On this Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Gospel is the familiar sermon from Jesus: “You are the salt of the earth … you are the light of the world.” As I read today’s Mass readings, I couldn’t help but think that Nancy Ward’s Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story is the perfect next step.
This Gospel reading is all about how we evangelize. Sometimes people interpret the reading as a caution not to hide your gifts and talents, but I think there’s another way to read it, as well. It’s a call to use our gifts and talents, given by God, to witness to His love and His work in our lives.
I’m an introvert, happiest when working behind the scenes. The idea of putting myself out there and talking about my faith is daunting. But Nancy Ward knows what she’s talking about here. She’s put together an easy-to-use book of “tools, tips and testimonies” to help readers, no matter what their level of comfort with talking about God in public, figure out how they can best let their light shine.
The first part of the book helps you define your faith story, sorting out what’s significant, and learning to use a spiritual journal to organize your thoughts. Chapter 9 was comforting to this introvert: titled “Gentleness and Reverence: Tips for Sharing Your Faith Story,” it drove home the point that a soft approach (definitely my style) is both possible and beneficial.
St. Francis of Assisi is frequently (mis)attributed with saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” Whether or not the saint actually said, this, it’s good advice. If you’re a person of faith, it’s not only your words that reflect what you believe. It’s your actions and attitudes.
About three-quarters of this book is packed with testimonies of Catholics: writers, speakers, and others who have found ways to let their own light shine and guide people to Christ.
Nancy Ward’s favorite Scripture quote about evangelizing is all over this book:
Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope. (1 Peter 3:15)
Do you want to be ready? Reading Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story will provide concrete tips and plenty of inspiration.
Copyright 2020 Barb Szyszkiewicz
This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I was given a free review copy of this book, but no other compensation. Opinions expressed here are mine alone.