We must preach with words

    You also are blessed because you have heard and believed. A soul that believes both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges his works.    A Commentary of Luke by St Ambrose Bishop, Divine Office 21 Dec

    A common phase we hear today is the St Francis saying of “Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words.”  In our overly politically correct culture, we get bombarded with messages saying words of evangelization offend people and turn them off to the faith.  So any way out of explaining or evangelizing with words, is actually welcomed by those of us who fret we may not have all the tools to evangelize properly.   Giving into this fear however will not promote the gospel in anyway.

    Our early church fathers recognized all people can see natural law, and form lives which conform to it.  Natural law in this case being defined as the revelation of the Eternal Law of heaven in nature.  Aristotle, aka The Philosopher, remains one of the foremost pagan observers of natural law.  We find Aristotle referenced constantly by St. Thomas Aquinas and other Doctors of the Church as they framed their arguments about church doctrine.

   Despite the brilliance of observation by natural law observers, they often found themselves going astray because they lacked one vital element to guide their daily reasoning.  While these observers could see God’s eternal law peeking out in nature, they lacked the other two legs of the trinity to guide their minds to full truth.  These men and women lacked the words of Christ, and the timeless inspired words of Wisdom gifted by the Holy Spirit we find in the Holy Bible.

    In today’s man filled world of noise, the Bible must compete for time in people’s thoughts.  Therefore, God really does call each each of us to advertise for him.  Our actions must of course be consistent with our thoughts and words (That is another blog topic), but we need to use words to form the invitation to know this Holy Bible is worthy of spending time with it!

    We do not need to be be a St. Ambrose, Augustine, Aquinas, Mother Teresa, or John Paul the Great.  We just need to live our lives, and then make the invitation to come to the book when the moment strikes.  When someone asks you why you were kind you can say, “Because I want to live as Christ wanted me to.”  When someone is in need of support, or looking for guidance on a tough moral decision you can always offer to pray with them or for them.  

    When we don’t know the answer to anything we are asked, we have legions of saints writings and active religious to reach for.  These faithful instructors to illuminate the word in different methods.  This allows the word to reach, and touch the souls, of those with different backgrounds and cultural references.

    Actions alone will never satisfy the soul’s need for ministry.  We must preach with words to bring the word of God deep into people’s hearts and minds.  This is where the mysteries can make a stronghold.  It will let new faith stand the tests of the world like a fire against a cold night with equal parts emotion and reason.