"What we have done", and public/Community evangelism

First, let me say how grateful I am for this Forum, and the variety of rich material I’m discovering.

A quote that I’ve recently been meditating on is this one from Thomas a Kempis: “At the Day of Judgement we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done.”

I’ve often wrestled with what I am “doing” for God. My life is a pretty normal “every day” life, if you will, and I do try to let my faith speak through my words and actions to the people whom I meet. But, then I think of so many who have stood so fearlessly for their faith even in the face of death – from St. Peter to Becket to St. Joan to Pickering. I’ll still never forget the empty feeling I had many years ago when I compared my life with the story of Father Damien who went to the Hawaiian island of Molokai, thinking nothing of his own life.

Every time a Jehovah’s Witness or a Mormon comes to my door, and I see how unashamed they are of their message, I can’t shake that nagging feeling inside. At the same time, when I see street preachers supposedly talking about the “same Jesus” whom I believe in, yet seemingly so full of condemnation and hatred, I weep over the poor testimony of the loving Christ that they are.

As Catholics, service to the needy in society has often been the doorway to sharing the gospel. Yet, I wonder if that’s enough, and if regular attendance at mass or even deeper involvement in the church becomes just an appeasing of our conscience, when there’s more we will be answerable for (going back to a Kempis’ quote).

Perhaps it’s mere rambling, but if any of you have pondered over this and would like to share your experience, I welcome it.

Soli Dei Gratia

2 things. First, St.Francis of Assisi said, preach often and when necessary use words. Believe me, the cliche our actions speak louder than any words…rings very true. So the way we live our lives is public evangelization by itself.

Secondly, I read, listen to, check out anything and everything I can about our Catholic faith beginning with the catechism and scripture…and then I pray on it. So that when I am called to evangelize, at least I have the basic understanding of it when I am challenged to evangelize. I especially send up a prayer to the Holy Spirit and without any doubt, I am filled with the right words, or at least words of comfort that I can find out the respective answer. Keep praying.

Good reminder, stbruno. Thanks for the reminder of that quote by St. Francis of Assisi – again, one of my top quotes.

I also agree with you regarding the “preparation” (if I’m understanding you correctly) – as one Scripture puts it: “in season and out of season.”

I guess my struggle is more with the passion and the boldness that some of these saints of old seem to have, that is so often lacking in my own life, and to be frank, the lives of many Catholics around me.

But, “keep praying” is a good way to summarize it. Thanks! :slight_smile:

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