The True Evangelist

I finished the last post on the theme of the true evangelist. What the Lord showed me interiorly and through my own experience, is that when you are under the anointing of the Holy Spirit you can't help yourself in a way. You are always free, as the Lord profoundly respects our freedom. However, there is a childlike joy and glee in sharing the Gospel with others, when you step out into a place of risk. It is never a question of proselytizing, since in the image of God, we also will reflect that profound respect for the freedom of the other. Here is the first image of the true and evangelist that comes from the welling up of the Spirit. It's like a little child who has received the most beautiful Christmas gift he (or she) cold imagine. In his joy he runs around in his excitement to show this to all his friends, like the parable of the woman who found the lost coin -‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.’(Lk15:9). With this joy also comes the vulnerability of a heart that can be broken by the scorn or refusal of the other - the heart of Jesus pierced by thorns. The childlike heart is beautiful because it has this innocence, transparency, and vulnerability of God.

It is never a question of proselytizing because it is shot through with the creativity, freedom and Love of the Holy Spirit, and is in awe of the gift of freedom given to the other. When we feel compelled to look down on others and lecture them, for fear of not being a "proper Catholic" we have moved out of the New covenant and freedom of the sons 0f God (Rom 8:15), and the taskmaster compelling us is a distortion of the face of the Living God. When God is at work there is freedom. The enemy, on the other hand, comes with compulsion bondage, scruples, fear, and a host of other complications which always look inward. Catholics who are the most observant of religious precepts, even those going to daily mass, can often be the most in danger of absorbing an insidious spirit which which looks down on lesser mortals, or other Christian denominations. The more "obedient" we are in our own eyes the worse we can be (though this is not the true spirit of obedience which is to listen with an eager heart to the voice of the beloved). This is the spirit of triumphalism.

The antidote to this is a deep prayer life in communion with God who revealed to me that there are no "good guys and bad guys" as our culture would have us believe. We are all bad guys, in need of salvation. We are all the victims. The more I have moved in that space the more I have come to praise God for rescuing me and the more I have a desire that not the worst person on Earth would ever suffer the loss of their soul in Hell. I pray that God would place a wound of love in my heart for others that would never heal in this life. I need it to be remain humble and grateful before God.

What the Lord showed me about ministries and evangelization and prayer is the second image. Many years ago in prayer I received the image of a great iceberg floating in the sea. The 1/10th above water represented the active ministry in the Kingdom. The 9/10ths underwater represented the life of prayer and communion in the Divine Will. Nearly all of the work is done there where we become "love" in the heart of the Church, to quote St Therese of Liseaux. If we could see what God accomplishes through our prayer, intercession and sacrifice we would be left breathless. That is the place where we enjoy the Sabbath rest in the Spirit of God and He rests in us, empowering us and filling us with desire. Yet there must be fruits above water because we live as a gift to others. We can hide from life by a distorted and excessive prayer life, and an eternal loop of discernment with no commitment, and convince ourselves we are on the right track. If the Iceberg is pushed under the water it is out of balance and must resurface. "It can't help itself". It's the way it is created. Who among us are hiding, burying their talent in the ground? Yet if the iceberg is lifted too high, it is prideful, triumphalist, and unstable and must fall back into the  living waters.  If we seek God with true desire He will reveal the balance that is proper to our call in life - one that always has the center of gravity in God and others, not ourselves. Jesus and Mary Queen of Peace be with you my friend.

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3 Comments

  1. Hello again, Well I hope you read GK Chesterton, or the books about him, because I think you would enjoy them.

    Anyway, I understand your comments about hiding and burying, but it does seem that sometimes God takes you away for a while, sometimes a long while, for purification healing and preparation. When you sense this is happening to you, it is hard to determine when to push yourself back out again.
    Another thought about this post is the difficulty in not being pushy and overbearing when one’s spouse is not on board with the faith the way you are. It took me awhile to learn this and it is a challenging form of sacrificial love.
    Finally, your reflection that we are all bad guys is so necessary in our politically polarized society. I will try to remember this! So Glad I found these musings of yours.

  2. Hi Kathleen. For sure God does take us aside. At the end of the day I understand the most important question is what does Jesus want me to do now. Sounds like your biggest mission is your spouse. Your patience and prayer will bear fruit in Gods time. I will give him to my wife to pray for. She has an intercession ministry because of a heavy cross she has been asked to carry. I take a lot of courage in the knowledge that God wants my salvation infinitely more than I do – your husbands too. So you can rest in that trust. God bless you.

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