FRESHImage Ministries is a nonprofit Catholic apostolate aimed at reawakening the recognition of the dignity of the human person within the culture. Our apostolate is built on the Good News of Jesus Christ, and seeks to empower individuals and communities by providing spiritual and intellectual tools that, together with God’s grace, helps them renew the image of God in which they were created. Utilizing both the latest and timeless forms of media, FRESHImage Ministries seeks to engage the culture through the lens of the Christian Tradition, that society may become a place where each and every individual has the opportunity to flourish into the person he or she has been created to be; completely unique in personality and mission.
Our Message Begins with our Name
From the moment you read our name, you have begun to read our message. The word “FRESH” in our name is both acronym and modifier. The acronym denotes five simple, but key elements of an approach to life which recognizes the dignity of all human life:
F- is for Faith. By faith, we mean two things. First, that our apostolate is based on the Christian faith as most basically articulated by the Nicene Creed. Second, like many patristic authors, we too share the belief that our faith itself is already a gift, a grace that is the result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who bestows upon Christians the theological virtue of faith.
R- is for Respect. Respect here is basically a stand in for the Christian theological virtue of love or charity, again the result of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling. It means love for the Creator and his creation, love for the self and others in relation to the Creator, and love for all creation as stewards of it. Respect and love are owed first to God, but no less to our fellow human beings as they are each special works of the Creator and as such have inestimable worth.
E- is for Eucharist. The Eucharist stands at the very center of the approach FRESHImage takes spiritually and intellectually to articulating what it means to live as the imago Dei, the image of God in the world. It holds firm to the idea expressed so vividly by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, that the Eucharist “introduces within creation the principle of a radical change, a sort of ‘nuclear fission’…which penetrates to the heart of all being, a change meant to set off a process which transforms reality, a process leading ultimately to the transfiguration of the entire world, to the point where God will be all in all (cf. 1 Cor. 15:28)” (Sacramentum Caritatis, 11). For us at FRESHImage, reception of the Eucharist comes with the demand to live eucharistic lives, doing all things great and small so as to make the words of Christ echo throughout the world: “This is my body, given for you.”
- Endurance: The lofty calling of Christ to Christians to be his presence in the world demands endurance, and so we place it here as a subheading under Eucharist. This draws from the Catholic tradition’s concept of viaticum, i.e., food for the journey. Typically reserved for end of life situations, we expand this term so as to understand the Eucharist as the nourishment that enables human persons to live as the imago Dei. Put simply, to echo Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once again, “Sine dominico non possumus, that is, we cannot live without joining together on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist. We would lack the strength to face our daily problems and not to succumb” (Heart of the Christian Life: Thoughts on the Mass, 12).
S- is for Scripture. As much as the Eucharist stands at the heart of the work of FRESHImage, we are no less devoted to a scripturally based understanding of the Christian faith and what it means to live as the image of God in the world. Put simply, just as we cannot live without the Eucharist, so too our efforts would fail without the nourishment of Scripture, for, as St. Jerome says in his Commentary on Isaiah, “ignorance of Scripture, is ignorance of Christ.” We include two subpoints under this theme that expand upon it.
- Saints: For us at FRESHImage, the saints serve as the exemplars par excellence of what it means to live as the image of God in the world. These lives are intrinsically connected to Scripture no less than the Eucharist, and thus their lives could be understood as living sermons of the sacred text. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote, “The Holy Spirit who inspired the sacred authors is the same Spirit who impels the saints to offer their lives for the Gospel. In striving to learn from their example, we set out on the sure way towards a living and effective hermeneutic of the word of God” (Verbum Domini, 49).
- Scheme: Scheme here means discerning one’s role in the world and setting goals to carry out that role. And for us this means discerning our role in God’s ongoing salvific work in dialogue with the life of Christ and the lives of the saints in relation to Christ.
H- is for Hope. Hope here refers in the first instance to the theological virtue of hope, the result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is this virtue that keeps us moving forward in living as images of God in the world, especially when that world is so often cause for anxiety. We at FRESHImage believe that we have every reason to hope. We hope both in the Good News of Jesus Christ who is the Lord of history, which is ultimately in his hands, and in the transformational ability of the human person when empowered by God’s grace, for making personal and societal change.
- Happiness: FRESHImage sees happiness as the aim of life, but happiness not understood in the utilitarian fashion of the day. Rather, we understand happiness as a state of life that can only be had in full communion with God on the other side of eternity. This is not to say we believe we cannot be happy here. Quite the contrary, we are happy in the hope of God’s promises to us in Jesus Christ of eternal happiness, and thus are able to joyfully live the life of the Gospel despite the ups and downs life brings this side of eternity.
FRESH- also means reawakening and reinvigorating our understanding of the way in which we have been created. We at FRESHImage believe that when human persons become who they have been created to be, they are a breath of God’s fresh and life-giving breath to the world.
Image- stands for the Christian belief that each and every single human person has been created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). It is our belief that because we are created in this image and likeness that each and every single person is priceless, regardless of state in life. We believe that each person is a unique reflection of the Creator, and as such, has a unique mission in life which in some way reflects or teaches us something about who God is. Consequently, if someone does not fulfill their purpose in life, either through fault of their own or causes extraneous to them, we all miss out on something that is priceless, i.e. a new way of knowing God through that person.