The Wisdom of the Saints about evangelization (part 4)

“After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.” St. Luke the Evangelist (1st century)

“I give you a new commandment, said Jesus: love one another…He showed the novelty of His command and how far the love He enjoined surpassed the old conception of mutual love by going on immediately to add: Love one another as I have loved you. To understand the full force of these words, we have to consider how Christ loved us….The law commanded people to love their brothers and sisters as they love themselves, but our Lord Jesus Christ loved us more than Himself. He Who was one in nature with God the Father and His equal would not have descended to our lowly estate, nor endured in His flesh such a bitter death for us, nor submitted to the blows given Him by His enemies, to the shame, the derision, and all the other sufferings that could not possibly be enumerated; nor, being rich, would He have become poor, had He not loved us far more than Himself…If need be we must even be prepared to face death for our neighbor’s salvation as did our Savior’s blessed disciples and those who followed in their footsteps. To them the salvation of others mattered more than their own lives, and they were ready to do anything or to suffer anything to save souls that were perishing…” St. Cyril of Alexandria (4th-5th centuries)

“Dear Brothers, let us consider our vocation, and how God, in His great mercy, called us not only for our salvation but for that of many; and to this end we are to go through the world exhorting all men and women by our example as well as by our words to do penance for their sins, and to live keeping in mind the commandments of God.” St. Francis of Assisi (12th-13th centuries)

“I told you that I want you to be a lamb, a follower of the true Lamb. Now I’m telling you that I want you to be a lion, roaring loudly in holy Church, your virtue and your voice so strong that you help bring back to life the children lying dead within her. Perhaps you are asking, ‘Where can I get such a strong roaring voice?’ From the Lamb, Who in His humanity remains meek and does not cry out, but Whose divinity lends power to the Son’s cry with the voice of its immeasurable charity. And so by the strength and power of divine being and of the love that joined God with humanity, the lamb becomes a lion. From the chair of the cross He roared so loudly over the dead child, the human race, that He freed us from death and gave us life. It is from Him, then, that we will receive strength, for the love we will drink from the gentle Jesus will give us a share in the Father’s power.” St. Catherine of Siena (14th century, Doctor of the Church)

“Let us be leaders; but not of the worldly type, who accomplish by forcing, urging and driving to get things done; rather leaders who lead as Christ did: “Come, follow me!” Pope St. Pius X (19th-20th centuries)

“We have no right to rest as long as a single soul is Satan’s slave.” St. Maximilian Kolbe (19th-20th centuries)

“If our witness is often mediocre, it is because we have not realized that the same kind of heroism is needed to be a witness as to be a martyr.” Servant of God Madeleine Delbrel (20th century)

“In everybody there is a tremendous hunger for God, in spite of all appearances.” St. Teresa of Calcutta (20th century)

“Over the years, I have often repeated the summons to the new evangelization. I do so again now, especially in order to insist that we must rekindle in ourselves the impetus of the beginnings and allow ourselves to be filled with the ardor of the apostolic preaching which followed Pentecost. We must revive in ourselves the burning conviction of Paul, who cried out: ‘Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel’. This passion will not fail to stir in the Church a new sense of mission, which cannot be left to a group of ‘specialists’ but must involve the responsibility of all the members of the People of God. Those who have come into genuine contact with Christ cannot keep Him for themselves, they must proclaim Him.” Pope St. John Paul II (20th-21st centuries)