Smile while you evangelize!

I’m late, by at least two months, getting to Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s speech from February about New Evangelization.

If you haven’t already, do read it all.

In the first mention of New Evangelization, Dolan, who already had my attention, grabbed it even deeper:

The New Evangelization became the dare to apply the invitation of Jesus to conversion of heart not only ad extra but ad intra, to believers and cultures where the salt of the gospel had lost its tang. Thus, the missio is not only to New Guinea but to New York. [emphasis mine]

The New Evangelization is a dare? I can’t help but think back to the games of Truth or Dare I played in my younger, wilder days, and it certainly gives this work we’re all out to accomplish a different feel.

If it’s a dare, then there’s risk. Possibly a lot of risk.

What does it mean for me to accept a dare to participate in the New Evangelization? How does that change my frame of thought, my approach, my attitude?

Dolan goes on to detail seven planks of the New Evangelization, and they made me stop and think in a whole new way about New Evangelization.

My favorite is one I need to be reminded of often:

The New Evangelization is accomplished with a smile, not a frown.

How easy it is to be the one preaching and lecturing (and frowning) about all that’s wrong! How effortless to yell and rail (and frown) as I catechize! How simple to focus on the negative (with a frown on my face and in my heart) and decry humanity!

The New Evangelization isn’t always going to be fun (nothing is). It won’t always be easy (if ever). That shouldn’t stop us from remembering that what we’re sharing is the Good News.
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to be shocked and delighted that her life as a grown-up involve horses, writing, and sparkly dress shoes. In her work in the New Evangelization as a Catholic wife, mom, writer, parish employee, and catechist, she’s learned a lot of lessons, had a lot of laughs, and consumed mass amounts of coffee. She’s online at and, and is the author of a number of books.

3 responses to “Smile while you evangelize!”

  1. thom says:

    About 1957 the nun preparing us for Confirmation told us to say this prayer when the Bishop Confirmed us- Lord give me all the gifts you have for me and I will use them.
    I could tell something was there but could not define it (gift of understanding). In 1961 I prayed “Lord if you are there where are you” for about two and a half months. One day I knew. Again, not able to describe. About 1982 my wife and I started the Renewal journey. The Glory to God Community, a catholic charismatic fraternity of pontifical right. Continuing learning to listen to Jesus and the Spirit in prayer continues our growth.

  2. thom says:

    When reading scripture I have learned to start with- Spirit who does not say that Jesus is the son of man, I command you to leave me and go immediately and directly to the foot of the Cross. Holy Spirit keep me (my human thoughts and interpretations) from understanding what is written here. Lord, teach me what you want me to understand. Then, I proceed to study scripture. This has been a valuable aid. Journaling while studying is also a valuable tool for being able to look back and see the results of study and prayer.

  3. thom says:

    Sometimes I get ahead of myself. The previous two comments are for Walter.

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