The Church’s Missionary Mandate | Friends of Little Portion Hermitage

The proclamation of the Word of God has Christian conversion as its aim: a complete and sincere adherence to Christ and his Gospel through faith. Conversion is a gift of God, a work of the Blessed Trinity. It is the Spirit who opens people’s hearts so that they can believe in Christ and “confess him” cf. 1 Cor 12:3; of those who draw near to him through faith Jesus says: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” Jn 6:44.

From the outset, conversion is expressed in faith which is total and radical, and which neither limits nor hinders God’s gift. At the same time, it gives rise to a dynamic and lifelong process which demands a continual turning away from “life according to the flesh” to “life according to the Spirit” cf. Rom 8:3-13. Conversion means accepting, by a personal decision, the saving sovereignty of Christ and becoming his disciple.

~ Bl. Pope John Paul II, REDEMPTORIS MISSIO: On the permanent validity of the Church’s missionary mandate, #46 via Friends of Little Portion Hermitage

With equal enthusiasm

I don’t know what is a tougher part of being a Christian: realizing that Jesus is calling me into discipleship, or realizing that Jesus is calling all of the people who drive us crazy into discipleship with equal enthusiasm.

And it can happen here

In reality, sin is part of the human terrain and a daily challenge to our discipleship. And if our hearts are cold, if our minds are closed, if our spirits are fat and acquisitive, curled up on a pile of our possessions, then the Church in this country will wither. It’s happened before in other times and places, and it can happen here. We can’t change the world by ourselves. And we can’t reinvent the Church. But we can help God change us. We can live our faith with zeal and conviction – and then God will take care of the rest.

~ Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Bonus Quote: Cheap grace

Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, Via Strange Herring reminding us that Bonhoeffer was hanged on this day in 1945 at Flossenburg concentration camp.

Take up thy cross…

“Take up thy cross,” the Savior said,
“If thou wouldst My disciple be;
Deny thyself, the world forsake,
And humbly follow after Me.”

Take up thy cross, let not its weight
Fill thy weak spirit with alarm;
His strength shall bear thy spirit up,
And brace thy heart and nerve thine arm.

Take up thy cross, nor heed the shame,
Nor let thy foolish pride rebel;
Thy Lord for thee the cross endured,
And saved thy soul from death and hell.

Take up thy cross then in His strength,
And calmly sin’s wild deluge brave,
’Twill guide thee to a better home,
It points to glory o’er the grave.

Take up thy cross and follow Christ,
Nor think til death to lay it down;
For only those who bear the cross
May hope to wear the glorious crown.

To Thee, great Lord, the One in Three,
All praise forevermore ascend:
O grant us in our home to see
The heavenly life that knows no end.

~Charles W. Ev­er­est, Vi­sions of Death, and Other Po­ems