Witness: Learning to Tell the Stories of Grace That Illumine Our Lives
Beginning with the apostles themselves, Christians have practiced the art of telling their stories to bring others to faith. Leonard J. DeLorenzo, theology professor and director of Notre Dame Vision–a program designed to help youth and young adults find their true vocation–presents seven guiding principles to help you share your faith in a genuine way and teach others to do so as well.
Unlike many evangelical Christians, Catholics often find it difficult to tell their faith stories. Leonard DeLorenzo has taught thousands of teens and young adults to relate their moments of grace in a way that is compelling, convincing, and free of clichés and vague generalizations.
His seven guiding principles are:
- Tell it as a story
- Begin with what happened
- Express it in style
- Modify it for your audience
- Ensure there is sufficient closure
- Embrace natural emotions and
- Pray and practice
DeLorenzo includes literary examples of writers such as C. S. Lewis and Flannery O’Connor, the conversion stories of St. Paul and St. Augustine, and real-life accounts of grace told by young adults he’s worked with. Their stories are born out of battling an anxiety disorder, struggling with a loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease, dealing with the effects of alcoholism, learning from people with mental disabilities, and overcoming an eating disorder. DeLorenzo teaches us that by paying close attention to particular aspects of these stories, we can attune ourselves to the surprising and specific ways that grace moved through their experiences–as it does in our own. DeLorenzo provides a model for the kind of attentiveness we should foster when crafting our own stories of grace, and lead others to do so by providing an example of God’s presence in our everyday life.
Witness is a unique resource for faith-formation ministers and adults of all ages to appreciate the ways that grace is at work in your life, to inspire hope, and to build community by telling your own faith story.