The Holy Father has named October, Extraordinary Mission Month, with the message: Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.
What does this mean?
Pope Francis is reminding us Catholics, that we exist as a Church whose very identity is to answer Christ’s call to spread His Gospel; to go out and invite everyone to encounter our Lord Jesus Christ! It is who we are! It is what we do!
If this scares you, then take heart that a Doctor of the Church, who is the co-patron of missions, is a young nun who never left her convent! St. Therese of Lisieux’s mission in the world was lived out in what she called her little way of offering her given tasks, her received sufferings, and her intentional acts of kindness, for love of Jesus.
Pope Francis encourages us, as well. He explains that this ‘going out’ does not mean hitting people over the head with a Bible but through sharing the gift of the Treasure given to us. He says,
Our filial relationship with God is not something simply private, but always in relation to the Church. Through our communion with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we, together with so many of our other brothers and sisters, are born to new life. This divine life is not a product for sale – we do not practice proselytism – but a treasure to be given, communicated and proclaimed: that is the meaning of mission. We received this gift freely and we share it freely (cf. Matthew 10:8), without excluding anyone. God wills that all people be saved by coming to know the truth and experiencing his mercy through the ministry of the Church, the universal sacrament of salvation (cf. 1 Timothy 2:4; Lumen Gentium, no. 48). – Extraordinary Mission Month
What an exciting adventure we are called to! We head out from this proclamation inspired to give God’s Divine Mercy, show our family and friends the beauty of our rich faith, and share the daily journey accompanying others on the path of salvation… that is until we are met with opposition. It is very difficult to keep up the enthusiasm in the face of hostility, lack of interest, and when we find ourselves more annoyed by, than loving of, others.
Is there a way to stay on mission and not grow weary? Yes!
We can not only sustain but actually increase our faith, deepen our love for and trust in God, and grow in heroic virtue by walking daily with the one person who first received God’s Treasure, bore him into the world, and eternally shares him with all: the Virgin Mary, our Blessed Mother.
This daily walk with Mary is the Rosary.
Providentially, October is also the month of the Rosary. Just as Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs, (Luke 10:1), he continues through his Church to do the same. A library of writings and personal stories attest to the power of the Rosary and its ability to convert our hearts, spiritually nourish our souls, and embolden our faith. Our Pilgrim Center of Hope chaplain, Father Pat Martin, says the Rosary is the most powerful weapon because it destroys pride.
During this special month of October dedicated to the Church’s mission and to the Rosary, enter your first conquest! Challenge yourself to offer a daily Rosary.
It may help to imagine yourself walking beside Mary as you accompany Jesus and his disciples as he goes from village to village. Ask her to tell you about her son as you mediate on the mysteries of the Rosary.
October also provides increased opportunities to pray the Rosary with others through diocesan Rosary Congresses. For more information about the San Antonio Rosary Congress, click here.
Nan Balfour is a grateful Catholic whose greatest desire is to make our Lord Jesus more loved. She seeks to accomplish this through her vocation to womanhood, marriage, motherhood and as a writer, speaker and events coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.