However, Catholics are very much called to evangelize. Does our evangelization look the same as that of a born again Christian, handing out tracts and reading through a Sinner's Prayer with a total stranger? Possibly, but probably not in most cases.
The Catholic Catechism #905 states: "Lay people also fulfill their prophetic mission by evangelization, "that is, the proclamation of Christ by word and the testimony of life." For lay people, "this evangelization . . . acquires a specific property and peculiar efficacy because it is accomplished in the ordinary circumstances of the world."
As Tracy wrote, as Catholic lay people, our primary evangelization takes place in the ordinary circumstances of the world.
In the Doctrinal Note on some Aspects of Evangelization which I referenced in the previous post, there is an elaboration on this idea.
" . . .evangelization is aimed at all of humanity. In any case, to evangelize does not mean simply to teach a doctrine, but to proclaim Jesus Christ by one’s words and actions, that is, to make oneself an instrument of his presence and action in the world."We see here that words and actions are again mentioned as an important means of evangelization.
"Today, however, with ever-increasing frequency, questions are being raised about the legitimacy of presenting to others – so that they might in turn accept it – that which is held to be true for oneself. Often this is seen as an infringement of other people’s freedom."However, we need to be wary of holding back from presenting the Gospel, because we feel it would be intrusive to others. How many times have we, as Catholics, held our tongue when speaking to an aquaintence because it was easier than saying something? We probably reasoned that our good example should be enough, and it isn't necessary to actually say something to them. Think of the many times that abortion or contraception come up in casual conversation. Are there times that we could make a comment that might get people thinking about the truth of these subjects?
Does this mean that we need to bluntly tell people that they are sinning, or act in some other offensive way?
"Evangelization also involves a sincere dialogue that seeks to understand the reasons and feelings of others. Indeed, the heart of another person can only be approached in freedom, in love and in dialogue, in such a manner that the word which is spoken is not simply offered, but also truly witnessed in the hearts of those to whom it is addressed. This requires taking into account the hopes, sufferings and concrete situations of those with whom one is in dialogue. Precisely in this way, people of good will open their hearts more freely and share their spiritual and religious experiences in all sincerity. This experience of sharing, a characteristic of true friendship, is a valuable occasion for witnessing and for Christian proclamation."No, evangelization is a delicate art. In the same way that we shouldn't be afraid to speak up, so we also should be sensitive. We need to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and seek openings that might truly bear fruit. If we offend someone, they might close that door forever, but sometimes a gentle word at the right moment can be a powerful witness.