Languages of Evangelization
Not everyone speaks the same language, as if you needed any reminding of that.
Adam’s fall from grace;
the disaster at the Tower of Babel;
even the inability to communicate thrust upon Zechariah for his lack of Faith in the face of an angel,
…all of it makes the point most strongly that sin and confusion go together.
Sin has done something else though.
It has taken our most natural indicators, our great signposts that lead us to God, and it has closed our minds to them.
And so we look at the night sky, and sadly not all of us see the beauty;
…not all of us understand in the least the great mathematical and scientific truths that bind them;
…and certainly many have forgotten that in the beginning God made all of it good.
Truth, goodness and beauty (God’s direct line to the human heart) what we sometimes call the languages of evangelization, now only comes to us in part, as if we see through dark glasses, instead of the clear windows they were meant to be.
Have you ever noticed this?
You point out to someone the most brilliant of scenes,
…the kind that can bring a tear to the eyes for the way it can stir the mind and heart, and the other responds, ‘that’s interesting.’
What’s happened? They have lost their hold on beauty.
You call another’s attention to the great work and selfless actions of Mother Theresa,
…and you are met with suspicion, the expectation of fraud that MUST be her real motivation.
What happened? This person can no longer hear the language of goodness as was God’s original intention.
And when you point out the logic and fascinating thinking of more than two thousand years of this world’s great men and women within the Church, some (you find) still insist on retorting with the most irrational and childish rhetoric.
Yes, they are no longer fluent in the language of truth.
We can all sound like bumbling fools, if our interlocutors do not understand our chosen language to begin with.
So here is a simple yet terribly effective method to counter it:
Choose the language of evangelization that they understand best.
Don’t waste time, effort and many words speaking beauty when they can only hear truth.
Don’t struggle trying to explain the Church’s teaching on paper when what they really need is to see the doctrines lived in good men and women.
Find their language, speak it, and God the One who can make the fool sound the poet, will take care of the rest.
Keep evangelizing friends, in Christ, patrick