What the New Evangelization Must Learn from the Renaissance to Flourish

What the New Evangelization Must Learn from the Renaissance to Flourish

Freely have you received, freely give. -Matthew 10:8 Call me crazy, but I’m a huge fan of the word free. In the last few months, I’ve made my love of religious and political freedom pretty well known. I’d like to turn my attention for a moment to evangelization. Jesus Christ instructed His disciples to perform their miracles and preach the Gospel freely with the maxim “freely have you received, freely give.”  I’m not going to bore you with my thoughts on financial stewardship.  That topic has been done to death. Another form of stewardship remains. I remember sitting in a classroom at Franciscan University of Steubenville pondering the application of St. Paul’s admonition in 1 Tim 6:20: “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to your trust!” It was suggested with no little emphasis that, far from sealing the Gospel away safely in a vault, the real way to guard the Sacred Deposit of Faith was to spread it far and wide, to let it be known publicly so well that even laymen could spot a heresy from a mile away.  To guard the Deposit, by paradoxically giving it away, is an invaluable form of Christian stewardship. We must ask ourselves seriously as Catholics: have we done this?  Have we sowed the seed in every field?  Have we made every effort to accomplish that goal? We live in an increasingly amazing technological age.  While the apostles of the early Church stood in the Areopagus and medieval friars in the alleys of plateaued Umbrian villages, today’s evangelists stand upon the rostra at the intersections of the information superhighway.  Effective online...
10 Tips for New Catholic Bloggers

10 Tips for New Catholic Bloggers

A month and a half ago, I wrote a piece on the 10 signs you might be called to be a Catholic blogger. Among those signs, I mentioned passion, humor, knowledge, dynamism, and facial hair (h/t to Mark Shea for linking to the post after having a good laugh). Since then, I suspect some of you have moved forward with your plans to be bloggers. Therefore, in addition to the aforementioned personal qualities, I’ve compiled a list of things that may help you form your blog. Pick an awesome name. If the blog name is up to you, I suggest making a Venn Diagram between your personality, your audience, and your topic area. Anything that relates to all three is an automatic win. Then again, many blog titles are just so odd that they’re hits. Either way, there are awesome possibilities to explore. Need to feel inspired? Here are a few great blog names being used right now: Southern Fried Catholicism, Standing on My Head, I Have to Sit Down, Bad Catholic. I wish someone in my neck of the woods would start one and call it Redneck Catholic. Marketing. 90% of blogging is in the marketing. You have thoughts and opinions. You want them to be known. You want to get them out there. Unfortunately, we suffer from – to use a term coined by the late American philosopher Neil Postman – information glut. Your idea is competing with a million other ideas. If you want to get it out there – and I assume you do, or you wouldn’t be blogging – you need to deal with...
10 Signs You Might be Called to be a Catholic Blogger

10 Signs You Might be Called to be a Catholic Blogger

As I write this post, Truth & Charity is within 2000 hits of reaching 100,000 in just over 3 months of operation, which is awesome. To share my joy at our tremendous success, a few thoughts for those of you who might be considering joining us in this Catholic blogosphere: You have a great desire to spread the Gospel. The first ought to be obvious. If you don’t want to spread Catholicism, why start a Catholic blog? You know your stuff. There are few things more annoying than a know-it-all (I am one), but while most won’t do too much damage, a Catholic know-it-all can do enormous damage to the souls of others. Make sure you’re properly catechized before becoming a blogger. You have a great passion for a particular aspect of the faith. That passion of yours could easily become a blog theme. What theme would you feel called to blog on? Fr. Z is a liturgist and he’s great at it. Other Catholic bloggers are great philosophers, moral theologians, or spiritual writers. Others are archivists of the great stores of Catholic knowledge available online. Maybe you’re called to make something of your devotion to prayer or your encyclopedic knowledge of patristics. Perhaps you’re called to be a simple stay-at-home blogger, reminding us of the hidden life of Christ by letting us in on the hidden life of your Catholic family. You are humble. If you’re a man of great hubris, don’t become a blogger! You may find yourself increasingly drawn toward the quest for popularity. God needs humble men and women to be His evangelists, especially in...