Week 12, Wednesday. Saint Cyril of Alexandria. Evangelizing Thought of the Day

DAILY SEQUENTIAL EXCERPTS from The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith – Instrumentum Laboris:

10. “The idea of renewing the Church's evangelizing activity, expressed most recently in the previously mentioned decisions of Pope Benedict XVI, has a long history. This same idea inspired the teaching and apostolic ministry of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. In fact, the origin of the idea can be traced to the Second Vatican Council and its desire to respond to a sense of disorientation experienced by Christians facing powerful changes and divisions which the world was experiencing at that time. The Church's response was not characterized by pessimism or resignation, but the regenerating power of the universal call to salvation, desired by God for each individual.
12. In the wake of the Council, Pope Paul VI perceptively observed that the duty of evangelization needed to be proposed again with greater force and urgency, because of the de-Christianization of many ordinary people who, despite being baptized, live a life not in keeping with their Christian faith or express some kind of faith but have an imperfect knowledge of its basic tenets. An increasing number of people are sensing a need to know Jesus Christ in a different way from what they were taught as children. Faithful to conciliar teaching, Pope Paul VI added that the Church's evangelizing activity "must constantly seek the proper means and language for presenting, or representing, to them God's revelation and faith in Jesus Christ.” (Instrumentum Laboris, “Introduction,” paragraphs 10 and 12)

My heart is ready, O God; my heart is ready. I will sing, I will sing your praise. Awake, my soul; awake, O lyre and harp. I will awake the dawn. (Psalm 108:2-3, Liturgy of the Hours, Morning Prayer).

O God, Who made the Bishop Saint Cyril of Alexandria
an invincible champion of the Divine Motherhood
of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
grant, we pray,
that we, who believe she is truly the Mother of God,
may be saved through the Incarnation of Christ Your Son.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever.

Today’s selections from the Instrumentum Laboris trace the development of the New Evangelization since the time of Vatican II and through the pontificates of Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. Note once again the acknowledgement of “disorientation experienced by Christians facing powerful changes and divisions which the world was experiencing at that time.” One might argue that those unnamed “powerful changes and divisions” have gotten only stronger since the close of the Council and have ramped up the need for an urgent response... the Council’s antidote: the universal call to salvation.


  • What do you consider to be powerful changes and divisions threatening the life of faith?
  • How and why does the universal call to salvation [and holiness] address these changes and divisions?

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