The first step of becoming a disciple and an evangelizer is beginning the process of conversion (metanoia), a change of our heart, mind, and way of living. All Christians are called to continue this life-long process of being drawn closer to Christ.
Change and Rebirth
Conversion is the death of our old self and birth of our new self in Christ. We experience a change in heart, mind, and our way of seeing and living in the world.
Commitment to Discipleship
As part of the conversion process a person chooses to become a disciple, surrendering one's life to God, following Jesus, and taking on the work of evangelization.
Active Catholics are called to continually be converted and continually renew their faith, in order that they may evangelize others.
Conversion is the change of our lives that comes about through the power of the Holy Spirit. All who accept the Gospel undergo change as we continually put on the mind of Christ by rejecting sin and becoming more faithful disciples in his Church. Unless we undergo conversion, we have not truly accepted the Gospel.
Go And Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States, 12
As its first goal, faith formation helps adults "to acquire an attitude of conversion to the Lord." This attitude fosters a baptismal spirituality for adults. It leads them to recognize and repent of sin in their hearts and lives, to seek reconciliation through the sacraments, and to embrace the invitation and challenge of an ever deepening faith in Jesus. It means putting on the mind of Christ, trusting in the Father's love, obeying God's will, seeking holiness of life, and growing in love for others. Deepening personal prayer is a significant means toward growth in holiness in daily life.
The purpose of this [new] evangelization is to bring about faith and conversion to Christ. Faith involves a profound change of mind and heart, a change of life, a ‘metanoia.’
National Directory for Catechesis, 17A
Christian faith requires conversion; it changes who we are, what we do and how we think. The Gospel offers "good news" and guidance not just for our spiritual lives, but for all the commitments and duties which make up our lives. Living our faith in the ordinary tasks of everyday life is an essential part of what it means to be holy today.
How We Support Conversion
In many ways, all gospel values, tools, and aspects of daily life feed into our ongoing conversion as disciples. The following are particularly connected to conversion:
Conversion is also supported by exploring how all aspects of our daily lives are informed by our faith. Understanding the connection makes it clear why Jesus' message is Good News and helps us understand what we are committing to in becoming an intentional disciple.
Cover image from Pentecost, a painting by El Greco.