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Listening As a Disciple

Written by interGen team on .

In the Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis talks about the essential role of listening in evangelization and discipleship:

“We need to practice the art of listening, which is more than simply hearing. Listening...is an openness of heart which makes possible that closeness without which genuine spiritual cannot occur. Listening helps us to find the right gesture and word which shows that we are more than simply bystanders. Only through such respectful and compassionate listening can we enter on the paths of true growth and awaken a yearning for the Christian ideal: the desire to respond fully to God's love and to bring to fruition what he has sown in our lives.”

The resources below expand on the role of listening and can provide additional reflections, practical tips, and suggestions on how to begin listening with the openness of heart which makes true conversion possible.

If you are interested in a Formation and Reflection Event on the role of listening and story in evangelization and the art of accompaniment, contact us today.  

Evangelizing Through Story

Written by Kristin Bird on .

“Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love.”

Pope Francis (Evangelii Gaudium)

“Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”

Pope Paul VI (Evangelii Nuntiandi)

“The witness of Christians, whose lives are filled with the hope of Christ, opens the hearts and minds of those around them to Christ.”

USCCB, Disciples Called to Witness

The most valuable way to share our faith is by telling our own story, our testimony of the difference Jesus Christ has made in our lives, in a firsthand account.  This session helps participants identify the key elements of their personal journeys to discipleship.

The resources below expand on the role of story in evangelizing and can provide additional reflections, practical tips, and suggestions on how to think about both incorporating story and sharing your own story.

If you are interested in a Formation and Reflection Event on the role of listening and story in evangelization and the art of accompaniment, contact us today.  

Encounter: Diocese of Biloxi Teacher nservice

Written by Burning Hearts Team on .

August 7, 2019 - Presenters: Steve & Maureen Anderson / Tony & Kristin Bird

All Christians are invited to a “renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 9).

 

Christ calls all people to himself in his Body, the Church, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, so that we can enter into a personal relationship with God the Father. “In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 120).

The Diocese of Biloxi staff inservice is designed to:

  • provide an overview of Bishop Kihneman's vision for moving the entire diocese to a culture of missionary discipleship,
  • explain the evangelization and discipleship process and provide a common language and vocabulary for the process,
  • offer an opportunity for personal encounter with Jesus and personal exploration of the core gospel proclamation (kerygma),
  • guide staff through a process of identifying the key elements of their personal journeys to discipleship, and
  • equip staff with beginning practical tools and skills to discern where others may be on their faith journey and how to help walk them into their next step.

Many participants find that attending a single seminar or retreat day is only able to provide a brief overview of some of the key elements to discipleship and evangelization. Spending time reflecting, praying, and learning both individually and as a group will help ensure you take the concepts from theories and apply them in practice in your own life and in your parish.

Letting God Love You: The Five Love Languages

Written by Kristin Bird on .

If you were certain that the God of the universe delighted in you, would it change your life in any way? We hear others say that God loves us, yet sometimes we may feel unloved. We all have a deep longing, a desire to know that we are loved deeply. With an awareness of unchanging love, we find a settled security for our lives.

The concept of “love languages” can help us understand how God communicates His love to us and how we in turn can respond to that love. It could be that we are trying to receive God’s love in a language we do not speak well. Instead, consider trying to let God love you the way He created you to best receive love - through your primary Love Language(s).

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The Role of Sacramentals in Evangelization

Written by Steve Anderson on .

Sacramentals are a part of most Catholics’ prayer lives.  Before we jump to how to use sacramentals to evangelize, we need to understand what they are.  A quick review on the difference between sacraments and sacramentals...

Sacraments

Sacraments are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in the Church (CCC 1116). These actions are a visible symbol of invisible reality, signs that communicate the grace they signify (CCC 1127). God speaks to us through his visible creation and is incarnate (made flesh) in the visible world.  

Christ used physical signs and symbolic gestures as a visual means to help those he was healing understand the invisible reality. He used spit and clay to heal the man born blind (John 9:1-12), healed the deaf man by placing his finger in his ear, spitting and touching his tongue (Mark 7:31-37) and by spitting on the blind man’s eyes and laying his hands on him (Mark 8:22-26).

God, who created us body and soul, communicates his truth to us not only through ideas and words, but through sensible signs as well.

Sacramentals

Sacramentals, on the other hand are objects intended to strengthen our faith by reminding us of God’s presence in our lives and calling us to prayer.   They are different than the sacraments in that they are instituted by the Church versus sacraments which originate in Christ.  

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