Me? An evangelist?

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Did you know that when you were baptized, you were anointed to be an evangelist? Yes, you, I and every Christian are meant to bring others into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. How do we do that?

There are as many ways as there are people to fulfill this commission from a casual conversation with a new friend to an elaborate video training ministry.

A smile is a good beginning that arouses curiosity about what makes us smile. Evangelization is as varied as television evangelists defending the faith, missionaries risking their lives to testify to their faith and save the souls of natives, and authors writing their story of how God has changed their lives.

Saint John Paul II teaches us that the most effective way to evangelize is through our personal witness. Everyone has a story.

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Friars Corner: Jesus is our Shepherd, gate and door to heaven

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Acts 2:14a, 36-41; Ps 23:1-6; 1 Peter 2:20-25; John 10:1-10

The main key to our faith is to come to know Jesus Christ, our Savior from sin and Lord of our lives. He is our only path and the gate to heavenly glory as our scriptures tell us. I heard a great present-day evangelist say people don’t want to know Jesus. They “keep him at arm’s length,” because they don’t want to change anything they are doing in their lives. Well, forget going to heaven.

The first reading from Acts, tells the story of Peter preaching to the Jews assembled outside the Upper Room on Pentecost. He told them they needed to repent of the past sins in the Name of Jesus Christ, be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit. The apostles and disciples baptized three thousand Jews that Sunday. Continue reading

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Got Joy? Latest JOYAlive.net posts 5-5-17

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Featured Favorite: Still House

Mother with Child by Leon Perrault (Wikimedia Commons)

Mother with Child by Leon Perrault (Wikimedia Commons)

by Melissa Williams Finn

Days like this one in late spring – green, breezy, crowned with a blue bowl of a sky – remind me of our little old 1930s house on McCommas and life with just my first two children. After 2 ½ years of diaper-and-nursing mayhem, with life largely governed by fractured nights and sleepy mornings, it was a big deal to get our oldest child fed, dressed and off to preschool at 9 a.m. twice a week. He and his dad would drive off down the leafy street, waving at me standing with the baby on the front porch in our breakfast-sticky pajamas. Then she and I would head back into the wreckage and sit down in the rocking chair, watching the dust motes stream onto the yellow wood floor and enjoying the hush of an almost-empty house.

 

I love that moment when the house is quiet. It is so full of echoes and promises, a pocketful of time all to yourself. No one cries, requests, insists, demands. In those few minutes of stillness, you can take a breath and restore order to one corner of your little world, literally or figuratively. Wipe up after breakfast, write a letter, take an unhurried shower, clear off your desk. Or just think, pray, be. What will I do today to help my children, my husband and myself get to heaven? Are all those errands on my list really so necessary? How am I making the world better for others? What should I take out of the freezer for dinner? (Big thoughts can continue for only so long.)

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A Classic by Fr. Jacques Philippe: Time for God

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Time for God by Jacques Philippe is about mental prayer. Facing God in solitude and silence for a time, to enter into intimate, loving communication with him. I read this as a participant in a group study initiated by my covenant community, with talks each Sunday on the five chapters of this small but dynamic book. It is a resource for beginners trying to establish a daily prayer time, and for many of us who know the value of this habit but have strayed from that well-spent time we offer God in which he transforms our lives.

Mental prayer is not a kind of Christian Yoga. Our life of prayer is not the result of technique but a gift we receive. In fact, St. Jane Frances de Chantal writes, “The best method of prayer is not to have one.” We don’t need a formula any more than we need a script when we get together with our best friend. Having a good time together happens naturally. Continue reading

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Friars Corner: The disciples recognized Jesus as he broke bread for them

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Acts 2:14, 22-33; Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-10; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35

For me, this is the second most beautiful and powerful story about Easter Sunday. The first reading today is Peter’s sermon to the Jews who had gathered around the Upper Room at Pentecost. One hundred and twenty apostles and disciples broke out of the room after they were set ablaze with the fire of the Holy Spirit. The second reading is again from St. Peter‘s first letter telling us that the Blood of Jesus sets us free from sin and death.

Dear Holy Spirit, please light your fire of understanding and courage with St. Luke’s story of Easter afternoon and evening. Continue reading

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Got Joy? Latest JOYAlive.net posts 4-28-17

Girl on swing at sunset

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Tour the new website: NancyHCWard.com

Inspiring and Equipping Catholics to Evangelize is the theme of the new website. NancyHCWard.com, It’s meant to help us:

Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence. (1 Peter 3:15-16)

I’ve gathered all the pertinent information about my publications and speaking engagements to present to you on my new speaker/author website: NancyHCWard.com.

You can quickly check out a video excerpt from my Sharing Your Faith Story DVD in the header, containing a synopsis of my mission.

Below that you find major endorsements by Lisa Hendey, John Michael Talbot, Sarah Reinhard and Dave Palmer. More endorsements are in the right margins of the pages Presentations, Publications, Broadcasts, and Blogging from others with a similar mission. Continue reading

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