"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Monday, December 24, 2012

5 Ways To Evangelize Your Family This Christmas

 | December 18, 2012 AD 2 Replies
xmasChristmas is almost here! There’s only one thing that might worry you more than making it to Midnight Mass on time or keeping off the holiday fifteen.
That worry? The family.
Many of us don’t have Catholic families, especially if you’re a convert or if the majority of your family has left the Church for whatever reason.
Here are five different ideas on ways to help evangelize your family this Christmas season.
Idea #1: Give the Gift of…Self!
True evangelization starts with love, with relationships, and with trust. For Christmas, give people gift certificates for a free coffee or meal with you, one on one. Your treat.
By setting aside intentional time together, you can start to develop some of those relationships with various family members at an even deeper level, allowing trust and authentic friendship to develop between you. Only when trust is truly established will somebody take your religious beliefs and advice into serious consideration, especially when the next crisis hits home.
Idea #2: Stay Away From Controversy
If you find yourself in some sort of controversial debate with a family member regarding religion or politics, which is bound to happen at some point, do whatever you can to steer the conversation away.
Is there a time and a place for debate and controversy? You bet. Look at the life of St. Paul. He was often beat up so badly, they thought he was dead.
I would submit that Christmas day is not a great time to debate yourself into getting beat up.
Remember that people – your family members – are always watching. The words that come out of your mouth and the actions you take might be the closest thing to the Gospel that somebody ever hears or witnesses. Make sure it’s an example of love and charity, and not of division or hate.
Idea #3: Hosting? Catholic Marketing
For those who have the extra burden and blessing of hosting family at your home this Christmas season, be sure to lay out your Catholic books and materials. What do I mean?
Make sure your empty tables have a Bible nearby, or a catechism, or a religious book. This accomplishes two things:
  • It might prompt somebody to pick up the book to read if they’re looking for an escape from the family madness during the day’s festivities. Who knows, maybe they’ll learn something!
  • Having Catholic materials out reinforces the fact that you’re Catholic. It’s a basic marketing tactic. It will again remind the person how important God is to you, so that if they should ever have a question about God or the faith, they might call you up or send you an email.
Laying out a booklet about “How To Go To Confession” for example might prompt somebody to call you after the holidays to ask more questions.
Idea #4:  Radiate Joy
There is nothing more attractive than a person who is radiating joy from the core of their being.
Remember to not be annoying about it, though. Christians often have the stigma of being too bubbly and naive. Even though this is not the case the majority of the time, we must do what we can to break that stereotype.
Examples of how to radiate joy might include, talking about how awesome and freeing your confession was last week, or discussing how much your Bible study has helped you grow in peace and joy this year as you delved deeper into the Word of God.
Idea #5: Invite People To Mass
The old standby, but the best one really. Invite people to midnight Mass. When inviting people always emphasize:
  • It’s one of the most beautiful liturgies of the year
  • You’re more than happy to pick them up and take them home
  • They won’t be sorry that they spent the first hours of Christmas with God himselm
Feedback: What other ideas do you have?

No comments:

Post a Comment