Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB

8/24/2011 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We must confront what Pope Benedict XVI has called a moral relativism

The key to the new evangelization of our Faith in this postmodern age is the fundamental relationship each one of us has with our Lord Jesus.  Do we take the time we need during each day to encounter Him heart to Heart?  Do we stay still long enough to search for God, to listen for His voice, to trust Him in a spirit of obedience even when He might lead us into uncomfortable waters for the sake of our own souls and those of our brothers and sisters in the human race?

Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB

Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB

Article Highlights

By Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/24/2011 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB, Monk, Benedictine, New Evangelization, monastic, theology of the body


RICHMOND, VA (Catholic Online) - On August 2, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal at the Apostolic Signatura (Vatican City) delivered the thought-provoking message, "The Work of the New Evangelization: 'So That the World May Know New Hope'" at the Knights of Columbus 2011 Supreme Convention in Denver.   In treating this theme during his discourse Cardinal Burke cited Blessed Pope John Paul II's concluding prayer in the post-synodal  Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America ("The Church in America") as the foundation for the work of spreading the Gospel message today. 

Placing the work of the new evangelization under the protective care of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, the Blessed Pontiff strove to secure new hope through her Son for families, homes, neighborhoods, and countries.   Cardinal Burke emphasized the vital importance of "teaching, celebrating and living our Catholic faith with the engagement and energy of the first Christians and of the first missionaries to our nations" as the Christian faithful pursue the fulfillment of God's universal call to holiness.

In Ecclesia in America, Blessed John Paul II urged the Church in America to encounter the person of Jesus Christ anew, that this experience with the living Lord is "the path to conversion, communion and solidarity" for our country (EIA 7).  In the course of his address earlier this month, Cardinal Burke intimated that secret to the success of the new evangelization is contained in Blessed John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, "At the Close of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000", where the beloved pope reminded the world that it will not be saved neither by new programs nor by "a formula but by a Person, and the assurance which He gives us:  I am with you" (NMI 29). 

The key to the new evangelization of our Faith in this postmodern age is the fundamental relationship each one of us has with our Lord Jesus.  Do we take the time we need during each day to encounter Him heart to Heart?  Do we stay still long enough to search for God, to listen for His voice, to trust Him in a spirit of obedience even when He might lead us into uncomfortable waters for the sake of our own souls and those of our brothers and sisters in the human race?

Cardinal Burke emphasized as critical to the success of the new evangelization that we as Christians engage actively in our participation in public life, in a manner that authentically reflects genuine discipleship in Jesus Christ.  Rooted in a life of prayer and the sacraments, the Christian is able to listen more carefully to the voice of Christ whom he encounters in a vibrant relationship with our Lord.  We are -- as Blessed John Paul II exhorts - to "have faith in Christ, to believe that what the Lord has promised to us will be fulfilled, and thus to live courageously the truth which has its highest expression in pure and selfless love." 

We must confront what Pope Benedict XVI has called a "moral relativism .. which has generated profound confusion and deadly error regarding the most fundamental truths of the moral order" even to the point that morality no longer exists (cf. Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor; also "Benedict XVI's Christmas greeting to the College of Cardinals, the Roman Curia and the Governorate: Resolved in faith and in doing good," in L'Osservatore Romano Weekly Edition in English, 22-29 December 2010, p.13).

In standing for the authentic teachings of our Lord Jesus wherever they may be, Christians have countless opportunities to defend the truths of our Faith through a natural unfolding of their daily attitudes and activities: standing against the immoral "murder of the unborn child in the womb"; opposing the "artificial generation of human life and its destruction, at the embryonic stages  of development, as the means to obtain supposed cures for crippling or deadly diseases"; confronting any attempts to justify the "so-called 'mercy killing' of those who have the first title to our care"; and defending the fundamental truths of human marriage and sexuality, written by God into the body and soul of each human person and manifested in holy marriage defined by God Himself through a spousal relationship between man and woman, and never between two persons of the same sex.

In confronting the significant moral challenges of our time, our active relationship with Jesus Christ - including our regular encounters with the living Lord sacramentally, especially in the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation - provides a firm foundation for any effort to share our Faith with others.  If we do not pursue holiness first in our own lives, why should people around us believe that a relationship with Jesus Christ leads to genuine joy and fulfillment in life?   The vocation of Christian life is a calling to authentic relationship with God, Who sanctifies believers as they  encounter His holiness and discover His divine love as the only drink to quench their thirsty souls.

In his Apostolic Letter Ubicumque et Semper (2010), Pope Benedict XVI established the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization to assist the Christian faithful in renewing the Church from within, so that she might be most effective in witnessing the Gospel to the world outside of her walls.  Pope Benedict articulates, "At the root of all evangelization lies not a human plan of expansion, but rather the desire to share the inestimable gift that God has wished to give us, making us sharers in His own life."

It is exciting that we in the United Statest have witnessed some beautiful testimony especially in recent months from our bishops, in light of the new evangelization.  Archbishop Timothy Dolan has shared gregariously his love in the national media, leading NBC's Today show intimately for two days into the halls of Vatican City, even making their way possible to encounter the Vicar of Christ in person.  In doing so, he helped bring milliions of Americans - Catholics, non-Catholic Christians, and non-Christians alike -- into deeper personal contact with our Holy Father and into a more authentic experience with the Catholic Church than the media often portray. 

Bishop Jean Laffitte, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, in his interview recently with Catholic News Agency also provided important insight into the authentic interpretation of Blessed John Paul II's Catecheses on Human Love (known popularly as "Theology of the Body") You can read the  full interview here.  Through the powerful witness to the Gospel in the faith of both bishops - and certainly of so many others in our Church as well -- we encounter the living Lord at work through their love and teaching, renewing those who seek to grow in their relationship with the living Lord and helping us to minister to those around us who thirst for the Gospel. 

May the Church's beloved pontiffs Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, and of her bishops Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Dolan, and Bishop Laffitte - among so many other Church leaders - provide living testimony to each one of us in how a loving, living relationship with Jesus Christ gives us hope and the moral fortitude to stand always for what is true and right, giving us the impetus to grow in holiness.  It is ultimately only when the world encounters Jesus authentically through His faithful that the world will change, one soul at a time, both within and outside of the Church for the salvation of souls in Jesus Christ.

-----
Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB, is a Benedictine Monk at Mary Mother of the Church Abbey in Richmond, Virginia. He earned his S.T.B. from the Pontificial Athenaeum of Sant'Anselmo in Rome and his S.T.L. magna cum laude in Moral Theology (Marriage and Family Studies) in 2008 from the Pontifical Lateran University, John Paul II Institute (Vatican City).  His S.T.L. dissertation was entitled, "Educating to Love: Foundational Pedagogy in Light of Karol Wojtyla's Love and Responsibility". Fr. Gregory is working on his doctoral dissertation for the same Vatican institute, on "The Consecration of the Family to the Heart of Jesus in Light of the Pastoral Ministry of Père Mateo Crawley-Boevey"

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More U.S.

Alabama Supreme Court Recognizes Child in the Womb Has Fundamental Rights

Image of The Alabama Supreme Court

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Because a human life with a full genetic endowment comes into existence at the moment of conception, the self-evident truth that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights encompasses the moment of conception. Legal ... continue reading


'COME AND TAKE IT' Texas AG blasts BLM scheming to seize state land, threatens fight Watch

Image of Texans are rallying against the federal government and its habitual overreach.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A major land war between the Bureau of Land Management and the state of Texas is brewing as Texas lawmakers push back against the feds plan to seize 90,000 acres of land along the Texas/Oklahoma border. AUSTIN, TEXAS (Catholic Online) - The Bureau of Land Management ... continue reading


SHOCKING NEW TWIST: Autistic boy defends teenage girls who filmed his sexual assault Watch

Image of The parents of the victim are insistent that they want their son's abuser, 17-year-old Lauren A. Bush to be tried as an adult.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Abused beyond belief by two teenage girls, who filmed their despicable activities with their cellphones, a 16-year-old autistic boy now says he doesn't want to press charges against them - concerned that it would damage their - "friendship?" LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Their Eyes Were Opened: Walk With Jesus on the Road to Emmaus Watch

Image of On the Road to Emmaus: In the light of the encounter with the Lord in the breaking of the bread, their eyes were opened. So it is meant to be with each one of us. The Holy Eucharist is more than a commemoration; it is an invitation into communion with the Living God - right now because Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead and walks with us on the road of life.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We are those disciples on the road to Emmaus, living our lives in the real world, walking along with Jesus who is always there accompanying us on the road, whether we recognize Him or not. He listens to us, and understands us, because he became like us, in "all ... continue reading


Made for Beauty: Liturgy and Music

Image of

By Deal W. Hudson

Some might flinch at my use of the word "satisfying" to describe a liturgy, but I used it deliberately because I want to think aloud about the fact that we were made for beauty as much as we were made for goodness and truth.  To be satisfied by the shape, ... continue reading


Time to Live the Easter Way of Life Watch

Image of Easter is more than a Day; it is a way of living our lives in Jesus Christ. Darkness has been scattered by the Light which broke forth from that empty tomb. That Light is meant to infuse our daily lives with the radiance of Resurrected love.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The early Christians lived their lives in the Lord, for the sake of the world. They exhibited a holy boldness; because they internalized the faith they professed and allowed it to transform every aspect of their lives. They experienced the transforming power of ... continue reading


50,000-strong OK Militia declares they will resist federal takeover attempts Watch

Image of The Oklahoma Militia is ready to defend property against unlawful federal seizure.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Oklahoma militia which claims the allegiance of 50,000 members has sided with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in his recent clash against the feds. Although the standoff appears to be over, and is not likely to resume, the militia says it is ready to defend the rights ... continue reading


BLOODY EASTER WEEKEND IN CHICAGO: Six children shot in widespread violence Watch

Image of Five of the six children wounded, aged from 11 to 15 years, were shot during a drive-by shooting Sunday night.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With 36 people wounded, and nine people dead, it was one of the most violent Easter weekends in Chicago within recent memory. Far more shocking was the fact that six young children were among those injured. Gang violence remains prevalent on Chicago's windy ... continue reading


Militant atheist organization seeks to ban schools from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance Watch

Image of The AHA says that the line

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An organization of militant atheists is suing a New Jersey school district of discrimination, on the behalf of a family who take offense to the line "Under God," within the Pledge of Allegiance. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The lawsuit against the ... continue reading


CONGRATULATIONS! Your job just became temporary Watch

Image of Demand for temporary workers is rapidly increasing in the US job market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With full time employment remaining a scarcity since the 2008 recession, more and more Americans are turning away from the employment model of their parents, instead seeking part time employment. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The booming demand for temporary ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:1-10
1 Once, when Peter and John were going up to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, call on his name, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:13-35
13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 23rd, 2014 Image

St. George
April 23: Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter