These are all important insights. I pasted the first one in full below because of its obvious connection the the Sunday Mass. Good liturgy, beautiful liturgy, takes work. I’m thinking of the beauty that should be reflected in our sacred spaces, music, art, rites, vestments, diversity, etc. Obviously, this is not a “one man” job–it takes a parish. Not passive parishioners (or priests),but engaged and intentional ones. Enriching the liturgy starts with each of us. Perhaps we would do well to gauge how full, active, and consciousness our participation in the liturgy is: Have I looked at the prayers and readings before I hear them in the Liturgy? I am properly disposed to be attentive to the liturgical actions? Do I understand what is going on? Have I done anything recently to expand my knowledge of the Mass? Do I join my prayers to that of the Mass?
1. Lead with beauty. In order to overcome the “whatever” culture of moral relativism, Father Barron recommends starting by simply asking people to look and see beauty in Catholicism. Not beginning by pointing out wrongs or showing people how to think or how to behave. Rather, engaging people in “the whimsical.” From there, Father Barron explained how the beautiful leads to the good, and the good ultimately leads to the true.
Also, check out number four.
4. Tell the great story of salvation history. Father Barron emphasized the importance of the entire story. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. The story begins with creation, then the fall and the formation of people after God’s own heart. It is a story of “temple, covenant, law and prophecy.” It climaxes with the coming of Christ.
My comments: When ever I hear the phrase “salvation history” I think of the it directly applied to myself. First, we have the grand story of God’s love and activity in the world through the Incarnation of Our Blessed Lord. Then, we have the mysteries of Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, followed by the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Next, we can think of God’s grace active in the through his Church, in the saints, down to our own very lives. The work of our own individual redemption is something that fits into this cosmic vision of God’s love active in the world. But, how often do we think about the many ways God has worked in our lives? Think of that love! Think of all the times we have had to be picked up after a fall or what it was like when we first came to the knowledge of God’s love for us! Finally, we have the Seven Sacraments which are each like “little Christs” who meets us wherever we are in life.
God’s story is our story. Salvation history is our history.
Footnote: The description of each of the Seven Sacraments as “Little Christs” comes from my seminary teacher Fr. Romanus.