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Preparation of a person or people to receive the Gospel. The need for such preparation in the modern world arises from the massive neglect of God and things spiritual. "In the past," the Second Vatican Council explains, "it was the exception to repudiate God and religion to the point of abandoning them, and then only in individual cases; but nowadays it seems a matter of course to reject them as incompatible with scientific progress and a new kind of humanism" (Gaudium et Spes, 8). Through the media of social communication, this spirit of unbelief has permeated whole segments of society. Hence the need for predisposing people even to listen to the Gospel, especially in the once Christian affluent cultures of Euro-America.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.