The world around us continues to change and with that comes different challenges and struggles. Effective evangelization requires us to be aware of the wounds and battles our brothers and sisters are facing and bring the hope and light of Christ to them, wherever they are on their journey.
The Most Rev. Alphonsus Cullinan is Bishop of the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore in Ireland. He joined A Closer LookTM with Sheila Liaugminas to discuss his pastoral plan and how the Church in Ireland and the world must reach out with healing and love.
“The Church is alive. There is a lot of rebuilding going on, and that’s what we’re trying to do in Ireland. It does come down to love—if we really love Jesus and we really love people, we will first of all fall in love with Jesus ourselves and then if we really meet him and know him, we will want other people to have the best and to know him because he is the way, the truth, and the life,” said Bishop Cullinan.
So many people are being misled by the culture. We’re told that all we need is on earth and that freedom equals happiness. These are lies that cut God—the source of true happiness—out of the equation. These lies have caused pain, division, and unhappiness.
What is the truth that combats the lies running rampant around us? “We have to tell people, to show people, by our lives and by what we teach, the real story about the human person. And Jesus tells us our real true story about who we are, that we are created by God, loved by God—sons and daughters. That our lives have a meaning; that we are weak, we are sinners. That he has come to save us, to give all our lives meaning here and to bring us back into communion with God which finds its fulfillment, please God, one day in Paradise,” explained Bishop Cullinan.
Modern evangelization requires us to go out onto the battlefield of the culture and fight for souls and attend to the broken and wounded. “I love that phrase of Pope Francis, you know: ‘The Church is a field hospital.’ And that, interestingly, is a military term,” said Bishop Cullinan. “So maybe Pope Francis is telling us we’ve got to be soldiers, we’re in a war. And we have to see that there’s a battle on and the battle is for the human heart.”
It starts with bringing God into our own lives. Bishop Cullinan offered some wonderful advice for inviting God into each and every day.
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