Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Reasonable tremble--more Fools rising!

Evangelical Catholic. I like the sound of it! The Catholic Telegraph on Witnessing a ‘new phenomenon’. Here's a sampler:
The two words together may not look right to some, but the phrase 'evangelical Catholics' may soon be mainstream as more young people in the church exhibit the traits usually associated with evangelicals.

The counterintuitive term identifies Roman Catholics who embrace much of the public-witness style of evangelical Protestants. William Portier, a religious studies professor at the University of Dayton and the Mary Ann Spearin, chair in Catholic Theology, calls it a "new phenomenon."
Portier wrote about it in the essay, "Here Come the Evangelical Catholics," which received the 2005 best article award from the College Theology Society (CTS).
Professor Portier had this to say about his inspiration for this essay:
In his essay, Portier writes, "By the 1990s a new breed of student started turning up in my theology classes. Far from a majority, their small number often includes the most intellectually gifted. These students are interested in Catholic-specific issues. They want meat. They love the pope. They are pro-life. They do service trips during breaks and gravitate toward "service" upon graduation."

Portier, 59, said these young Catholics are what most people would call conservative, "which surprises some people my age and disturbs them. There are all these young kids at our noon Mass wearing Jesus T-shirts — I never had a Jesus T-shirt.

"I was trying to figure out how to understand these students, which seemed like a throwback to the 1950s," he said. "But I lived in the ‘50s, and this seemed very different to me and I thought it was more forward than backward looking."
It's possible that the number of converts to the Church from evangelical protestant congregations has influenced this evangelical factor. I think another part is what he touched on in his essay. Young Catholics want to live out their Faith. They don't want to compartmentalize their life. They yearn for that sense of mission and fulfillment that comes from those confronted with a society entrapped within existential angst. They have properly come to understand that they can only be satisfied when the respond to God's personal invitation to love. They respond with their "yes", and thus begins their faith. Of course they'll live this faith where they meet Christ, in the Church. The Church is the people of God, his own mystical body, his choses way of remaining with us as we travel through history.

These young people accept the call to heroism that our late Holy Father had issued. They stand today as witnesses that will stand on the roof tops and shout the Gospel out loud. Their presence should ease the hearts of all Fools and make the Reasonable nervous. God be praised that he awakens in each generation the disciples that will continue to pick up their cross and follow him.