Depth of Soul: the Principle of Evangelization

“Behold the sower went forth to sow. And whilst he soweth some fell by the way side, and the birds of the air came and ate them up. And other some fell upon stony ground, where they had not much earth: and they sprung up immediately, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up they were scorched: and because they had not root, they withered away. And others fell among thorns: and the thorns grew up and choked them. And others fell upon good ground: and they brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold.”

—Matthew 13.3-8

In the parable of the sower above Our Lord, Jesus Christ, discloses that the principle of evangelization is depth.

Of the four soils in the parable, the three bad soils receive the word of God shallowly. These three soils accept the seed only on the surface or not deeply enough for the seed to take root.

The good soil, however, receives the word of God deeply. The seed, thus, takes root and grows. This seed not only grows but bears fruit. This is logical: how could sterility to the word of God produce life in another? Even so, interior shallowness cannot produce depth in others.

We can say the principle as a formula: life requires depth and fruit requires depth. Said in theological terms, salvation requires depth and evangelization requires depth.

How does one sow the word of God deeply within? The Catechism of the Catholic Church commenting on this parable says, “Christians owe it to themselves to develop the desire to meditate regularly, lest they come to resemble the three first kinds of soil in the parable of the sower” (CCC 2707). Mental prayer, claims the Catechism, is the essential practice of a spirituality of depth, the spirituality of the parable of the sower.

In is unquestionable that there are few who practice this spirituality of depth. Despite the unanimous advocacy of the Saints for the practice of mental prayer, everywhere today there are birds, thorns, and the heats of noon day destroying the life of souls. A sobering fact of this matter is that 80% of Catholics between the ages of 18-24 lose the faith.

SOCA responds to this urgent need through equipping young people to live a radical devotion to Catholic spirituality. Through training, instruction, and accountability SOCA evangelizes through the traditional advice of the Saints by assisting disciples in practicing a spirituality of depth.

Formation works in three stages: relate, elevate, apostolate. With one-on-one friendship and training, along with instruction in small groups and public events, SOCA students and young adults are made zealous and interiorly devoted apostles for a lifetime.

Right now, SOCA's ministry outreach has two primary expressions:

First, at the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver. Auraria is a shared campus between Metropolitan State University, University of Colorado Denver, and Community College of Denver. As a result, Auraria has over 46,000 students (2015). This makes it the largest college campus in Colorado. SOCA is the ONLY Catholic missionary organization on campus. SOCA has multiple active leadership formation chapters on campus and is growing.

Second, SOCA has a young adult outreach centered around fraternity and prayer. This arm of SOCA's ministry was initiated in a "Tradition on Tap" event called Tradere. Much like the campus activity, SOCA is increasing enrollment of young adults eager to practice the spirituality of depth poropsed by the Saints of the Catholic Church.

The success of SOCA's ministry model is described by one principle laid out in "The Soul of the Apostolate": interior life breeds interior life. The silent witness of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in-dwelling within a soul in an every growing intimacy is the cause of all conversion, the principle of true evangelization, and the soul of christian apostolates.

The evangelical Activity of SOCA has the formal endorsement of his excellency, Archbishop Samuel J Aquila.


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