Clothing ourselves in Christ
I'm always impressed by the words of our Pope. Owing to his great intellect and genuine care, his words come to life with images in my head. He's a careful and deliberate craftsman. With special attention to the words I have bolded below, I encourage you to read Tuesdays report from the Vatican Information Service on the Holy Father's words regarding Evangelization.
"ENTHUSIASM AND COURAGE GIVE START TO PROCLAIMING CHRIST VATICAN CITY, 30 MAY 2011 (VIS) - ...the Pope said that "the term 'new evangelization' recalls the need of a new way of evangelizing, especially for those who live in a situation like today's where the development of secularization has left deep marks on even traditionally Christian countries". "The crisis we are living through", he stated, "carries with it signs of the exclusion of God from people's lives, a general indifference to the Christian faith, and even the intention of marginalizing it from public life. ... Moreover, the phenomenon of people who wish to belong to the Church but who are strongly determined by a vision of life that is opposed to the faith is often seen". Benedict XVI emphasized that... the Church's message... "needs to be renewed today in order to convince modern persons, who are often distracted and insensitive. .. being Christian is not a type of outfit that one wears in private or on special occasions, but something living and totalizing, capable of taking all that is good in modernity". AC/ VIS 20110530 (480)"
Something "living and totalizing," not "marginalizing or opposed" but rather "enthusiastic and courageous." The words are vigorous...on purpose. Because we live in a world where nearly everyone has compartmentalized their faith, perhaps letting it out/donning it like an outfit for an hour on Sunday.
And when I think about being clothed in Christ, shining His light and spreading His fragrance, I think of this prayer and it's vigorous words...
(Recited daily after Communion, by Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her Sisters of Charity)
help me to spread your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that my life may only be a radiance of yours. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with
may feel your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus!
Stay with me and then I will begin to shine as you shine,
so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from you; none of it will be mine.
It will be you, shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise you in the way which you love best,
by shining on those around me.
Let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for you. Amen.
With the Holy Father, I've seen Christ shining in his countenance as well as in his words.