Witness: Learning to Tell the Stories of Grace That Illumine Our Lives

Witness: Learning to Tell the Stories of Grace That Illumine Our Lives

by Leonard J. DeLorenzo


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Witness: Learning to Tell the Stories of Grace That Illumine Our Lives by Leonard J. DeLorenzo

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. The seven guiding principles he includes in Witness 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594716874
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
Publication date: 12/05/2016
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 674,161
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Leonard J. DeLorenzo works in the McGrath Institute for Church Life and teaches theology at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Witness and Work of Love and he is the coeditor of Dante, Mercy, and the Beauty of the Human Person.

DeLorenzo earned his doctorate in systematic theology from the University of Notre Dame, where he also earned his master’s (systematic theology) and bachelor’s degrees (theology and philosophy). He has served on the leadership teams for Notre Dame Vision, the Notre Dame Catechist Academy, the Notre Dame Character Project, and the Church Life Internship. He speaks regularly on the saints, biblical catechesis, vocation and discernment, and the theological imagination. His website is leonardjdelorenzo.com.

He and his wife, Lisa, live in South Bend, Indiana, with their children.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Stories We Tell Each Other xi

1 The Light by Which We See: The Problem and Promise of Identity 1

2 Bending Light: Responding to God's Humility with Disciplined Creativity 33

3 Speaking of Light: Studying the Splendor and Language of Grace 71

4 Catching Up to the Speed of Light: Forging Communion through Regular Practices 101

Epilogue: The Stories We Tell Ourselves 127

Notes 131

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