in the liturgy, so that it was never perfunctory, listless, or offensive to the ear and eye?
Don’t misunderstand me. Beauty in the liturgy isn’t just a matter of better music and homilies; it requires its proper form (i.e., rubrics ) as prescribed by the Church.”
Pope Francis has also spoken at great length and encourage a practice of evangelization. Sharing the beauty of the liturgy and the words of Christ are simple ways for Catholics to renew and spread the Word.
Pope Francis urges pastors and faithful to “abandon the complacent attitude that says: ‘We have always done it this way.’ I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelization in their respective communities.”