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The Challenge of Making Disciples
in a "Culture of Death"

Table of Contents

Introduction

I. Definition of Terms

A. Discipleship
B. Culture
C. A "Culture of Death"

II. Components of Discipleship in the Spirit

III. Components of Discipleship in a "Culture of Death"

A. The Church
B. The Scriptures
C. A Simple Life-Style in the Spirit
D. Prayer in the Spirit
E. Evangelization
F. One in the Spirit

IV. An Example of Discipleship in a "Culture of Death"

A. The Church
B. The Scriptures
C. A Simple Life-Style in the Spirit
D. Prayer in the Spirit
E. Evangelization
F. One in the Spirit

V. Conclusion

Introduction

Human beings naturally imitate other human beings. We also are trying to "find ourselves." Imitation and attempts at self-discovery must necessarily happen simultaneously since we can't help doing either one. We unconsciously make self-discovery our goal and imitation the means. It may seem contradictory to try to find ourselves by imitating someone else, but we can't help it. This explains the need for gangs, cults, sports teams, and role models. The natural, irrepressible desire to find ourselves by imitating others is called discipleship. Naturally we all are disciples, and naturally discipleship is bound to fail, for imitating others, especially in a "culture of death," is not discovering ourselves but losing and confusing ourselves even more. The only exception to this is Christian discipleship*—imitating Jesus Who is the perfect Image of the Father in Whose image we are made. Thus, imitating Jesus is finding ourselves.

Human beings are always being discipled. Discipleship is always harmful — with the exception of Christian discipleship. Therefore, Christians, "make disciples of all nations" (Mt 28:19).**

* Because discipleship is based on human nature, "Christian" discipleship is one of many forms of discipleship. However, in the rest of this paper, I will generally use the word "discipleship" to mean "Christian discipleship."

I. Definitions of Terms

A. Discipleship

God made us in His image and likeness (Gn 1:27). When sin entered the world, we as the icons of God were seriously defaced. As we sinned more and more, the collective memory of humanity even forgot what we had originally looked like (see Jas 1:23-24). Finally, in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son (Gal 4:4), the Image of the invisible God (Col 1:15) and the "exact Representation of the Father's being" (Heb 1:3). "It is in Christ, 'the image of the invisible God,' that man has been created 'in the image and likeness' of the Creator. It is in Christ, Redeemer and Savior, that the divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin, has been restored to its original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1701). When we see Jesus, we see the Father (Jn 14:9). We have been "predestined to share the image of His (God's) Son" (Rm 8:29). We are to look like Jesus, and therefore like the Father. This happens by our being baptized into Jesus and by our imitating of Him in His character (holiness) and ministry. In this way, God's image is restored in us, and we "find ourselves." We look as we were created to look. This is called Christian discipleship.

B. Culture

"The word 'culture' in the general sense refers to all those things which go to the refining and developing of man's diverse mental and physical endowments" (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 53). Pope John Paul II has taught: "Indeed, what is culture if not that combination of knowledge, values, traditions and ways of life typical of a people or of humanity as a whole? Culture is the very life of men" (Address to the young people of Rome, April 6, 1995). Cardinal Ratzinger has taught: "Culture is the historically developed common form of expression of the insights and values which characterize the life of a community" ("Christ, Faith, and the Challenge of Cultures," given at the meeting of the Congregation on the Doctrine of the Faith with the Doctrinal Commission Chairmen and Presidents of the Asian Bishops' Conference, Hong Kong, March 2-5, 1993). Culture by definition is a pervasive, powerful context in which the best or worst can occur in human life.

C. A "Culture of Death"

"There is a profound crisis of culture" (Evangelium Vitae, 11). "Death battles against life: a 'culture of death' seeks to impose itself on our desire to live, and live to the full. There are those who reject the light of life, preferring 'the fruitless works of darkness' (Eph 5:11). Their harvest is injustice, discrimination, exploitation, deceit, violence. In every age, a measure of their apparent success is the death of the innocents. In our own century, as at no other time in history, the 'culture of death' has assumed a social and institutional form of legality to justify the most horrible crimes against humanity: genocide, 'final solutions,' 'ethnic cleansings' and the massive 'taking of lives of human beings even before they are born, or before they reach the natural point of death' (cf. Dominum et Vivificantem, 57)" (World Youth Day, Denver, August 15, 1993).

"The culture is actively fostered by powerful cultural, economic and political currents which encourage an idea of society excessively concerned with efficiency. Looking at the situation from this point of view, it is possible to speak in a certain sense of a war of the powerful against the weak: a life which would require greater acceptance, love and care is considered useless, or held to be an intolerable burden, and is therefore rejected in one way or another. A person who, because of illness, handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favored tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated. In this way a kind of 'conspiracy against life' is unleashed" (Evangelium Vitae, 12).

"We are in fact faced by an objective 'conspiracy against life' involving even international institutions, engaged in encouraging and carrying out actual campaigns to make contraception, sterilization and abortion widely available. Nor can it be denied that the mass media are often implicated in this conspiracy, by lending credit to that culture which presents recourse to contraception, sterilization, abortion and even euthanasia as a mark of progress and a victory of freedom, while depicting as enemies of freedom and progress those positions which are unreservedly pro-life" (Evangelium Vitae, 17).

The culture of death is an extensively dangerous monster whose "ubiquitous tentacles" (Evangelium Vitae, 21) will capture us if we are not totally living in the Holy Spirit.

II. Components of Discipleship in the Spirit

How do we imitate Jesus so as to be restored to the image of the Father? The Holy Spirit, Who bears witness for Jesus (Jn 15:26), is the principal Agent of discipleship. Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19) shortly before forming and filling the Church with the Spirit at the first Christian Pentecost. Discipleship is to the Father, through the Son, and in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit uses the following six components to empower us to be disciples and make disciples of all nations. The Spirit works

  1. in the Church (especially small Christian communities),
  2. through the Scriptures,
  3. through a simple life-style,
  4. by helping us pray (especially the Eucharist),
  5. by empowering us to evangelize, and
  6. by making us one under the authority of the Church and the Pope.

We try to imitate Jesus by imitating the members of His body, the Church. Our parents are called by the Lord to be our major disciplers. Family members and our brothers and sisters in Christ also disciple us. To grow in discipleship, we usually need to be surrounded by holy people (see Heb 12:1). These people need to be ordered into small communities so as to provide us with many and varied opportunities for "continual interaction" with other disciples (see Christifideles Laici, 20). Thus, we need the Church if we are to grow into discipleship. Moreover, we need the Church made present as "the family of families," "the community of communities" (Pope John Paul II, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Rome, Nov 8, 1992). To be in the Church and in community, we need the Holy Spirit to be very active in our lives. In one Spirit, we were baptized into the Church (1 Cor 12:13).

In trying to imitate Jesus, we try to piece together the Scriptural accounts of Jesus, our personal experiences of Him, and the witnesses of other people about Jesus. Then, we try to apply this to our lives and thereby imitate Jesus. This usually doesn't work out very well unless we have an extensive and accurate understanding of the Biblical revelation concerning Jesus. Thus, as St. Jerome said, "ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." We need the Holy Spirit to guide us to all truth (Jn 16:13). The veil covering our understanding of the Scriptures is removed when we turn to the Lord, Who is the Spirit (2 Cor 3:16-17).

When we imitate someone, we usually don't primarily imitate an idea of theirs but their life-style. For example, young people imitate the life-styles of rock stars. Older people imitate the self-centered, pleasure-seeking life-styles of accumulating luxuries. Similarly, in being disciples of Jesus, we are called to imitate especially Jesus' life-style. However, the self-centered desires of our flesh dissuade us from imitating Jesus' life-style.

"The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; the two are directly opposed" (Gal 5:17). To let the Spirit lead in discipling us, we must crucify our "flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24). This means repentance and usually adopting a simple life-style. Otherwise, we will be so stuffed with the things of the flesh that we will not be eager for the pure milk of the Spirit to make us grow unto salvation (1 Pt 2:2). We will be spiritually anorexic. We will quench (see 1 Thes 5:19) and sadden the Spirit (Eph 4:30). In this anorexic state, we will not have the power to grow in discipleship.

Jesus taught us to pray (Lk 11:1 ff), Jesus commanded and taught us to pray always (Lk 18:1). To imitate Jesus, we must live lives of prayer. Moreover, we must communicate with the Lord in prayer to imitate Him in discipleship. When we are following the Spirit's lead, the Spirit will help us overcome our weakness and pray as we ought (Rm 8:26). By the power of the Spirit, we will continue steadfastly in prayer as at the first Christian Pentecost (Acts 1:14; 2:42), especially in the "breaking of bread," that is, the Eucharist (Acts 2:42).

Jesus was sent to proclaim the good news, that is, to evangelize (Mk 1:38). We cannot be true disciples of Jesus without doing the same. The Spirit is being poured out in a new Pentecost and empowering us to be Jesus' witnesses and to evangelize (Acts 1:8; 2:11).

When we are one, we can be disciples and make disciples of all nations (see Jn 17:21). At the first Christian Pentecost, the Holy Spirit enabled all nations to understand the disciples and reversed the disunity of Babel (Acts 2:8-11; see Gn 11:7). The Spirit makes us one (see Eph 4:3). The Spirit works out this unity by gracing us to submit ourselves to the authority of the Church's hierarchy, especially to the authority of the Pope.

In summary, without a great emphasis on the Holy Spirit, discipleship is not likely to develop. This becomes even more obvious in a "culture of death."

III. Components of Discipleship in a "Culture of Death"

How are these six components of discipleship affected by a "culture of death?" How can we move freely and fully in the Spirit amid a "culture of death?"

A. The Church

In a "culture of death," even the "churched" are usually "un-churched," that is, even those who go to church do not understand the nature of the Church and have not made a commitment to her. A "culture of death" hates the Church, considers the Church "public enemy number one", relegates it to the status of an optional club, and intentionally presents a warped image of the Church.

However, the Spirit is leading us to the truth (Jn 16:13) about the Church by raising up leaders to form small basic communities. In these small Christian communities, we discover the true nature of the Church. Pope John Paul II teaches: "These communities are a sign of vitality within the Church, an instrument of formation and evangelization, and a solid starting point for a new society based on a civilization of love...the new 'basic communities,' if they truly live in unity with the Church, are a true expression of communion and a means for the construction of a more profound communion. They are thus cause for great hope for the life of the Church" (Redemptoris Missio, 51; see also Evangelii Nuntiandi, 58). In a small Christian community, we experience "communio", that is, Trinity-unity (see Jn 17:21). In this context, we come to realize that our baptismal promises are a covenant, that a parish is a network of small communities, a family of families, and that a diocese is to be a network of networks of small communities. In this context, we can begin to grasp the importance of the diocesan and universal Church and be led by the Spirit to love the Church as Jesus does (Eph 5:25). Pope John Paul II told the Filipino Bishops' Conference on September 27, 1996: "If the experience of basic ecclesial communities proves successful in fostering a deeper, more fraternal and more practical witness of Christian life and solidarity, then a new image of the Church will appear, the image of an active and responsible community which truly reflects the model offered by the early Christians of Jerusalem as described in the Acts of the apostles." Surrounded by this cloud of Christian communities (see Heb 12:1), the Holy Spirit graces us to imitate Jesus, the Head of the Church, and grow in discipleship.

B. The Scriptures

A "culture of death" is a culture of sin, since the wages of sin is death (Rm 6:23). Pope John Paul II has taught: "The longing for reconciliation, and reconciliation itself, will be complete and effective only to the extent that they reach — in order to heal it — that original wound which is the root of all other wounds: namely, sin" (Reconciliatio et Penitentia, 3). As sin increasingly abounds (see Rm 5:20), we lose our awareness of sin (1 Jn 2:11), guilt, reality, and objective truth. Under these circumstances, God's word is usually not humbly welcomed into our hearts (Jas 1:21). In a "culture of death," most people are spiritually anorexic. Most of us are so stuffed with the things of the world that we may have lost our appetite for the bread of God's word (see Gal 5:17; 1 Pt 2:2). "Lust indulged starves the soul" (Prv 13:19). Signs of spiritual anorexia are Biblical illiteracy, Sunday-only Christianity, an interest in "short" Masses, and the rejection of the value of preaching.

Only the Holy Spirit can free us from the spiritual anorexia that is epidemic in our culture. The Spirit will work especially through the charisms of prophecy, intercession, and redemptive suffering to deliver us. Then we will desire to read, study, and pray the Bible daily through which we will have enough exposure to the Bible to have the makings of discipleship.

C. A Simple Life-Style in the Spirit

A "culture of death" puts pleasure and profit ahead of people. Thus, our life-style becomes more important than others' lives. A "culture of death" is a culture of emptiness, escape, and distraction. Under these circumstances, our life-styles can become hopelessly complex, confusing, and enslaving. Pope John Paul II names this state of affairs "super-development." He teaches: "This super-development, which consists in an excessive availability of every kind of material goods for the benefit of certain social groups, easily makes people slaves of 'possession' and of immediate gratification, with no other horizon than the multiplication or continual replacement of the things already owned with others still better" (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 28). This kind of life-style breeds spiritual anorexia and lusts against the Spirit. But the Spirit also lusts against it (Gal 5:17). Pope John Paul II has taught: "In a word, we can say that the cultural change which we are calling for demands from everyone the courage to adopt a new life-style consisting in making practical choices—at the personal, family, social and international level—on the basis of a correct scale of values: the primacy of being over having, of the person over things. This renewed life-style involves a passing from indifference to concern for others, from rejection to acceptance of them" (Evangelium Vitae, 98).

The Spirit impels us to live lives of sacrifice rather than of pleasure-seeking. The Spirit is raising up prophets and teachers to call us to reject the contraceptive, abortifacient "culture of death" and to have large families in which the mother usually stays at home. These mothers often breast-feed their infants for months or years and sometimes lead the way in home-schooling their children. The Spirit is forming a culture of sacrifice also by calling many people to celibacy, gospel poverty, prophetic poverty (see Pastores Dabo Vobis, Pope John Paul II, 30), and even martyrdom. This culture of sacrifice is not just a matter of giving up but of giving. The Spirit is trying to make us aware of grave social injustices, the urgency of world-mission (Redemptoris Missio, Pope John Paul II, 3), and the immediate imperative of sacrificial giving to the millions of starving poor and refugees. If we follow the Spirit's lead in developing a culture of sacrifice, discipleship will flourish.

D. Prayer in the Spirit

Prayer is always essential to being a disciple, but it is even more important when our culture of death is constantly pressuring us into imitating people living contrary to the imitation of Christ. For example, you may notice your children not imitating you as you imitate Christ (see 1 Cor 11:1) but imitating their friends, as a "culture of death" disciples them. You realize you must spend more time with your children and communicate with them more to counteract the bad influences they receive. In a "culture of death," with its discipleship contrary to Christian discipleship, the Lord wants us to spend more quality-time with Him. He wants us to pray more. However, when your children most need to communicate with you, they often least want to communicate with you. It is similar for us as disciples of Christ. We don't want to pray, especially for an extended time, when we need to pray the most. This is exacerbated by the explosion of pressures and distractions in a "culture of death."

However, "the Spirit too helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought" (Rm 8:26). The Spirit will call us and help us to pray daily in a disciplined way for extended times. The Spirit often does this in the context of Eucharistic adoration and of extended praise through the gift of tongues.

E. Evangelization

In a secular humanistic "culture of death," it is not politically correct or socially acceptable to bring up the subject of God. Furthermore, this culture abhors the Christian claim that Jesus is the only way to eternal life, and it considers evangelization to be the imposition of our values on others. Religion can be tolerated only if it remains private and individual. Thus, a "culture of death" makes evangelization one of its few "sins." To evangelize under these circumstances is possibly more difficult than evangelization in times of persecution. However, if we don't evangelize, we are disobeying Christ and not imitating Him. Rather, we are imitating secular humanistic role models and thereby involved in anti-Christian discipleship.

To evangelize and be a disciple in this culture, we need the Holy Spirit more than ever to prove the world wrong about sin, justice, and condemnation (Jn 16:8). As an essential theme of our evangelization, we must proclaim what Peter kept saying at the first Christian Pentecost: "Save yourselves from this generation which has gone astray" (Acts 2:40). Evangelization in this culture means bold, uncompromising defiance of political and social correctness. This will result both in conversions and in more persecution. Then we must accept the Spirit's grace to love and forgive our persecutors. This is the ultimate discipleship—the ultimate imitation of Christ.

F. One in the Spirit

A "culture of death" is a culture of individuality and therefore a culture of fragmentation and disunity. We are programmed to be more concerned about individual rights than about communal responsibilities. We do not view those in authority as defenders of personal rights and especially as builders of community but as threats to individual freedom. With this mind-set, authority is merely functional and barely tolerated. However, discipleship is by definition the submission of a disciple to a master. We don't imitate a master just because we feel like it but because we have committed ourselves to a relationship of submission. Therefore, the very definition and dynamics of discipleship are denied by a "culture of death."

The Holy Spirit transforms this situation by giving us the charism, fear of the Lord (see Is 11:2-3), thereby making it possible for us to be submissive to one another (Eph 5:21). With this as a basis for developing a counter-culture of submission, the Spirit stresses God's order in all our relationships—children submissive to parents, wives to husbands, husbands to pastors, community members to leaders, and everyone to the Lord, His Church, His word, and the Pope. In a culture of submission, we grow in discipleship as we enter into unity with the members of Christ's body.

IV. An Example of Discipleship in a "Culture of Death"

Our Lady of Presentation Communities and Ministries (PM) is an example of discipleship in a "culture of death." Although some of these communities and ministries were developing as early as 1979, PM officially came into existence in 1983. We are a network of thirty small communities and thirty-five ministries of the word. We are a canonically established association of the laity under the Archbishop of Cincinnati. Although thousands of people are associated with PM in some way, 340 people from 16 states and Canada are committed members of PM. Usually, their commitments to PM last for one year and are renewable annually. The mission of PM is to make disciples, with a special call to disciple lay Catholic leaders. The principal charism of PM is to teach the Bible, especially the readings for the daily Eucharist.

A. The Church

Confronted and hindered by a "culture of death," PM was lead by the Spirit to a much deeper unity with the universal and domestic Church. For example, we were led to emphasize that the word of God not only consists of the Scriptures but also of the magisterial teaching of the Church. The Magisterium opens us to the fullness of revelation, while giving the basis for Scripture's authority. Because of this emphasis on the Church and her authority, we could more strongly call people to obey the Scriptures and apply them practically in their lives.

Also, because we proclaim God's word in the context of the Church as small communities, we are somewhat effective, despite our "culture of death," in holding Jesus' disciples accountable to being doers of God's word (Jas 1:21-22).

B. The Scriptures

PM has been sowing God's word bountifully for a dozen years. At first, we assumed that God's word would be received. However, this was a false assumption, for we underestimated the negative influences of the culture of death. We gradually came to the conclusion that most people in our society are not spiritually hungry, but spiritually anorexic. This discernment led us to put more emphasis on the Holy Spirit and on the charism of prophecy. This in turn led us to focus on the daily eucharistic readings, which we consider to be prophetic.

Moreover, we became more aware of the importance of the context in which God's word was proclaimed. We expanded from giving Bible studies to training Bible teachers. Then we worked on equipping the saints for ministry (Eph 4:11) through an annual ten-day Bible Institute. Next, we developed a forty-day Discipleship Program and finally Our Lady of Guadalupe Bible College. We came to see the necessity of moving towards building a counter-culture in which to proclaim God's word.

C. A Simple Life-Style in the Spirit

A few years ago, we in PM, became alarmed when we repeatedly saw God's word choked by the thorns of worldly cares (Mk 4:18-19). We saw many disciples turn away "enamored of the present world" (2 Tm 4:10). Surrounded by our "culture of death," a few people in PM's communities thought the Spirit was lusting against the flesh (Gal 5:17) by leading them to a more radical life of poverty. For example, none of our workers, even full-time workers, are paid. A few members of our communities have intentionally avoided having any debts (Rm 13:8), even on houses and cars. Some in PM follow the traditional, Biblical, and Catholic proscriptions against paying or receiving any interest. A few people in PM have decided not to own such things as cars and TVs. A couple members of PM refuse to pay federal and state income taxes to avoid funding abortions in any way. Although most of those in PM do not take these stands, those who do make more radical decisions for life, justice, and poverty are respected. I believe they are a prophetic leaven raising all those in PM to a life-style in the Spirit more conducive to growing in discipleship.

D. Prayer in the Spirit

Although we at PM looked at the American culture critically, we did not discern that it was so bad and dangerous as to warrant the description, a "culture of death." Because of this, we may have been lax in holding members of PM accountable to some aspects of discipleship, such as prayer. We need to encourage the leaders of our communities to encourage the members of their communities to pray in a more disciplined way. We have stressed celebrating Mass daily and the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least monthly. We call for weekly fasting and encourage frequent Eucharistic adoration, novenas, and the praying of the Liturgy of the Hours. We have helped many people establish a prayer life, but the lack of accountability could undermine the prayer life of some of those in PM. This would then sabotage discipleship, especially in a "culture of death." We must hold the leaders of our communities and ministries accountable to call the members of their communities and ministries to obey Pope John Paul II's exhortation: "A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer. Jesus himself has shown us by his own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (cf. Mt 4:1-11). As he taught his disciples, some demons cannot be driven out except in this way (cf. Mk 9:29). Let us therefore discover anew the humility and the courage to pray and fast so that power from on high will break down the walls of lies and deceit" (Evangelium Vitae, 100).

E. Evangelization

The members of PM have been stifled in evangelizing by a "culture of death." Most of our members share their faith but probably not to the extent the Lord wants and not with the full freedom of the Spirit. However, we are hopeful for better things. The Spirit has taught us to emphasize that evangelization is the responsibility primarily of the laity in the secular world. This has led us to focus on evangelization not so much within parish and renewal programs, but in such settings as lunch hours at work, conversations with neighbors, activities with families, and simple service to those the Lord has put into our lives. Because of PM's emphasis on Bible teaching, most of our members have a basic understanding of evangelization. Our people do not need more training as much as they need more freedom. Some of our members are set free by examples of public witnessing. Door-to-door evangelization and rosary marches have been important evangelistic catalysts for us in the past. Presently, a few of us publicly pray in front of an abortion chamber twice a week. Although this is not evangelization, it may be helpful in evangelizing because it openly contradicts the "culture of death's" insistence on keeping our faith private.

F. One in the Spirit

In PM, we are encouraged because we have not been manipulated by the rebellion and disunity of the "culture of death." Therefore, we have maintained a healthy atmosphere for discipleship. The Spirit has especially worked in this area through the charism of teaching, by which we have communicated the meaning of godly authority and submission, especially in the context of marriage. We stress that authority is exercised in the context of sacrificial love and that submission is an act of divine strength and deep faith in God's plan and providence. Submission is calling those in authority to responsibility and refusing to be manipulated into co-dependency. Many of our couples have experienced exceptional love and unity in the Spirit partly because of their lives of authority, love, and submission. Newcomers to PM can clearly observe the benefits of this way of relating.

With these living examples, we are successful in calling people to unity and submission as a way of life and as our response to the teachings of the Church and the Bible. We find that the most disobeyed teachings of the Catholic Christian faith (e.g. prohibition of artificial birth control) are good opportunities in which to call the entire PM community to unity and submission in the Spirit.

V. Conclusion

As we prepare to celebrate the Great Jubilee in the year 2000, the good news is that by the power of the Spirit discipleship is possible and can even flourish in a "culture of death." "We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His decree" (Rm 8:28). "The Lord has made everything for His own ends, even the wicked for the evil day" (Prv 16:4). St. Ignatius of Antioch proclaimed: "Christianity shows its greatness when it is hated by the world" (quoted from 3:1-5:3: Funk 1, 215-219; quoted in The Liturgy of the Hours, Office of Readings, Monday of the tenth week in Ordinary Time). Pope John Paul II states: "There is certainly an enormous disparity between the powerful resources available to the forces promoting the "culture of death" and the means at the disposal of those working for a 'culture of life and love.' But we know that we can rely on the help of God, for Whom nothing is impossible" [(cf. Mt 19:26) (Evangelium Vitae, 100)].

Jesus is Lord! He is seated forever on His throne. His plans will be fulfilled. However, we will be disciples and make disciples who make disciples only if we emphasize the Holy Spirit and totally surrender to Him as He renews the face of the earth (Ps 104:30) and creates a civilization and culture of love. Come, Holy Spirit!

 

Excerpts from Scripture are taken from The New American Bible, copyright 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C., and are used by permission of the copyright holder. All rights reserved.

Nihil obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, April 11, 1998
Imprimatur: † Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 15, 1998

The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.

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Copyright © 2017 Presentation Ministries
3230 McHenry Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45211
Phone: (513) 662-5378
www.presentationministries.com

Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com

 

 

 
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