We often hear about The New Evangelization that was highly emphasized by His Holiness Saint Pope John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Have you ever thought of the liturgy playing a great role in evangelizing lapsed Catholics and those outside the Church?
When the liturgy is celebrated reverently and in line with all the Rubrics of Sacred Tradition, such as Ad Orientum for example, there initiates a great mystery that the average person who is not educated in the Catholic faith would love to discover.
By the beauty, reverence, piety, adoration, thanksgiving, and all the smells and bells; the fullness of Catholicity and the real presence is made known, even to those who do not know the faith. For example, at the consecration the entire congregation bows in adoration and respect for Christ. This simply informs non Catholics about our belief in the fundamental doctrine and dogma of the real presence, that under the presence of a small host and wine Our God is made present.
Since many lapsed “catholics” no longer believe in the true presence due to watered down Catechesis and modernized liturgy; there shows there is a great crises in the faith itself. Many lapsed Catholics could care less about the truth of the Catholic faith due to the lack of Catholicity in their own parishes, Infact some are even informed by their priests that the eucharist is just a symbol.
Saint Ignatius of Antioch makes it very clear
” They [the Gnostics] abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again.” (Letter to Smyrn 7:1)
Since many Catholics no longer believe in the true faith; we can come to the conclusion that many have fell into the heresy of Gnosticism, and since they reject the true presence, this explains why they also receive the Eucharist in the hands and also in a state of mortal sin. Thus, if we want to evangelize the Catholic faith we must restore sacred tradition in the Liturgy.