Last week at Family Theater’s Prayer and Pasta gathering, Fr. Ed Benioff, the new Director of New Evangelization in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, spoke to the crowd of about 50 young professionals about the New Evangelization and Hollywood.
Fr. Ed, born in Hollywood, grew up with a passion for art and beauty. Fr. Ed’s perspective is that the New Evangelization is not just more programs or something extra to be done. It is not primarily a set of books or lectures. Rather it is simply opening ourselves and others to grace working through us and to deepen our relationship with God.
God wants to become a part of our lives, to love us and then use us to radiate that love out to others. When we pray, we don’t pray for God’s sake, but for our sake. Prayer reminds us to slow down and be mindful that we are loved infinitely and personally. God adores us: praying reminds us of this.
Fr. Ed quoted Mother Teresa, “Do something beautiful with your life.” He continued, “The most important thing that you can create in this world is you. Your soul is the most significant thing that you can cultivate.” When the world sees and appreciates the beauty of a person, a rite, a piece of music or a work of art, they will be also drawn to the deeper implications to ideas of truth and goodness.
As young people in the entertainment industry, it may sometimes seem impossible to both create beautiful things and pay rent; to both pray and maintain an expected level of professionalism. Christ’s call to “pick up your cross and follow me” is an invitation to take on this challenge, most especially for those in the entertainment industry. Fr. Ed said, “You in the entertainment industry have a special call to make beautiful art and allure people into the true and the good through the beautiful.”
Radiate LA is a great resource for young Catholics in Los Angeles. Check out http://www.radiate.la/article/works-of-beauty/ and their events pages for more information.
He showed us this clip from Fr. Barron on evangelizing through beauty.
Each month, young Catholics in the entertainment industry gather for prayer, music, and dinner at Family Theater Productions on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. If you or someone you know would be interested in joining our mailing list, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.