The Cursillo movement has defined its own method for bringing about the transformation of all environments to Christ. The Fundamental Ideas of the Cursillo Movement (FICM) sets out 7 key parts of the Method. Today I am going to focus on just the first of those 7 parts, KERYGMA.
In paragraph 163 in FICM we read of the Cursillo method:
"It is kerygmatic. The entire method must be faithful to the option chosen by the Movement-
to take a kerygmatic approach. The method gathers together people who proclaim Christ as
witnesses, not as teachers."
"People of our day are more impressed by witnesses than by teachers, and if they do listen to
teachers, it is because they are witnesses." (EN, 41)
- The jubilant proclamation of a message
- Made by witnesses
- With the view towards conversation
Today, October 4th, is the Feast day of St. Francis of Assisi who, by the way, happens to be the saint I chose at my Confirmation as my patron saint. I have always enjoyed reading about St. Francis. Francis' entire life was a song of praise. The Magazine, The Word Among Us, states:
"Francis had chosen the better part of honoring and praising the Lord with his whole heart.
And he dedicated himself and his brothers to becoming living examples of the joy and peace
that come from such a life. Even during the final months of his life, as he was suffering
greatly, he said: 'In spite of all that I endure, I feel so close to God that I cannot help singing.'
It's no wonder that Francis was such a successful evangelist! His witness of joyful discipleship
moved countless people to embrace the gospel that he preached."
Allow me to tell you about my sponsor in the Cursillo movement. It was 1987 and my wife and I and our family had recently moved to Ocala, Florida. We had met a coupe through our children's attendance at the Catholic school where their children also attended. Their names are Al and Sue. We had had the opportunity to interact with this couple at several school events. Eventually they invited us to join them to stand in the "Life Chain" in downtown Ocala to make a statement for the right to life in hopes of stopping abortion in this country.
It was during the time that we stood in this line that I said these words to Al "What is it about you and Sue that makes you just exude radiance for Jesus Christ?" You see in all of the interaction my wife and I had had with this couple, they clearly were joy filled people. They had a love for the Lord and even without them saying anything we could feel their love of Jesus Christ. It was in Al's response to this question that he said it was due to their recent attendance at a Cursillo weekend. I did not have to hear any more. I knew nothing about Cursillo. I had never heard of Cursillo, but whatever it was, if it helped to make a person radiate and glow with the love of Jesus Christ, then we too wanted to have that experience. This discussion led to a a deepening of our Christ centered friendship with this couple and in the spring of 1988 my wife and I also made a Cursillo weekend. It changed our lives forever. Al and Sue continue to be counted among our closest of friends even though we now live over 500 miles apart.
Al and Sue are living example of Kerygma. It is my hope and prayer that we all as Christians, whether Catholics or Protestants, in these movements we are involved in, whether it is Cursillo, Walk to Emmaus, Via De Cristo, Kairos or other movements, that we can live our life with Kerygma. That through our joy filled Christian walk we will attract others to Christ.
In a day and time when there are so many things wrong in our world, where there are so many economic pressures, a world that has often turned its back on Christ, a world that has become so secular:
- Am I living my life in such a way as to radiate the love of Jesus Christ to others so that they would want to also share this walk with Jesus the Lord?
- Do others truly see the Jesus that is in me?
- If not, what do I need to change to be more joy filled, so that they too will want to ask me the question "what is it about you that makes you so at peace and so joy filled?" Then I can respond it is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Next week I will explore the importance of communal living as part of the Cursillo method.