If you missed Cardinal Dolan’s presidential address during the November USCCB meeting, please click here and read it. While he’s addressing his fellow bishops, his words regarding repentance apply to us all, and Cardinal Dolan had some profound reflections on the New Evangelization:
Regarding the bishops’ ad limina visit to the Pope last year:
“But Pope Benedict did not stop with his gracious hospitality. No. He also gave us plenty of fatherly advice — for our ministry as pastors of the Church and our personal role in the New Evangelization.
Here’s an especially striking example from his first ad limina address: “Evangelization,” the Successor of St. Peter noted, “. . . appears not simply a task to be undertaken ad extra; we ourselves are the first to need re-evangelization. As with all spiritual crises, whether of individuals or communities, we know that the ultimate answer can only be born of a searching, critical and ongoing self-assessment and conversion in the light of Christ’s truth.”
“We became very good in the years following the Council in calling for the reform of structures, systems, institutions, and people other than ourselves.That, too, is important; it can transform our society and world. But did we fail along the way to realize that in no way can the New Evangelization be reduced to a program, a process, or a call to structural reform; that it is first and foremost a deeply personal conversion within? “The Kingdom of God is within,” as Jesus taught.
The premier answer to the question “What’s wrong with the world?” “what’s wrong with the church?” is not politics, the economy, secularism, sectarianism, globalization or global warming . . .none of these, as significant as they are. As Chesterton wrote, “The answer to the question ‘What’s wrong with the world?’ is just two words:’I am.'”
I am! Admitting that leads to conversion of heart and repentance, the marrow of the Gospel-invitation.“