Suppose we have a woman on fire with the Gospel message, ready to evangelize the culture. Besides materials from this website, what should she tuck into her New Evangelizer Supply Kit?
Does she need a bus ticket to the public square? Does she need a megaphone? How about a soapbox?
To borrow a pop culture maxim, all she needs is love.
“A program for evangelizing American culture,” states Francis Cardinal George “…begins, continues, and ends with love.” It makes sense, then, that the evangelization of the culture should begin within the family, where love is first cultivated.
Pope John Paul II tells us that a woman finds her purpose in life through motherhood, and that giving of herself is part of the feminine vocation. This is why the Catholic woman – whether she is a wife, a mother, a sister, or a single woman exercising “spiritual motherhood” – will employ her gifts most effectively in the realm of family life.
Each of us possesses unique, God-given abilities that empower us to do our part in transforming the culture. But some of us may need help in identifying our unique gifts.
If you aren’t sure what you have to offer, try the following tips:
Take the time to pray.
St. John Bosco says that no day should pass without a prayer for discernment. He recommends that we “often repeat with St. Paul, ’Lord, what will you have me do?’”
It doesn’t matter if you’re new as an evangelizer or experienced. There are choices to be made at every moment. Placing yourself at the disposal of the Holy Spirit will ensure that your evangelizing efforts bear fruit.
Relate to others with an open heart.
Think of the qualities you have that others appreciate.
Are you the caring friend whom others seek out when they are troubled? You may have the gift of compassion.
Are you frequently called upon to chair parish events? Maybe it’s because you’re a good communicator.
The qualities that endear you to others are likely the ones that will help you to be an effective evangelizer.
Seek spiritual direction.
A spiritual director need not be a religious. He or she may simply be a companion on a woman’s spiritual journey, and one who will nurture her friendship with God, help her to grow in virtue, and become all that God wants her to be.
Leave timidity behind.
The servant who let his talent lie fallow told his master: I was “afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground.” (Matt. 25:25)
Feelings of fear and inadequacy may prevent a woman from doing things that God is calling her to do. It helps to keep in mind that some gifts will remain hidden until they are called up for a particular task.
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself! You may be surprised by the gifts God has given you to accomplish His work.
Copyright © 2012, Celeste Behe