Week 11: #LawnChairCatechism : Practice Makes Perfect

Welcome back for Week 11 of CatholicMom.com’s Lawn Chair Catechism: “Do Tell: The Great Story of Jesus”. As always, all of the discussion questions can be found here. No need to even read the book. If you haven’t, the study guide is descriptive enough that you can answer the questions thoughtfully. Feel free to post your comments on this blog and read other responses over at the main discussion here

In your own faith:
Are you practiced in sharing the Gospel story? Have you ever heard it told especially well? How can you become more skilled at explaining and answering questions about the Gospel?

Am I practiced? I don’t think I can ever be practiced. There is always another layer to the gospels that I Woman-at-the-Well-Part-2can immerse my soul into. I do have favorites of the gospel that speak to me. For example, the paralytic in Luke (See Act 3 below), and the Woman at the Well in John 4. These speak to me because I personally can identify with a character in these parables.

I can’t say that I’ve heard it especially well because I read it mostly. BUT, that will change now that I’ve downloaded this app where I can listen to the Bible with Hollywood actors reading it (complete with music background. I can also say that watching The Bible miniseries as well as the Catholicism series was especially helpful for understanding and getting lost in the great story of Jesus. My preferred way of practicing the Gospel story is the Rosary. Have you ever really noticed how helpful that is in learning the Word? It is SO scriptural – especially if you use the scriptural rosary.

I think the answer to the last question answered itself this week in my life happenings. I’ll explain, but first, Sherri writes:

“So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ” (Romans 10: 17), where by “preaching” the same thing is understood, that is, the “gospel” or kerygma. (My emphasis)

Weddell, Sherry (2012-07-05). Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus (p. 203). Our Sunday Visitor. Kindle Edition.

Surprised at my emphasis there? As you may or may not have noticed I am discerning a vocation as a Lay Dominican also known as the Order of Preachers! What, what, what is that you say?!  Yes. Now, preach has a negative connotation as if I am going to smack you in the face with words. When in fact, I am preaching right now. Any sting in your cheeks? No. I am also on the R.C.I.A. team in my church as the intercessory prayer coordinator. Is that preachy to you? I’ve touched on this before, but I think we need to be able to infuse Jesus and the Gospels – or kergyma whenever the Holy Spirit presents the opportunity. How do you hear the Holy Spirit? You have to pray.  More on both of these new life events in the weeks to come.

I did come across another quote that I thought I would share as it affects me personally and I find it to be true. Sherri writes:

We have to come to terms with the reality that, in the United States, if we don’t evangelize our own, someone else will: evangelicals, Mormons, or independent Christians.

Weddell, Sherry (2012-07-05). Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus (p. 206). Our Sunday Visitor. Kindle Edition.

Did you know that my mother and stepfather (along with my 3 younger brothers and sister) are Mormon? What, what, what? Yes. They were evangelized to some years ago and converted. My two brothers are now on mission in different parts of the world and they check in with me and the family when they can. They are both very, very alive and passionate about their faith. I keep them posted on the Catholic happenings in my life. I send Catholic apologetic pamphlets to my step dad and mention the rosary – always.  Just because, if we don’t evangelize our own, who will?

I also wanted to leave with you Sherri Weddell’s “Great Story of Jesus in 9 Acts” with the scripture verse, Catechism reference and personal testimony for you to sift through at your leisure. Because I’m preachy like that.

Act 1: The Kingdom (Matthew 4:17)
Act 2: Jesus, Face of the Kingdom (Luke 4:16-21)
Act 3: Jesus, the Kingdom in Word and Deed (Luke 7:20-23, 5:22-26)
Act 4: Jesus Embraces the Cross (John 10:17-18, Matthew 20:28, Mark 8:31)
Act 5: Resurrection, Ascension, New Life, Adoption, and the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 15: 14, 17– 19, 22)
Act 6: Jesus Asks me to Follow Him (Matthew 4:17-20)
Act 7: Personal Sin and Forgiveness (CCC 1869, 1 John 1:8, Luke 24: 46– 47,
Act 8: Dropping the Net (Matthew 16: 13– 17, 1 Corinthians 12: 3)
Act 9: The Life of the Disciple (here is included a personal testimony from the book that I thought was too powerful not to share with you):

I wish that lifelong Christians, especially lifelong Catholics, could understand just for a minute what it is like to be lost. Maybe they would be less afraid to evangelize. It may be hard to explain…. Before I started this process, I thought of myself as a happy person, reasonably confident, proud of my life and how I lived it. It’s not like I saw myself as stumbling around in a pit.
But from where I stand now, wow. It was so different, so lonely. People talk about real Catholic discipleship as a lonely road — I do too sometimes — and it is frustrating, and stupid, and there is no good reason for it to be like that. But being without God is a different, deeper kind of being alone. I wouldn’t even have known to call it lonely, because there isn’t any concept that someone else should be there.
Weddell, Sherry (2012-07-05). Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus (p. 218). Our Sunday Visitor. Kindle Edition.
Here’s some goodies that have helped me understand and learn the Gospel. May it help you too:
Pray as you go – Daily prayer based on the readings of the day for your MP3 player. If you check the bottom of the page, they have some great stuff during Lent and Advent as well as Stations of the Cross.
Living Space – Commentaries and reflections on the daily readings
Magnificat – Subscription with reflections from renowned Fathers of the Church and TONS of spiritual writings complete with Saint information.
Catholic Women’s Devotional Bible – Includes a year’s worth of meditations drawn from classic and contemporary sources, all written by women.
Divine Office
Do you have any go-to resources that you’d like to share with me (because clearly, I never have enough!)

See you next week.

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