In the last few years, FOCUS has developed a tool called the Discipleship Road Map. The Discipleship Road Map was developed organically by FOCUS missionaries on one of our campuses to better explain FOCUS’ vision for evangelization and discipleship. As they found success with the tool, other missionaries and students started adapting it across the country.
This book review continues our series on “What Catholics are Reading.” For more Catholic book reviews, check out this one on Matthew Kelly’s The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic.
Evangelization on the internet and I have a bit of a love/hate relationships. If we had a Facebook relationship status it would say, “it’s complicated.”
Jigoro Kano, founder of the martial art of Judo and the highest-ranking black belt the world had ever seen, revealed the secret to his success on his deathbed. His disciples gathered round, hanging on to every word of their master, Kano whispered his last desire: “When you bury me, I want you to bury me in a white belt.” The white belt – a color symbolic of humility, where a student begins his journey, the novice, the amateur – the lowest ranking belt in martial arts. Kano understood what too many miss, that the only way we stop growing is when we stop learning.
Years ago I had a friend who was sure he was supposed to get married. The problem, however, was that he hadn’t had a date in years. When I asked him if he went out much in order to try to meet someone or asked how we was planning to get something started, he simply said, “If it’s God’s will for me to get married, then God will provide what I need.” It sounded so right – too right. I replied, “Bro, unless you’re planning to marry a female pizza delivery driver, I think you need to clean yourself up a little, shave, and get out there to put some things in motion.” We both had a good laugh.
So school’s out, and the excitement of summer is in the air. Hordes of people are flocking to beaches, lakes, and mountains for some much anticipated leisure and adventure. But even in the midst of the most exciting places and activities, I have still found myself at times with a certain amount of emptiness and anxiety. Why? I think the source of my ill contentment often resides in this: I don’t take the time to pray. When it comes to our own life or prayer, if we’re honest, some of our first internal objections can be: “But prayer can feel like so much work,” along with “I don’t have time to pray” and sometimes “I feel like I don’t even know how to pray!” And we’re sometimes deterred in prayer by the question, “What’s the point?”
You’re drowning under stacks of books, loads of laundry, hundreds of emails, job-postings, expectations, finding new friends in a new city, or the monotony of daily life. You remember that time in college when you experienced God deeply; that mission trip, the weekly Bible study, a retreat.
You’ve been surviving on a steady diet of Ramen Noodles and coffee for the past four years; reading textbooks, using scan-tron forms, and frequenting the library at all hours.
Like bishops, each pope has a coat of arms and a motto. Benedict XVI’s motto was “Co-laborers in Truth,” Bl. John Paul II’s was “Totally Yours.” Pope Francis’ motto is Miserando atque Eligendo, “Lowly but Chosen.”
Sometimes people ask me, “What’s your favorite thing about being a FOCUS missionary?” Well, that’s a tough question. There are a lot of things we do as missionaries. But by far, one of the coolest things I get to do as a missionary is have a front row seat to watch god do amazing things in people’s lives. Looking back on my year serving at the University of Texas at Austin, one particular story still leaves me in awe.
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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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