Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jesus Heals Bartimaeus (Sunday 30) - Conversion and Holiness in the New Evangelization - 1700th Anniversary of the Milvian Bridge

Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
The Synod of Bishops on the New Evanglization ends its work today.  Here are two of the 58 propositions from the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization released yesterday in unofficial translations, Nos. 22 and 23 dealing with conversion and holiness:
CONVERSION
The drama and intensity of the age old clash between good and evil, between faith and fear should be presented as the essential background, a constituent element of the call to conversion in Christ. This struggle continues at a natural and supernatural level. “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Mt 7: 14).
Many bishops spoke of the need for renewal in holiness in their own lives, if they are to be true and effective agents of the New Evangelization.

The New Evangelization requires personal and communal conversion, new methods of evangelization and renewal of the pastoral structures, to be able to move from a pastoral strategy of maintenance to a pastoral position that is truly missionary.
The New Evangelization guides us to an authentic pastoral conversion which moves us to attitudes and initiatives which leads to evaluations and changes in the dynamics of pastoral structures which no longer respond to the evangelical demands of the current time.

HOLINESS AND THE NEW EVANGELIZERSThe universal call to holiness is constitutive of the New Evangelization that sees the Saints as effective models of the variety and forms in which this vocation can be realized.
What is common in the varied stories of holiness is the following of Christ expressed in a life of faith active in charity which is a privileged proclamation of the Gospel.
We recognize Mary as the model of holiness that is manifest in acts of love including the supreme gift of self.
Holiness is a significant part of every evangelizing commitment for the one who evangelizes and for the good of those evangelized.
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THE BATTLE
OF THE MILVIAN BRIDGE (ROME)



Exactly 1700 years ago today, on October 28, 312, Emperor Constantine met Emperor Maxentius in battle just outside the city of Rome at the Milvian Bridge, spanning the Tiber. This battle—occurring exactly 1,700 years ago—is one of the most important events in the history of Christendom, since it was through Constantine’s victory that Christendom began. It is a battle well worth reflecting upon.

As is well known, the previous day Constantine experienced a vision of a cross of light in the sky, with the words “By this sign you shall conquer” (in Greek, not Latin, by the way). That night, so we are told, Constantine had a dream wherein he was told to paint the cross on the shields of his soldiers.
He did. And so it happened, as the vision said.

The next day, October 28, 312, Constantine defeated Maxentius. Interestingly enough, Maxentius could have stayed within the walls of Rome. He was plentifully stocked to endure a siege.
Inexplicably, he decided to go out and engage Constantine. His troops were defeated, and Maxentius himself drowned in the Tiber trying to escape.

Such was the beginning of Constantine’s embrace of Christianity, and such was the beginning of the transformation of the Roman Empire from paganism to Christianity.

For a fuller treatment of this issue and its consequences for today, please go to the full text from which this is drawn at: www.CatholicWorldReport.com.




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