Tuesday 31 May 2022

The Call to Evangelise - Father Anthony Doe - CTS Deeper Christianity Series

The Call to Evangelise: 
Founded on loving intimacy with the Lord
Father Anthony Doe
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784690090
eISBN 9781784694050
CTS Booklet D784

Over the last few years, I have read many books from the Catholic Truth Society, over 275 of them in fact. Most were good reads; some were great reads; and a few are exceptional. This is another excellent offering, as are the others in this series I have read. It is the twelfth in the Deeper Christianity Series that I have read, many of them have been read twice, and the second volume from Father Anthony Doe’s pen that I have read. I still have one other from him on my wish list. This series is one of my favourites. This booklet was originally published 2014 and the eBook was released in 2017. All three volumes that I can find by Father Anthony Doe were published by the CTS and each has an eBook edition. The description of this volume is:

“Amid the numerous urgent calls today for evangelisation, many find themselves unable to do so. This booklet encourages Christians to enter into a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus in order to be true disciples.

Are you prepared to evangelise, to communicate the gospel to others? Amid the numerous urgent calls today to do so, many may find themselves spiritually bankrupt, unable to reach out with a genuine experience of God’s forgiveness, mercy and joy. 

The Call to Evangelise offers a proposal both highly instructive and encouraging, that evangelisation requires true intimacy with the person of Christ. To be genuine witnesses, disciples in today’s fractured and wounded world must make space for contemplative prayer and for a tangible, living personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”

The chapters in the book are:

The Call to Evangelise the Church and the World
Relationship with Jesus Christ
The Presence of Our Lady
The Gift of Jesus’s Love
The Grace of Baptism
Intimate Union
The Gift of Mercy
Embracing the Mystery of Love
Ongoing Conversion of Life
Proclaiming the Presence of Jesus to Others
Living in Communion with the Father
Jesus’s Sacramental Presence Empowering Us

I enjoyed this volume so much and was challenged by it to the point that as soon as I finished it I started over and reread it a second time through. The introduction of this booklet states:

“We are living in a world and a Church that are manifesting all the signs of a profound need to discover the living presence of Jesus Christ. As the Saviour of the whole human race, he alone knows the ways in which every person can find the yearning for true happiness to be fulfilled. This reflection will draw on many strands of human and spiritual experience to demonstrate how this can only take place with the cooperation of his devoted followers. We will see how becoming an intimate friend of Jesus Christ will enable us to share his gifts that have the power to change the essence of human existence and transport it into the world of spiritual joy. As this reflection will attempt to show, this can only take place once the space for contemplative prayer is established, enabling Jesus to share the depth of his Spirit with us. It is this movement of love alone that will heal our wounds and enable us to undergo a true conversion of life that will then give us the power to communicate his living presence to others. We will now take up these themes in greater detail.”

While reading this book I highlighted several passages some of them are:

“An authentic life of faith is then rooted in this personal initiation into the healing love of God, embodied in his Son. It is he alone who can provide the life-giving context in which the message of the Gospel, developed through the teaching of the Church, can be embraced in all its depth. Salvation can then be understood in a truly Pauline sense as coming, not from strict adherence to the Law, but from personal faith in Jesus Christ who is himself the total embodiment of the Law and the Prophets.”

“Joy, the spiritual gift that brings serenity, peace, reassurance and above all an inner sense of freedom, is to be the fruit of Jesus’s presence within us. It is in fact another way of describing the living presence of the Father as he comes to us through Jesus. To remain in this gift of love, a participation in the dynamic intimacy that already exists between the Father and the Son, can only be possible when the Spirit of love, the Holy Spirit, that is generated by this loving union, begins to have a serious impact on the one who has accepted the call and is slowly experiencing the joyful freedom of heart that it brings.”

“There is another, which is of equal importance and beautifully links up with this gift of friendship, and that is the gift of Jesus’s forgiveness in the face of our sinfulness. His loving response to our entanglement with evil is the opportunity for him to reveal the gift of his healing power that intimately links us with the gracious sacrifice of himself, for each of us, on the cross.”

“We have seen clearly how the presence of the Spirit in the life of his mother enabled her to have such a spiritually creative role in this movement of grace; it is now the time to recognise the uniquely important role that St Joseph played in the life of Jesus, which likewise was grounded in his own openness to the working of the Spirit.”

“St Joseph, known pre-eminently as the man of faith, in an amazing way was willing to embrace the mystery of God the Father’s will, revealed to him by an angel in his dreams, that from the start challenged him with circumstances that were completely out of his control.”

“It is their support that will help us to give the time and the effort required to remain present to the movement of the Spirit, that will then offer Jesus the opportunity he needs to enter the deepest recess of our being, making his home in the centre of our humanity.”

“Instead, these apparently natural confirmations of Jesus’s love are replaced by periods of silence that at times can feel distressingly empty, exuding an almost lifeless quality, without any sense of joy or even meaning.”

“It is vital that during these periods of apparent darkness and turmoil, which can produce a particularly painful form of anguish, our response should be twofold. The first, as we have seen, is the importance of invoking the living presences of Mary and Joseph to be with us during this painful time of uncertainty. We must call upon them, who understand more fully than anyone how the ways of silence and unknowing are the gateways to genuine spiritual growth, to pray to the Holy Spirit that we receive a very special gift.”

“It is here that we can then see how the Sacrament of Penance, in union with the gift of the Eucharist, is able to strengthen this movement of new life and infuse the human spirit with the power of this truth.”

“It is only the Lord himself who can give us the strength, through the grace of the sacraments, to slowly make those decisions which will affect our personal choices. Will power, rooted in self-determination, does have a part to play but will never be enough to effect lasting changes that will bring a new sense of freedom. When our trust in him, however, is constantly nurtured through the gift of the Eucharist and our silent time of prayer in his presence, we will discover a new capacity to make the radical changes in our lifestyles that will facilitate a greater freedom to love others and experience the joy of living in a deeper communion of love with him.”

“This reflection throughout has attempted to place the invitation to grow in a relationship of personal intimacy with Jesus at the heart of our understanding of what it means to be a true member of his Body, the Church. This relationship, by its very nature and transforming power, is one that will move us to share its effects with others in a real spirit of joy and proclaim the living presence of Jesus as the true source of life.”

“This comes alive when that time and place of silent prayer, with his help, is established and becomes a daily reality when we consciously draw on the loving support of Our Lady and St Joseph as they accompany us on our mystical journey of faith.”

One of the reasons I went back and read this a second time was that I was so into the book the first time I forgot to pause and mark sections that were really hitting me. I hope those samples above will intrigue you enough to pick up this book and give it a try. I know that some today consider evangelization a dirty word. And even within the curia there are those with such a humanist mindset that they think Catholics should stop witnessing. I disagree and this volume lays down some great groundwork for why, and how. And most importantly it is based upon our own lives being shaped, changed, and transformed by the Father, Spirit, and Son. And by the witness and examples of Mary and Saint Joseph. 

This book is one of those ones that I believe we really need today, in our current day and age. We need solid teaching, and spiritual nourishment. I have already read this one twice and will likely return to it again. This is an excellent read in a wonderful series. The CTS Deeper Christianity Series of books is written in such a way that they can easily be read in any order. Pick and choose the ones that interest you, read them in order, or jump around. I have been blessed by all the book in this series that I have read and can easily recommend this book and the series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books in the Deeper Christianity Series:
7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit
8 Deadly Sins Learning to Defend the Life of Grace
Catholic Architecture 
Christian Fasting Disciplining the Body, Awakening the Spirit
Deepening Prayer Life Defined by Prayer
Desire & Delight
Faith, Hope and Love The Theological Virtues
Fruits of the Holy Spirit Living a Happy Life
Lectio Divina Spiritual Reading of the Bible
Making Sunday Special

Mary in the Liturgy
Mary Mysteries of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Providence and Prayer
Prayer in Sadness and Sorrow

Prudence, Justice, Courage, and Temperance
Purgatory A Mystery of Love
Rediscovering Virtue The Art of Christian Living
Spiritual Warfare Fighting the Good Fight
The Call to Evangelise: Founded on loving intimacy with the Lord
The Church's Year Unfolding the Mysteries of Christ
The Name of God The Revelation of the Merciful Presence of God
The Trinity and the Spiritual Life
Understanding The Story Of The Bible
Union with God

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