In the last article of this section, we promised that we would talk about seven essential characteristics to be a good evangelist. In other words, what attitudes and virtues must I grow in order to become a docile instrument in God's hands for the good of my brothers and sisters? Here we go...
First of all, it is important to have a solid faith. What does this mean? The Letter to the Hebrews tells us: "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).
Faith is absolutely fundamental. Without it we cannot evangelize. And not only faith in Christ, in the Father and in the Holy Spirit, but also faith in the Church and her Magisterium, her teachings. Many say, "I evangelize, I bring Christ to others... but that thing about the Pope, I don't really agree with it." What do you mean you don't "agree"? Are you Catholic or not? I must not believe in only what is convenient for me or what I like. I must believe what God has revealed to me and has arranged for my salvation. Our faith must be complete. It cannot be a supermarket faith where I take only what I like and leave everything else out.
We also have to keep in mind that faith is a supernatural virtue, which means that it is a gift from God, and therefore we must ask for it and be prepared to receive it. It’s a good idea to repeat humbly every day, "I believe Lord, but increase my faith!” (Mark 9:24). Along with that, continually renew your decision to follow Christ by knowing Him and loving Him more.
In order to be a missionary it is absolutely essential to have a solid interior life. Interior life? Simply put, it’s an intimate union with Christ. A real, natural, personal and constant union. Union with Christ? That’s right, spiritually talking, being united with Christ means that He is always present in my life. He always is, but I can increase that union through constant dialogue with Him (prayer), through the theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity), and through active participation in the sacraments. In short, make God part of my life and do everything possible so that this relationship can grow more and more each day. Be careful, the interior life can be easily lost! When we prefer other things, stop going to Mass because it’s easier not to, stop praying, etc. Having an interior life does not guarantee that everything will go well— sometimes it’s the other way around and we’re given more situations to grow in our love for God through trials and sorrows. The important thing is to always walk hand in hand with God, united to Him.
Coherence of life is also very important. Like all things in the spiritual life, it is very united to the two previous characteristics, and it means that I can’t preach one thing and do another. I have to be a person with integrity. I can't preach Christ if I don't speak with Him, and I can't speak with Him if I don't believe everything He's revealed to me.
Padre Pio of Pietrelcina used to say, "Do good everywhere, so that everyone can say: 'This is a child of Christ.'" Ask yourself: do my works reflect Jesus? Can those who see me say that I am a true Christian? (Really, think about it.)
We shouldn’t think that coherence of life is a heavy and unbearable burden. On the contrary, it is what gives us happiness and encourages us to continue on the good path we are on. The key is humility, recognizing that I need God and that He wants to need me. I cannot evangelize. I am not the true light. My mission is to be a reflection of the Light of God. It is Christ who lives and evangelizes in me. We need to ask God for humility. Only in this way can we be a living witness of Jesus.
Why not, beginning today, strive to live these attitudes? Not only to be a good evangelist, but to be a good Christian, who seeks to do God's will only and always. You have a lot to practice, right? Well, don’t lose hope. Go to Our Mother, the best Model, and walk by her side to stay in the light.