Live Christ! Give Christ! Prayers for the New Evangelization

The perfect prayer companion
for the film Media Apostle
Evangelization has to do with the calling of every baptized person.  Evangelization is our response to Baptism – and in turn as we invite others they respond through baptism or a renewal of their baptism.

Pope Francis’s first letter, Evangelii Gaudium Joy of the Gospel – outlines the four proposals of evangelization. Each of these is prayerfully considered in this new prayerbook.

1.     First we need a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.  In the forward to Live Christ! Give Christ!, the president of the pontifical council for the promotion of the new evangelization, Archbishop Fisichella, wrote:

 "The path of the new evangelization entails the recovery of a healthy spirituality. The primacy of contemplation in the mission of the new evangelization continues to be a central theme."

     Pope Francis says this is to cultivate an interior space, moments of adoration, prayerful encounter with the Word, sincere conversations with the Lord. We need to focus on contemplation. The prayers in this book are great primers as we enter into the presence of God. Archbishop Fisichella says these prayers will help us get past the voices of secularism, agnosticism, and relativism. They lead us to a deeper meaning in life. They guide us to a profound listening and give us a greater capacity to deepen our relationship with Jesus and our own conversion. The title of the prayerbook also sums up the contents. We are invited to live Christ and find that our response is evangelization. Alberione said that apostles who pray overflow like a fountain. So our response, called evangelization, will naturally follow our personal encounter with Christ.

2.     The second proposal of the new evangelization is the proclamation of the Gospel to engage the culture.  The chapter Evangelizing in a Communications Culture leads us into prayer for using the new media, for Incarnating Christ in the Culture. We are to incarnate ourselves as we grow into Christ… 
“Knead me Lord Jesus, in the world of communication as Eucharistic bread that will nourish other’s minds and hearts.”

3.     Another proposal for the New Evangelization is the transformation of the social, economic, and political orders leading to true liberation. The prayer chapters on the Word of God, The Holy Eucharist, and Prayers of Reconciliation and Forgiveness assist in our understanding that God is with us in the seemly impossible task.  As Pope Francis says “The very heart of the Gospel is life in community and engagement with others.” Praying with St. Paul is another chapter that fulfills this mandate wonderfully. Paul knew how to engage the culture and change the world through God’s good news.

4.     Fourth and final in the priorities of the New Evangelization is unity among believers and all people of faith. Today we live in a culture of communication. It is our meeting point, just as the Areopagus was the meeting point of the culture Paul evangelized. The chapter entitled Prayers for those Engaged in the New Evangelization reminds us that we are constantly in communication with others in so many ways.

Our choices are to be informed by the Gospel. We are in need of evangelization first – before we set out to evangelize and discern how to respond to issues with the Gospel message.

The prayer book starts out with a chapter on Prayers to the Holy Trinity – the first and perfect communion of community and the prime communicators. We consecrate ourselves to the Trinity so that we are in that intimate communication. We pray to the Holy Spirit so that our life is transformed.

With the Holy Spirit, Mary is always present. The chapter on prayers to Mary, Queen of Apostles reflects that she is always present in the midst of the evangelizers. She joined the apostles that first Pentecost. We pray for a new Pentecost along with Mary, Mother of the Church. Without her we can never truly understand the New Evangelization.

The book Live Christ! Give Christ! Prayers for a New Evangelization is available from 
Pauline Books & Media

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