Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Peas In A Pod

Steve Dawson, the founder and director of St. Paul Street Evangelization, gave a rock solid interview the other day on The Journey Home.  I was amazed and consoled by our common experiences, and that we share the same basic "mental architecture" (by no means a given in today's church!).  Steve had his share of juvenile run-ins with the law, and then transitioned to the usual party scene of girls, booze and drugs.  But God gave him the grace to be utterly miserable without Him, and he was further blessed with an eros for knowledge--a burning desire to find Truth.  Meanwhile his mother and several eminent priests (Fr. John Hardon SJ, Cardinal Burke) were praying him into the Church.  After his conversion, God shielded him like a nestling, only releasing him to temptation once he had gained sufficient strength. Steve started out on the streets by spending many hours witnessing for 40 Days For Life, then he transitioned to year-round evangelization in what became St. Paul Street Evangelization.

That's basically my journey (minus the bank robberies, prison and endless years in academia).  It's also the journey of Meagan, the latest person to walk with us, but I'll tell Meagan Montanari's story in the next blog post.

Steve evangelizes because life is a distorted caricature of itself without God.  God makes all the difference, though many can carry on "fine" without God.  For so many others, they become wrecked on the shores of modernity, and end up as statistics as prison inmates, addicts, the homeless, labor market drop-outs, crime victims, aborted babies, childless marriages, and children of divorce.  Steve understands that the West is fractured, living off the salt and light of her Christian past, and the only means of restoring her is through a wave of conversions.  Steve has also come to see that apologetics is only a tiny piece of the puzzle.  Conversions usually depend more on prayer, personal witness and relationships.  St. Paul Street Evangelization is up and running in Portland again (thanks to Felix Barba's stewardship), and I hope they attract many more members and conversions.  It's truly a work of God.

1 comment:

  1. An important connection, glad it's made, God bless you and your work!