Appendix III: The New ‘Springtime of Faith’ YOU Can Be Part Of

[Appendix III to Pray! (Use the Power of Prayer God Gave YOU to Change the World Through Prayer!)]

Christians in the West naturally bemoan the sad state of our culture and society which is throwing off the Christian heritage which made Western Civilization, up until recently known as “Western Christian Civilization,” so great.  It is getting increasingly uncomfortable to live a vibrant life of Christian faith in our society, which so often challenges us for it when it once so often aided us.  So it is important for every Christian to realize how vitally important is their participation, as members of the very Body of Christ Himself, the Church, for God’s will to be done and for His Kingdom to come on Earth.  Jesus Christ wants to bring about a New Springtime of Faith, a New Springtime of the Gospel, a New Springtime of Christianity in our “post-Christian” culture and society.  But we are His Body.  Jesus is going to transform our world (once again) through us as His hands and feet – as we (the Body united to Christ the Head) transformed the brutal ancient pagan and brutal medieval barbarian cultures in order to proclaim the Gospel (and as a mere side-effect of  Eternal Truth created the advanced and prosperous Western [Christian] Civilization in the first place).  Thus all Christians need to participate as God’s “co-workers” (1 Corinthians 3:9) to bring the New Springtime about.  We participate primarily through our prayers and through the loving witness that a prayerful life engenders in us (and by being open to whatever more specific participation the Lord may lead us into), together with our pastors, who below exhort us to do our part, the part Jesus has left for us His Body:

The new evangelisation that can make the 21st  Century a Springtime of the Gospel: “will depend in a decisive way upon the lay faithful being fully aware of their baptismal vocation and of their responsibility for bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to their culture and society”

– Blessed Pope John Paul II

“The fields are still ripe for harvesting (cf John 4:34); God continues to give the growth (cf 1 Corinthians 3:60).  We can and must believe, with the late Pope John Paul II, that God is preparing a new Springtime for Christianity”

– Pope Benedict XVI

“It is a privilege, an honour, for each and all of us to be allowed to be part of the action of the Church for a new springtime of faith.  It is also a great responsibility.”

– Cardinal Francis Arinze,

Vatican II Council Father, Head of the Springtime of Faith Foundation International Episcopal Advisory Board (quoted from his address at the 2nd Annual Springtime of Faith Rome Summit, 2007)

About the Founder (and Author’s) Participation in the New Springtime of Faith, and YOURS

[the following is from The Institute for Promoting the Gift of Truth’s website post after the founder, and author of this prayer book, was invited to the 6th Annual Springtime of Faith Rome Summit in 2011]:

The Institute for Promoting the Gift of Truth is pleased to report that our Founder, Peter William John Baptiste SFO, has been invited to be one of about 35 participants from around the world in the Ecumenical 6th Annual Springtime of Faith Rome Summit in November 2011, on the basis of being considered “one of the dynamic leaders building the New Springtime Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have talked about.”  Presenters at this Summit include Cardinal Francis Arinze, who together with other Catholic Archbishops make up the Springtime of Faith Foundation’s International Episcopal Advisory Board.  The Founder says

“I am both astonished and thrilled to be given the opportunity to participate in this summit, and I am even more amazed and delighted just to find out about the Springtime of Faith Foundation [http://www.springtimeoffaith.org/], a lay organization that is part of the “flowering of the laity” since Vatican II, aided in their implementation of Vatican II by the Catholic hierarchy through their International Episcopal Advisory Board.  Moving together with our pastors “from the heart of the Church,” empowered by the Holy Spirit, I am certain many wonderful things can be accomplished “so that the world may believe,” and indeed, “even the gates of Hell will not stand against it.”

summit participants enjoy dinner in rome

Photograph published on the Springtime of Faith Foundation’s Rome Summit page (http://www.springtimeoffaith.org/summit.html, accessed April 5, 2013, shortly after the initial publication of this prayer booklet Pray!).   Taken just outside the Vatican at the 7th Annual Springtime of Faith Rome Summit in 2012, the photo features Peter William John Baptiste SFO (center, with beard), founder of Donum Veritatis – The Gift of Truth Ministries and author of Pray!, and his Dear Bride Lorelle Baptiste (opposite), with Alan Holdren (to right of her), EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) Rome Bureau Chief; Mark Sanislo (to Peter’s left), Catholic Artist; other invited “dynamic leaders building the New Springtime Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have talked about” including Jean Fast, Corinne Kirkpatrick, Robert Fraser, Michael Harvey; with Dr. John Noronha (standing), EWTN Vatican Report “Art and Faith” Host; and Dr. Richard Land (far right, second to the left from Peter William John Baptiste SFO), 7th Annual Springtime of Faith Rome Summit Presenter (alongside scheduled presenters Cardinal Francis Arinze and Cardinal Robert Sarah who were unable, at short notice, to attend, Cardinal Sarah being sent by Pope Benedict XVI to represent him in Lebanon only two days before the conference); Dr. Land is Co-writer of the 1994 “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” (ECT) Accord signed by many Evangelical and Catholic leaders including Cardinals; and coiner of the title “The Manhattan Declaration” to describe the formal common commitment of Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians in the United States and other countries to stand up for the sanctity of human life, dignity of marriage, and freedom of religion in the current “post-Christian” Western nations which are currently challenging all of these Christian values1 (see http://manhattandeclaration.org and read the Declaration and seriously consider adding your signature as a way to be “salt and light” to the world); Dr. Land is also President of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, chosen by President George W. Bush for a commission examining Religious Liberty.  As only one year earlier Dr. Land was a participant in the 6th Annual Springtime of Faith Rome Summit, the year Peter William John Baptiste SFO (second to Dr. Land’s right) was first invited to attend as a fellow participant but was unable to attend due to financial limitations, Mr. Baptiste feels extremely honoured that with such people he has now been also invited three times to attend this annual Summit.  However, in his “Third Order Franciscan humility” thinking about honour, that such recognition of the value of his Donum Veritatis – the Gift of Truth Ministries and The Institute for Promoting the Gift of Truth ONLY has any real value at all ifit helps motivate other Christians to take seriously his call elaborated in this booklet to PRAY! (Use the Power God Gave YOU to Change the World Through Prayer!), he considers that “if I can do it, if I can play a role in bringing about the New Springtime of Faith (with all my faults, weaknesses, and sins), then ANYBODY can do it – ANYBODY who is a baptized Christian, adopted and loved and empowered by God despite weakness and brokenness can play a role in bringing about the New Springtime of Faith” – and thus he all the more vehemently exhorts and encourages EVERY CHRISTIAN reader of this prayer booklet to recognize within themselves the power they have as dearly beloved children of God to positively affect the world through their PRAYERS within their personal love-relationship with God the Holy Trinitarian Family of Love who created them only to adopt them, and who formally adopted them into this Divine Family at their baptism.