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Are You a Dynamic Catholic?

June 26th, 2013by Sean Ater

If you went to Mass at any parish in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati this past Christmas, chances are you were handed the book Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. Many parishes hosted book studies this year in which participants reflected on the various ways Catholicism helps us become the best-version-of-ourselves.

If you are looking for a good summer read, I would recommend another book by Matthew Kelly called “The 4 Signs of a Dynamic Catholic: How Engaging 1% of Catholics Could Change The World” (Beacon Publishing, 2012).

In this book, Matthew cites research that seems to indicate that there are four signs of what he calls a “dynamic Catholic.” These 4 signs are:

  • Prayer
  • Study
  • Generosity
  • Evangelization

Kelly contends that just 7% of Catholics are “dynamic Catholics.” These are the people that give 80% of the time, talent, and treasure in a typical parish community. Matthew invites us to imagine what would happen if we increased that percentage by just 1% a year. Just that slight increase could be transformational for our parishes, neighborhoods, schools, and our families.

How would you rate yourself?

If you identify yourself as part of the 7% chances are the one sign that is the most difficult for you is Evangelization.  I challenge you to identify one person to mentor in the spiritual life this year. Invite someone to join a Bible Study or become a Sponsor in the RCIA.

You might honestly admit that you are NOT part of this 7%. Fear not! I like simple approaches to the spiritual life. Sometimes we make the path to holiness too complicated. As we head into the summer months, I challenge you to think of one way you could grow in these 4 areas. These need not be earthshattering commitments. It could be as simple as deciding to take 5 minutes each day to read the Bible. You could commit to adding just one Catholic book to your summer reading list, or you could forgo an iced caramel macchiato and give the proceeds to a charity. Practice evangelization by simply passing along that Rediscover Catholicism book you just read to a family member, neighbor or friend.

Growth in the spiritual life is like any kind of growth. It is usually slow and steady. We make small changes in our lives that eventually make a big difference. How do you eat an elephant?” Matthew asks his readers, “One bite at a time!”

 

Sean Ater

Sean Ater is the Director of the Office of the New Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He is married with 3 children and a parishioner at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Milford