A “culture of Pentecost” for a “culture of witness”

A new Pentecost and a culture of Pentecost

for a culture of witness and a new evangelization 

To be Christians -to say, believe, and live based on the truth that Jesus is Lord!- and to evangelize the world -so that others too may profess and proclaim that Jesus is Lord! (1 Cor. 12: 3)– the Church must build a “culture of witness”, the U.S. bishops Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis explains in their new online resource, Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization.   

“A Christian life lived with charity and faith is the most effective form of evangelization. To create a culture of witness, we must live explicit lives of discipleship. The commitment to living the Christian life provides an essential element of the culture of witness. To those seeking answers to the increasing secularization, individualism, and materialism of society, a Christian life provides a powerful witness to the Gospel. This reorientation of one’s life toward Christ is possible because of the work of the Holy Spirit.”  (Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization)

So… how do we do that? How do we create a “culture of witness”? What do we need?

A new Pentecost and a culture of Pentecost

for a culture of witness and a new evangelization 

We need power. We need power from on high, the gift of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus Himself declared before ascending into heaven (Luke 24:49; Acts 1: 4) if we are truly to be and make disciples in all the nations of the world. We need to live Pentecost if we are to be transformed interiorly and externally. 

“On what does the Church live? The Church lives on the Holy Spirit. The Church’s first need is always to live Pentecost… The Church has a need for the Holy Spirit: a basic need, an existential need, a need that cannot be satisfied with illusions, with substitutes… a universal need, a permanent need… For this reason, if we really love the Church, the main thing we must do is to foster in it an outpouring of the divine Paraclete, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit who makes us Christians and raises us to supernatural life, is the true and profound principle of our interior life and of our external apostolic activity…”

Pope Paul VI, General Audience, October 12, 1966 

This ongoing need for the Holy Spirit of God working within us and through us – permanently and personally living Pentecost, as Pope Paul VI stated – is what Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have called a “culture of Pentecost.” 

“I hope that the Holy Spirit will be ever more welcome in the hearts of believers and that the ‘culture of Pentecost,’ which is so necessary in our day, might continue to spread.”

Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, September 28, 2005 

 That’s what we need! To live a culture of Pentecost in which all Christians are driving under the influence of the Holy Spirit who is God from God, light from light, true God from true God, as we profess week after week around the world in the Nicene Creed. 

Pope John Paul II in 2002 said it so clearly when he exhorted young people – and people of every age – to be “power hungry”: 

“In our time that is so hungry for hope, make the Holy Spirit known and loved. Help bring to life that ‘culture of Pentecost’ that alone can make fruitful the civilization of love and friendly co-existence among peoples. With fervent insistence, never tire of praying ‘Come Holy Spirit! Come! Come!’”

Address to Delegates from the Renewal in the Spirit, 2004 

Indeed, we need a new Pentecost so that the Holy Spirit we received when we were baptized in the Holy Spirit may be fully unleashed and take His rightful place in our lives. Pope Benedict XVI has spoken numerous times of the urgent need for this new Pentecost and a vibrant culture of Pentecost that will indeed foster and sustain a culture of witness that will enable us to fully and effectively implement the new evangelization

So, again… how do we do that? How do we foster a new Pentecost and a culture of Pentecost so as to create an evangelizing culture of witness within which we might carry out a new evangelization

A new Pentecost and a culture of Pentecost

for a culture of witness and a new evangelization 

We pray. We come together to pray, as Jesus asked the early Church to do. We gather as Church on the Eve of Pentecost, with Mary and the Apostles, in prayer, and we implore the Lord to send power from on high, the gift of God, the Holy Spirit.

“Let us implore from God the grace of a new Pentecost for the Church in America. May tongues of fire, combining burning love of God and neighbor with zeal for the spread of Christ’s kingdom, descend on all present!”

Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, April 19, 2008 

A new Pentecost and a culture of Pentecost

for a culture of witness and a new evangelization

 

Fourth Annual Archdiocesan Pentecost Eve Vigil Mass and Celebration

Saturday, May 26, 2012

6:30-10:00 pm

St. Matthew Catholic Church

San Antonio, Texas 

Join Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, Bishop Oscar Cantú, and hundreds of brothers and sisters of various lay ecclesial movements and new communities, apostolates, ministries, and organizations for the Fourth Annual Archdiocesan Pentecost Eve Vigil Mass and Celebration where we will commit ourselves to fostering a culture of Pentecost that will truly lead us to developing and sustaining a vibrant and truly evangelizing culture of witness. Join us as we pray for a new Pentecost for an effective and full implementation of a new evangelization! 

On January 16, 1988, the Congregation for Divine Worship issued Paschale Solemnitatis, the Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts. For the Vigil of Pentecost, number 107 of that Letter encourages “the prolonged celebration of Mass in the form of a Vigil, whose character is not baptismal as in the Easter Vigil, but is one of urgent prayer, after the example of the apostles and disciples, who persevered together in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as they awaited the Holy Spirit.” So… come prepared to hear and ponder several rich biblical readings and to pray several responsorial psalms! We will unite our hearts, minds, and voices in several prayers and gestures of eager receptivity toward the gift and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as we pray in thanksgiving for the various charisms and spiritualities with which the Holy Spirit has already gifted the Church over the centuries and during the last several decades. 

A new Pentecost and a culture of Pentecost

for a culture of witness and a new evangelization 

See you there! 

 For more information on the “new Pentecost” for a “new evangelization”

and the “culture of Pentecost” for an evangelizing “culture of witness”,

read other entries in this http://iEvangelize.wordpress.com blog,

read my columns at www.satodayscatholic.com,

visit my website: www.archsa.org/Evangelization,

watch my television interviews with Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR and Fr. George Montague, SM in the Pentecost section of my website, at www.vimeo and www.YouTube.com,

or mail me at Evangelization@archsa.org.

PentecostEVM2012_savethedate

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