Home Diocesan News Hundreds of Catholics urged to share ‘best news in history’ at ‘Reboot – Live’
Hundreds of Catholics urged to share ‘best news in history’ at ‘Reboot – Live’ Print E-mail
Written by Thomas Anderson, Special to the Exponent   
Friday, 06 October 2017 14:15

BOARDMAN – With “the best news in history – God’s love,” evangelist Chris Stefanick urged 700 people at St. Charles Borromeo Parish here to be bold and contagious in spreading their faith. 

“We should be proud of our Catholic faith in a world that tells us not to be,” said Stefanick, an internationally acclaimed author and speaker, at an event titled “Reboot – Live.” The program, which drew a full house, was sponsored by the parishes of St. Charles and St. Dominic, Youngstown; St. Michael the Archangel, Canfield; and St. Rose, Girard. Stefanick is a consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family and Youth.

In response to those who say there is no God, Stefanick said: “The universe did not put itself here. All of a sudden there was an explosion? That’s absurd. It is not a question of science vs. religion; it’s a question of materialism vs. religion.

“Would evolution prove there is no God? No. Because of God, life has purpose, life has meaning,” Stefanick noted.

“You will meet atheists who are good people, full of hope, altruism and purpose,” Stefanick said. “The question is, ‘Where did they get this?’”

“God is love, and love created space and time so [that] He could put you in it. You are huge. You are more spectacular than any lifeless star,” he said. “God had you in mind before the Big Bang and before He rose from the dead.”

“The story of human existence is a love story. Death doesn’t get the final word. Love wins. You were created for glory,” Stefanick said. “That ‘something more’ you are looking for is within reach and it’s free for the taking.”

“The central line of the love story,” he said, “is from John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’”

“Faith is a relationship you enter,” he added. “All that Catholic Christian stuff is real. It is not some joke or guess work. It is all real. While we were all his enemies, he died for us.”

“All God wants back from us is everything,” Stefanick said. “That is the love story. Who am I? What am I worth? I am worth dying for.”

He added, “The same love that created the saints is here in Christ. Jesus wants to say, ‘I forgive you.’ His love is greater than us. How do we respond to it? Let’s say ‘yes’ to Jesus’ love.”

Stefanick stressed that in order to experience God’s love in our daily life, faith has to be translated into daily habits. “If your highest values aren’t reflected in your daily choices, they’ll eventually die. If they are reflected, they’ll shape your whole life. Do you live like the things that matter most matter at all?”

In order to live a fuller life, Stefanick offered his list of “five habits of holy people”:

Love yourself. He said that the words inside our heads shape our self-perception. Do you rip yourself up over some previous sin or weakness? Or do you build yourself up? Scriptures say you are redeemed, holy, chosen, beloved, cared for, sacred, strong and loved by the creator of the universe. You should also love yourself with your actions. Your basic needs are important to God. Take care of yourself and take time to inspire yourself.

Pray. Prayer is a heart-to-heart conversation with God. In a conversation we speak and listen, but how do we listen to God? Through his word. Stefanick suggested carving out five minutes each day to read the Gospel for the Mass. People can Google the daily Mass readings and then talk to God. He recommended making a habit of conversing with God before you face each day. “God changes us every time we pray.”

Share the faith. Stefanick said the world needs you to share your faith more than ever. You don’t have to be perfect, just authentic. Sharing is done through the witness of your life and through your words. He said talking about Jesus can be awkward. But things can change if you say something. “Choose to be joyfully Catholic. Faith came to you at a great cost. It’s up to you now.”
lFriendship. “We can’t get to Heaven without other people,” Stefanick said. “Pick two to five other people, get together and study faith, view videos and study the Bible. Ask people, ‘How are you?’ and actually listen.”

Reboot. Rebooting means making a clean break with the things that keep you from being the person you know you’re supposed to be. What are those people, places, habits in your life that hold you back? He said rebooting your life means dealing with your past wounds. When you let them heal, they become your greatest strengths and a source of healing for others.

Stefanick stressed that “God loves you not because you are perfect, but because He is perfect. Jesus came to make dead people alive. Let’s praise Him for His mercy. Remember, two-thirds of God’s name is ‘go.’”


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