The best evangelization isn’t new, it’s the same old ways that always worked January 27, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, manhood, priests, sanctity, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
That was my takeaway from the beautiful communique from Fr. Lawrence Carney, about whom I’ve written before. I haven’t much to add, save that all the plans, programs, vast expenditures, and endless navel gazing of the so-called new evangelization haven’t amounted to a hill of beans, while a solitary priest giving witness to the Faith with great charity and in the constant Tradition of the Church is having an actual positive impact. God Bless Fr. Carney:
Laudentur Jesus et Maria!
The greatest benefactors pray for the birth of a new religious order.
Today I was outside praying the Divine Office of None. When I came into a coffee shop a lady, who I will call Katherine, asked me if I could talk. Her first question was, “Where are you stationed?” I said, “Come over and sit down at that table with me and I will pull out some CDs.” I pulled out the CDs that the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles produce. I pointed to one of the pictures of the nuns in the chapel on the back of one of the CDs, saying, “I celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the nuns who live in the countryside around Gower. Do you know of Gower?” She said, “Yes.” She said, “I have seen you walking everywhere and have always wanted to talk to you. I am a Protestant Baptist. I think, our pastor…” whom we will call Lawrence, “…wants to meet you.” She explained some personal background of this pastor. I told her, “Here is my card. See I am a missionary priest. I bring people to the Holy Altars of God. Do you want to hear a story?” She said, “Yes.”
“In the 17th century a man by the name of St. Francis de Sales would walk around the city of Chablais. He refused the horse or carriage because he wanted to be seen by the people so he would walk. Decades prior to his arrival, the town was all Catholic, 72,000 strong. But Calvin came and all became Calvinist, except 100. He was so gentle to the people who would meet him that word got around. They would hear of his sweetness, his listening and encouraging. His method was cor ad cor loquitur, ‘heart speaks to heart.’ I showed her a coat of arms of my friend who is a bishop and bears that very motto, cor ad cor loquitur. I continued, “The gold of St. Francis’ heart and the sweetness of his words took root in the people. He would write notes and slip them under people’s doors. In three years time, guess how many people reverted back to the Catholic faith?” Katherine looked at me puzzled, “Half?” I said, “Zero! His method was so gentle that it did not cause people to revert immediately, but his words did begin to take root although there was little visible fruit. He continued this way, refusing the carriage and after twenty-five years, guess how many people converted?” Katherine again looked at me and shuck her head. I continued, “Almost all 72,000 reverted back to the Catholic faith!” [True, and great, story]
Our conversation continued. She wished for me to meet her Protestant pastor who is a fallen-away Catholic. I gave her my card and told her I would also like to meet him. She took her leave after a good 30 minute conversation. I will give her name and the pastor to the nuns and they will intercede for them.
It was almost a year ago when I was speaking with another Protestant Pastor who I will call Daniel. I was invited to their music festival and hot dog stand. He showed me his ministry. As we were snarfing down hot dogs, I pointed at the old Immaculate Conception Church here in St. Joseph.
He said, “Oh yes, I used to be a parishioner there.” Here is another man who not only has left the Catholic Church but has started his own church.
I used to be an investment analyst. My job was to look at the trends of Income Statements and Balance Sheets of businesses. If they were trending down, we would sell. If they were trending up, we would buy.
Here are a few numbers. It is estimated that almost one out of ten United States Americans is a fallen-away Catholic. You can go to the web searching for: CARA whose research is done in Georgetown University. They have trends of the US Catholic population over the last 50 years. If I put on my investment analyst hat on for a minute and saw the numbers of the US Catholic Church, I would say sell, sell, sell, until management changes course. [The second largest denomination in the US would be fallen away Catholics if they counted as such. And the numbers are increasing of late.]
But I do not wear a business hat anymore. I wear a biretta at Mass and a Saturno outdoors.
In the Catholic Church, Jesus Christ is the King. He is our One Shepherd and he has one sheepfold, the Church he left behind. The gates of Hell shall never prevail against her. We can never sell His Church. We must remain within Her and put our gifts at His service.
The time has come for the Church to go out and snatch the sheep wondering on the precipice of hell. Imagine if these two pastors were approached by St. Francis de Sales. He was 99.86% successful at bringing back the lost sheep into the fold. He would bring back about 999 out of 1,000 people who met in Chablas after 25 years. With these numbers, not only would the pastors come back to the Catholic Church, but they would bring their parishioners, too. In fact the whole city of St. Joseph, Missouri, all 76,000 would become Catholic. Imagine if fifty monks would travel two by two, as Jesus says, in their habits every afternoon in the city of St. Joseph for 25 years? [I really love this vision, and would love to see it come to fruition, but we must be honest and admit that there is enormous institutional opposition within the Church to seeing a traditional practice of the Faith, and traditional means of evangelization, reinstituted on any kind of a regular basis. Most dioceses behave as if they would rather see another 500,000 Catholics fall away than admit the Vatican II embrace of modernity and worldliness has been an unmitigated disaster – and that’s exactly what most diocesan leadership views a mass return of Tradition as signaling. Ideology is an almost impossible barrier to overcome]
Tomorrow I have a very important meeting at 11:00 AM. This is a very important person who can influence the minds of leaders in the United States Catholic Hierarchy. Please pray a Rosary that he will receive my story well. I never really thought I would be into sales, but I want to duplicate what St. Francis de Sales did in Chablas. His currency was not the Dollar, but 72,000 souls reverting back to the Church. His success relied on a deep life of heroic prayer and heroic virtue. Pray that I receive the ability to be like St. Francis de Sales so people like Pastor Lawrence and Pastor Daniel and their parishioners will revert back to the Holy Altars of God. [Guess I’m late. I suspect that meeting has passed, as this was posted yesterday. Nevertheless, I will pray, since prayer can work out of time]
Ad Jesum per Mariam,
We need many more such men. Thousands, not the hundreds there are now.