In “Ecclesia in America” (1999) Pope St. John Paul the Great wrote:“The new evangelization calls for a clearly conceived, serious and well organized effort to evangelize culture... it is necessary to inculturate preaching in such a way that the Gospel is proclaimed in the language and in the culture of its hearers (70)… It is more necessary than ever for all the faithful to move from a faith of habit, sustained perhaps by social context alone, to a faith which is conscious and personally lived (73).”
Here, on the Social Catholic blog, we endeavor to take up that call. We strive to present the deposit of faith in a clearly conceived, serious and well organized effort to bring the message of Christ into the world. By the grace of God we are not alone in this mission. Other organizations, religious orders, apostolates and individuals are doing a lot of good work in this area too, and I want to share about one effort in particular. That effort being the Nazarite Challenge. The Nazarite Challenge came onto my radar because of my love for the ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal – skateboarding, basketballing, rapping friars what’s not to love? – and the Catholic Beard Balm Company. I’ve challenged my coworkers to go Nazarite this November and responses of “Challenge Accepted!” are trickling in.
The Nazarite Challenge is everything the New Evangelization is supposed to be. It’s a challenge to Catholic gentlemen – sorry ladies – to get serious about their faith. #NoShaveNovember has been the go to excuse for men to let their beards grow long for years ostensibly to raise awareness of a cause. The #NazariteChallenge builds on that cultural phenomenon and takes it a step toward the sacred. Men are challenged not only to do no shave November, but also to dive deeper into prayer, abstaining from things that lead to sin and most importantly to share their faith. You can learn more about the #NazariteChallenge by clicking the following link. Go make this a no shave November for Christ, and consider laying down the gauntlet of challenge in your own community.
Songs to inspire your #NazariteChallenge
I’ve selected these songs that I feel speak to the Nazarite Challenge. These songs characterize authentic Christian manhood and offer a model for taking our role as bothers, husbands, fathers and especially disciples seriously. If we want to see change in our world, let’s start with ourselves. Let’s set ourselves apart from the world to be in service of God. Consider yourself challenged.
Sacred Revolution by Curtis Stephan
Awake, O Sleeper by Ike Ndolo
His Name Is Joseph by Sarah Hart
A Future Not My Own by Matt Maher
Ablaze by Ben Walther
One Step Away by Steve Angrisano
What Makes a Man by Jesse Manibusan