Witnessing to the World

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With the call to the new evangelisation, how do we pass on the faith in today’s world?

In his 2014 Message for World Communications Day, Pope Francis asks “How, then, can communication be at the service of an authentic culture of encounter?”

The answer: faith is caught.

Our interactions with others, the pope says, “need to grow into true encounters.”

“Only those who go out of themselves in their communication can become a true point of reference for others. Personal engagement is the basis of the trustworthiness of a communicator. Christian witness, thanks to the internet, can thereby reach the peripheries of human existence.”

This is true; we have a potential to reach more people now than ever before. The most successful in reaching a mass audience have been the good, Catholic witnesses that we have recently seen in popular media.

This week a Sicilian nun went viral on the internet with her audition on the Italian franchise of The Voice

In order for others to “catch” faith, we need to get out there and live it. We need to be in the world but not of the world. Not compromising, but showing that there is something different, that we have something that others don’t: a better way. And that this way is for everyone. “We are called to show that the Church is the home of all.” This is the joy and happiness that I think that Sr Cristina witnessed to on The Voice.

I’ll leave you with yet more words of Pope Francis, this time from World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro last year: “Dear young people, please, don’t be observers of life, but get involved. Jesus did not remain an observer, but he immersed himself. Don’t be observers, but immerse yourself in the reality of life, as Jesus did.”

Get out there!

Chelsea Houghton

Chelsea Houghton

Chelsea Houghton is editor of Restless Press, as well as a columnist for Catholic Stand, Ignitum Today and NZ Catholic. a 27 year old mother who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with her husband and four children under the age of five. She has a Media and Communications degree from the University of Canterbury and in the past has worked for the Journey of the Cross and Icon for World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, for the Christchurch Catholic Youth Team and running the Theology of the Body for Teens programme and training to various groups.

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3 Responses

  1. I personally love this quote from Christopher West:
    “If Chris is to become present within the secular world’s understanding, that will mean walking a fine line, a place of tension, between the sacred and the secular. That will mean, in some instances, using a language with which a more pious and refined audience might take issue so that a much less pious and refined audience might be reached. As Pope Benedict put it, ‘one has to meet one’s listeners halfway, one has to speak to them in terms of their own horizon.’ We do this not to ‘stay’ there, but to ‘open up this horizon, to broaden it, and turn our gaze to the ultimate.’ Finding that language is a duty of charity. Finding that language is also a process of trial and error. So let us try, and when we err, let us correct those errors and try again. That’s how we grow. There’s no ‘one right way’ to proclaim the Great Mystery to the modern world, but this much is certain: out of love for others, we must stretch ourselves; we must break out of our comfort zones; we must be courageous, bold, and daring. We must strive to be all things to all men so that some might be saved.”

  2. ” Not compromising, but showing that there is something different, that we have something that others don’t: a better way. And that this way is for everyone. “

    It is interesting to digest this 21st century version of ‘ there is no salvation outside
    the church” although I know you don’t mean it that way. This is what the world is now rejecting (religion) because these institutions have all tainted themselves with one predudiicial flaw or another. It would be such a rush to fast forward a couple of centuries so as to see how the Holy Spirit continued to unify our species … to see what fine posts you would have indubitably revised in light not yet shed. .

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