Archbishop John Dew blogs from the Synod on the New Evangelisation and the transmission of the Christian Faith in Rome.
The work of the Synod continues and we are now into week two. One of the constant themes emerging is that the evangelisers must be evangelised themselves. Many of the interventions being made speak about the fact that there has to be a constant personal conversion of those whose duty it is to preach the Gospel. Time and time again we have been reminded that all the baptised have the task of preaching the Gospel, but they are also saying that this will come about only through a life of intense prayer, by meeting Jesus anew every day and listening to him ready to hear something new and different. When the bishop, priest, religious, teacher, mother or father listens in prayer they grow in knowledge of Jesus and in the confidence of what Jesus is asking them to do. There are also many speaking about how we are called to live in humility, knowing that we can do nothing apart from Jesus.
We are being reminded that peoples' hearts need to be touched, they may know the faith intellectually, know about Jesus, but they also need to see people of joy and peace in order for faith to be something that speaks to their hearts.
It was said in the Synod Hall today that for many God is not denied, He is simply unknown. That is why there has been much emphasis on preaching with courage and with the conviction that Jesus is the Saviour and therefore the only way to God. Anyone who is a preacher of the Gospel must be a person of prayer and not be seduced by other attractions.
Many of the things that have been said have reinforced for me that the way we are promoting stewardship in the Archdiocese of Wellington is the right thing to be doing. What is also being spoken of a great deal is that charity is the language understood by people of every culture, for me that is saying that through our prayer and contemplation we become people of charity and therefore effective evangelisers.
With all good wishes and every blessing.