In my last contribution for the Register, The knowledge was related by me of searching for a theological underpinning for evangelization for teenagers in campus ministry. I realized that my talk, while I first reviewed it several days before having to provide formation conference, was more of a “things-to-do” and “things-to-avoid” talk.
Yes, seminarians, future priests, have to have firm, established boundaries in their romantic relationships with those to whom they will (or already are) ministers. Yes, seminarians, future, priests need to be aware about the proper use of social media. The true way of the transcendentals – truth, beauty, and goodness – are, in my opinion, the key to an application of evangelization.
Again, in my last entry, I reminded us what the transcendentals are exactly, based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (not. Since our understanding of God is bound, our language about him is similarly so. We can name God only by taking creatures as our starting point, and relative to our limited, individual means of considering and knowing.
All creatures endure a certain resemblance to God, most man especially, created in the likeness and image of God. The manifold perfections of creatures – their truth, their goodness, their beauty all reflect the infinite perfection of God. In Christian tradition, beauty, goodness, and truth are known as “transcendentals,” from the three core human being abilities to feel, to wish and to think.
Jesus identifies them in the fantastic Commandment when he talks about the mind, the spirit and the center and inducements formed the core of his enticement picture in the Gospels. If we were to analyze the transcendentals for evangelization, with that ought to we start? The order, I believe, is to start with beauty; to go to goodness then; to go to the truth then.
This is also what is prescribed by Bishop Barron. So, you will want to truth? Why not begin with Veritas? There’s something more winsome and less threatening about the beautiful. ” At that point, the canny evangelizer will begin to speak of the moral habits and intellectual convictions that finding appearance in the beautiful.
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Beginning with beauty simply is practical. It attracts. Recall the old adage: “You catch the attention of more flies with honey, than vinegar.” This is an obvious understanding that is articulated well by one of Bishop Barron’s very best theological mentors, Hans Urs von Balthasar (d. John Henry Cardinal Newman (d. Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent. Beauty is the term that shall be our first. Beauty is the last thing that your thinking intellect dares to approach, since only it danced as an uncontained splendor across the double constellation of the true and the good and their inseparable relation to one another.
For those who unfortunately might dismiss the understanding of Balthasar on beauty, I recommend reading Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI, who writes on the fundamental role of beauty in many places. The only effective apologia for Christianity reallyboils down to two arguments, namely, the saints the Church has produced and the art which includes cultivated in her womb. This is precisely the thought that Bishop Barron is experiencing when he believes that effective evangelization begins with beauty. Above all else, the stunning reflects and radiates the beauty of the All-Beautiful One.