Something new: “Evangelizing Thought of the Day” (ETD) and EADs

At the risk of adding another meaning to the abbreviation ETD (by some accounts, there are already 31), it seems a worthwhile undertaking to add another one. ETD, also known as “Evangelizing Thought of the Day,” will be a few tweets that link to a short blog entry, hopefully on a daily basis. The tweets will be short excerpts sequentially taken from the Instrumentum Laboris: New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith (19 June 2012), and a quote or two from the Scriptures proclaimed at Mass or prayed in the Liturgy of the Hours. Having studied (and continue to do so) the Lineamenta: New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith and worked with a few groups including a great group of seminarians from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (Philadelphia), there is still much work to do in getting this message of evangelization out to the world, beginning with the evangelizing work the Holy Spirit wants to do in each of our lives that we may live the life of Jesus Christ Crucified more faithfully Whose life and love reveals the Father to us.

A point that has become crystal clear in studying the Lineamenta and now the Instrumentum Laboris is that everyone is tired of good words, meetings, and study that have not translated into transforming action. A character that I often appeal to in teaching theology to undergraduate is the “adult in a Charlie Brown” cartoon: blah, blah, blah; wah, wah, wah! The work of the New Evangelization cannot be about another vocabulary set of buzzwords and theology that only sounds great without any connection to life, especially the Life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

A group I am part of presently is wonderful – they participate selflessly to learn something to help family and friends back to the Lord in His Church. They are reading, studying, praying and honestly discussing BUT – and it is a big BUT – they want something concrete to do that will make a difference in people’s lives, especially those who have drifted away from the Lord’s Body, His Church.

So … I propose that an ETD (Evangelizing Thought of the Day) become in the end an EAD: “Evangelizing Action for the Day.” This is not action for the sake of action, but action that flows from the prayer of the Church and good theology to serve the needs of fellow human beings. While I may offer a question for reflection that could lead to action, I invite members of the blog to offer comment. There are great, solid ideas that the Holy Spirit is stirring in ALL our hearts. One example from a parish group occurred at Christmas time when some parishioners sent specially worded prayer/Mass ‘Christmas’ cards inviting a few neighbors to Mass on Advent IV, followed by brunch at home and a willingness to accompany them to the communal Sacrament of Penance later that week. When asked “did it work?” and “how many came back?” she smiled and said, “I don’t know. That’s not my job to worry about the numbers. My home was full for brunch and I have been able to plant through His grace and the Lord will do the rest!” That is great wisdom and great action. I am hoping the comment section can be a great resource for all of us.

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