Can you think of a time in your past when your life got significantly better?
I remember mine well: it was a hot August day, and I stood outside the freshmen dorms during the first week of classes at the University of Nebraska. I felt nervous, excited, and ready to run away all at once. It was my sophomore year, and I was about to invite total strangers to join my Bible study that didn’t exist yet.
All right, baseball fans: this one’s for you!
Well, actually, it’s for everyone. Because I like baseball, I just fell in love with Stan Musial. When I told a friend about this “Lessons in the Art of Living” series, he suggested Stan “the Man” as my next feature. As I researched, the more I was amazed at the life of this great man and player. He had 3,630 career hits (still forth in MLB history), and when Musial retired after the 1963 season, he held 17 major-league records, 29 NL records and nine All-Star Game records.
But one thing confused me. Why hadn’t I heard his name like I’d heard many others? Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth….It seemed as though his accomplishments were comparable, but there was one thing Stan didn’t have that everyone else did: drama.
Ever since Pope Benedict XVI told us that the key to evangelization is the art of living, I’ve been thinking, “Yes, thank you, Holy Father. But what do you MEAN exactly?” A product of our process-oriented culture, I wanted an exact solution to this elusive goal, a step-by-step, Buzzfeed-like guide to virtue, happiness and general sanctity. But Benedict told us it’s not really an exact science: “This art can only be communicated by one who has life – he who is the Gospel personified.”
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Since the pontificates of Pope Paul VI and John Paul II, the Roman Catholic Church has been commissioned to engage and embrace the world with God's message of love once more with ‘new methods, new ardor and new expression.’ It has come to be phrased, 'the new evangelization.'
For FOCUS, this means meeting college students across the nation where they are and challenging them to examine the meaning and purpose of their lives. Through personal relationships and friendship, we offer college students the true peace and fulfillment they seek in the good news of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Catholic faith, inviting them to answer His calling in their lives.
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