You Teach Us Our Faith

Well, the Synod for the New Evangelization here in Rome is winding down.  On Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate the closing Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.  On Monday, I’m coming home!

This is Friday, and I’m daydreaming . . . I admit it!  Please don’t tell the Holy Father!

All our talk . . . all our ideas . . . all our discussion . . . all our proposals . . . yes, this has been valuable and will, please God, result in a credible and effective document.

But, as I sit here daydreaming, I’m looking outside the synod hall and there I see the little courtyard outside of the Donum Mariae, the shelter for homeless women here in Rome, at the corner of Vatican City, run by Blessed Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.

In this little courtyard sits about two dozen abandoned women.  They are now clean, in fresh clothes, and just finished a hearty breakfast.  They’re smiling . . . they’re singing hymns taught them by the sisters . . . and they’re learning the rosary from one of the Missionaries of Charity.

And I’m sitting here thinking . . .  Those sisters are brilliantly doing the New Evangelization.  They haven’t been listening to our debates, and may or may not even read our propositions, or the ultimate document.

But they sure understand the imperative of the New Evangelization.  They probably say to us, “What’s all the fuss? Just love God and the ‘least of these’ as Jesus taught.”

I salute not only those sisters whom I now look out on with love and gratitude, but also all of you in your homes and families, around kitchen tables, in our parishes, schools, and classrooms, in our shelters, soup kitchens, healthcare facilities and residences, whose faith in Jesus and love for His Church inspire you daily.

We bishops can learn a lot about the New Evangelization from people like you!

See you Monday!

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15 Responses to “You Teach Us Our Faith”

  1. Erzsi Bloemer says:

    Thank you for your Donum Mariae story, Your Eminence, for in it you not only shared the inspiration behind the work of those sisters, but also the results: needy women starting a new life clothed literally and symbolically in the love of Christ and His Church. Last weekend I witnessed a creative ministry to a different hunger, that of the soul in need of beauty. The choir of a parish in Texas presented a beautiful concert of Mozart’s Requiem. Their huge church was packed with not only parishioners, but others from the surrounding community. Your story and this concert bring to mind Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House stories in which her pioneer prairie communities coped with their isolation with baked bean suppers, various cultural gatherings, and church meetings and singing schools. The paradox of life in NYC is the isolation people experience in that densely populated place. The New Evangelization must address the problem of loneliness, which was the first problem God solved in the Garden of Eden.

  2. Suzy Halloran says:

    Like my mom always says — “it is not what you say, it is what you do for others that counts.”

  3. Julie Ann Courville says:

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,
    I want to share with you the awesome homily given a couple weeks ago by Father John Fitch at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice FL.( The link below)
    If you like it please have your staff etc. get it out through the internet to all the Parishes/People in your state to share ASAP before the election. The good priests and people of faith our working hard in the trenches to spread the Truth and Gods Love.+

    http://youtu.be/2_7n6qgtj2Q

    Love and prayers
    Julie Ann Courville JMJ/SAG

  4. MaryGr says:

    Cardinal Dolan, Your participation in 40 Days for Life would be a grace-filled and inspiring show of love for the tiniest and least of us. Can you not find time to pray outside an abortion mill? An hour? A half hour? Is this simple action not something to encourage in this year of faith?

    Travel safely. As if there aren’t enough monsters around, we have a big hurricane warning for New York on Monday.

  5. Joseph Meehan says:

    I am all in!

  6. ANNE P says:

    In the literate USA, far too many Bishops (but not all) do not actively encourage the reading of the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition”.
    In addition many Bishops do not enforce Canon 915 which by their lack of action encourages Sacrilege against the Body and Blood of our Lord, followed by the mortal sin of SCANDAL. Scandal loses many Souls through confusion.
    All Universities that advertise themselves as “Catholic” should be required to use the CCC as a student text for freshman and/or sophomores.
    When do you see most US Bishops publically and actively encouraging ALL (Priests, Nuns, and Laity) to read the CCC, and start enforcing Canon 915 ?
    These actions by US Bishops would go a long way in slowing relativsim, secularism, heresy, and schism in the US. It would help bring unity within the Church.
    A good web site regarding the CCC and Year of Faith including direct links to the Vatican is: ” What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE “.

  7. Debbie Leal says:

    Thank you Cardinal Dolan. What a beautiful picture you describe for us to meditate upon. My prayers are with you all

  8. Elizabeth D says:

    That is beautiful. Here in the US as a St Vincent de Paul member I see too much of an attitude that it would be wrong to evangelize the poor whom we help. Praying the Rosary together would be beautiful, but this just doesn’t happen. We are not taught how to evangelize appropriately. I have sought ways myself. There is so great a need for Jesus and for the Church and for moral teaching that would have SO much benefit even on the human level, for instance building up married family life would have such a huge positive impact on the lives of the poor, and especially children.

  9. sophos says:

    It is so nice to hear at least once a bishop praising the “little ones,” not the wise and intelligent (Matt. 11:25). In doing so the bishop is betraying that he in fact also belongs to such “little ones,” which Jesus calls blessed and ONLY to those belongs the kingdom of God (Matt. 18:3-4). I was really beginning to wonder if it is the same archbishop who was flashed across the internet in the midst of Obama and Mitt Romney just recently in the Astoria Waldorf of New York city, having a heartly laugh and enjoying the banquet like the rich man without name in Luke 16. May be the archbishop has indeed become like a little child. Congrats. In such a case, there is chance for the church to grow and to succeed in the evangelization (whether new or old, does not matter). The archbishop has done a lot by this small presentation, looking at the Missionaries of Charity, Donum Mariae (gift of Mary – also gift from Pope John Paul II to the Missionaries of Charity). I have heard many people who visit this place, in fact, whispering many times in my ears that Jesus really enjoys his life in Donum Mariae than in the next door (where the poor cannot even imagine of stepping inside) with fortified walls and Swiss guards! God bless you, dear archbishop.

  10. Jack Quirk says:

    Thank you, Cardinal, for this insight.

    The actions of the current administration has inspired more than one U.S. bishop to make a virtual endorsement of one of the major political parties. While it is easy to understand the thought process that leads to doing that, it is critical to remember that the slashing of social spending coupled with the inevitability of more war on the national credit card is unlikely to lead to the kingdom of God.

    Should the American government adopt the philosophy of Ayn Rand and divest itself of an active concern for the poor, sick, and elderly, it will be for the Catholic Church to fill the vacuum. We will need more with the vision of the Missionaries of Charity to step up. I hope and pray that we will be ready.

  11. Dominic Lim says:

    Thank you, your Emminence, for seeing this! The Church needs to be grounded to be able to remain relevant and credible. May be enough of the thick and voluminous documents from the hierarchy. People want to see their pastors and shepherds in the streets, trams, byways, slums, hospitals etc. etc.

  12. None of us lives his own master and none of dies his own master, and as St. Paul says, “What have we not received?” Naked we come into the world, and naked we shall leave it.

    Finally, we are only stewards of the goods of this world.

    God is the owner of all things, and while God entrusts more to some than to others, as in the parable of the talents, Our Lord is also clear – to whom more is given, more is required, to meet the needs of the least of our brothers and sisters with charitable excellence, just as the Good Samaritan did.

    Only then, do we find treasure in heaven.

    There are requirements to enter God’s Kingdom; our salvation is not a “given” like the atmosphere we breathe.

    To receive God’s gift of eternal life, and know His charity, joy and peace that none can take away – we must do God’s commandments precisely.

    Wide is the road to destruction and to hell, and the road there is paved, at every step with the lie, that we can be our own god, and do as we please, when true freedom only comes from obeying the New Law of Jesus of Nazareth – exactly, and with excellence!

    Just as we enjoy freedom on earth, only to the extent that we abide by natural law, so our charity, joy and peace that God alone can give to us – only comes to us to the extent that we obey God’s New Law.

    A sure road to hell is the love of money, the root of all evil.

    Our Lord says this time and time again!

    That is why the Rich Man went away sad.

    That is why Dives went to hell, because he ignored Lazarus.

    That is why He praised the widow and her mite, because she gave all that she had to live on – and not just from her surplus.

    Finally, in today’s world – it is everybody’s business how people are spending their money – because under the guise of doing things “in secret” – they can really be harming people – so finances today must be transparent!

    You only need to consider all the sex abuse to see that – and all the corporate and governmental greed and fraud as well, and how about that Bernie Madoff scandal?

    Finances must be publicly disclosed, because we walk as children of the light, and not in darkness, which means what we see in private – we are to proclaim from the house tops.
    Finally, since we are all in this together – we are also all publicly accountable as well!

    We are not to boast about the charity that we do, because if we do boast, we are to boast in the Lord, and consider ourselves only as worthless servants, but we are to be candid and direct and accountable to others concerning all that we do, by letting our yes be yes, and our no be no!

    We are also not to cast our pearls, or our charity to swine, or things that are holy to dogs.
    We brook no lies or falsehoods or fraud or laziness, in the recipients of charity either!
    He, who is not willing to work, shall not eat!

    As for your statement that we are a “ministry” that is not true.

    We are not a ministry here at Resurrection NOW, Inc. – we are for real.

    We are bringing forward to the public the hard and scientifically substantiated evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was Crucified and Rose from the Dead in history.

    No one is doing that in New York City!

    Sadly, what we have observed here at Resurrection NOW, Inc. – is that the religious institutions of the world have reduced the Person of Jesus to a matter of “belief” – and all of the commandments of Jesus to matters of “interpretation” – which renders Him, and renders them, worthless.

    Our work here at Resurrection NOW, Inc. – is to show that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and resurrected in history, and then to show the public, that all the commandments of Jesus are sensible and absolute.

    We are unjustly poor here – because we have done Singular labor here – and the wages withheld to a laborer – cry to heaven, because the laborer is worth his wage, and we have made the Singular fruit of our labor, clearly and publicly known, to advance the common good.

    Once we see that the Crucifixion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth are absolute Events in history – then we see that all His commandments are absolute for all of us today.

    We can become better and better at doing them, because in doing them all with excellence, our goodness rings true, but when we do them poorly, we become hypocrites, only appearing to be good – but not ringing true with goodness!

    Instead of becoming fully human and alive, we become subhuman and dead in our sins.
    There is no faking discipleship to Jesus of Nazareth – there is only the execution of all His commandments with excellence!

    That means there are degrees of excellence among the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, just as there are for any other discipline, like the martial arts.

    We all start at the bottom in Divine Charity School, but as we get better and better at practicing charity, we can show our mastery to others, and teach others, how to become, better and better as well – to become STAR performers, instead of POOR performers!
    Like so many others whom we know!

    So many Ebenezer Scrooges, so many Mr. Grinches, so many Mr. Potters!
    We could invoke the Ghost of Christmas Future upon them all, and upon many others of their kind – but here at Resurrection NOW, Inc. – we live in the real world!

    Our Risen Savior is not a ghost, but alive in a transformed body, and full authority has been given to Him!

    And to Jesus of Nazareth, every knee must bend in the heavens, and on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father, that Jesus Christ is Lord!

    Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven!

    We answer yes!

  13. It is impossible for us to be disciples of Jesus of Nazareth if we are confused and unclear about all of His commandments! – just as it is impossible to become a concert pianist if we are confused and unclear how to play a concerto!

    It is no wonder then, that so few people among those who call themselves disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, actually do all of His commandments with excellence! – to be unclear of the Commandments of the Master, or to be confused, or worse to refuse to do them – is to live a life that amounts to nothing!

  14. Patricia says:

    Your Eminence, pay attention to this possible political move right before the election:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/01/us-usa-court-healthcare-challenge-idUSBRE89U1TU20121101

  15. berrienisd says:

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,
    The New Evangelism has to start inside the Church. Many Catholics don’t know how to be Christians. A person can’t give what they don’t have.