This May, the Pope has asked the faithful around the world to pray for Evangelization, “That the lay faithful may fulfill their specific mission, by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today.” Evangelization is often thought of in terms of mission trips and handing out bibles on the street, but it doesn’t have to be so ambitious. Evangelization starts with our own conversion. We can evangelize in small ways everyday by living virtuously – but that is easier said than done.
In order to live in such a way, we need to know God, follow God, and pray to God. These three levels of conversion were coined by Jesuit philosopher Bernard Lonergan. (Click here for Fr. Spitzer’s work on Lonergan’s philosophical proof for the existence of God). Lonergan calls these the three “movements” of conversion: intellectual conversion, moral conversion, and spiritual conversion. The three levels are complementary, but distinct, and each level needs to be addressed in order to develop virtue and follow God.
Intellectual conversion involves the mind. It requires us to learn about God and develop reasons to believe in Him. Moral conversion is what compels us to act in accordance with God’s laws. And spiritual conversion is our prayer life, it’s how we communicate with God on a daily basis.
In order to help with the development of all three levels of conversion, here is a list of 6 FREE resources, broken down by movement.
Credible Catholic – As a supplement for religious education, you can’t beat Credible Catholic (CC). CC is an incredible teaching tool comprised of 20 modules that covers practically everything and anything one would want to know about the Catholic Faith. The modules include powerpoint presentations, teaching guides, and reference books that are aimed at connecting reason and faith. According to the website, “Credible Catholic is a force designed to stem the atrophy from within our Church and theism in general. Credible Catholic marks the return of apologetics in our education channels (as preferred by our Bishops).”Society of Catholic Scientists – The Society of Catholic Scientists (SCS) is an international organization founded to foster fellowship among Catholic scientists and to verify the link between faith and reason. According to founder, Stephen Barr, a physicist at the University of Delaware: “It is important for people to realize that the scientific community is not, as some think, a realm devoid of faith. It contains a wide spectrum of attitudes toward religion, from devout belief to staunch atheism….[But it is] easy for religious scientists, especially young ones, to imagine that they are isolated and out of step. This is one reason why the goal of the new Society, fellowship among Catholic scientists, is of great importance.” (See full article)Strange Notions – If you’re looking for a place to openly discuss questions of belief, Strange Notions is a great place to start. They post articles and videos from a religious point of view, but “while the main site and articles have a Catholic direction, the comment boxes are where the real action happens.” They go out of their way to ensure fair treatment in the comments section and to keep the conversation focused on the search for truth.
Mind & Spirit – In their own words, Mind & Spirit is “a new online magazine that covers the intersection of psychology and faith. It’s aimed at religious believers, seekers, and non-believers alike—anyone searching for insights and inspiration about the workings of the human mind and the search for genuine happiness.”
St. Paul Center – If you are looking to increase your understanding of the bible, the St. Paul Center is an exceptional resource. Founded by noted author and professor Dr. Scott Hahn, the organization offers free bible studies (simply create a free account) that you can do on your own or with a group. Word on Fire – Perhaps the most well-known on our list, this nonprofit started by Bishop Barron uses multimedia to provide up-to-date Catholic commentary on current events as well as homilies, lectures, and articles from the WOF blog.
Lindsay Rudegeair is Managing Editor of the Magis Center blog