Here you'll find current musings, as well as the archives from two blogs of yesteryear: YoungMarriedMom and What I Learned While Writing a Novel. Please comment and share. We love well when we are in conversation with one another.
“Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy.”*
Today begins a Year of Faith (YoF, as I plan to refer to it) in the Catholic Church. Every year is a year of faith, of course, but last year Pope Benedict XVI asked that we pay special attention to this virtue of faith from today—the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church—until November 24, 2013, the feast of Christ the King. Actually then, it’s a little more than a year, which is good news, because I am PUMPED about it.
A few weeks ago, the priest at our home parish in New Jersey began to discuss why a year of faith was a good idea. First, though, here’s how the Pope puts it,
“It often happens that Christians are more concerned for the social, cultural and political consequences of their commitment, continuing to think of the faith as a self-evident presupposition for life in society. In reality, not only can this presupposition no longer be taken for granted, but it is often openly denied. Whereas in the past it was possible to recognize a unitary cultural matrix, broadly accepted in its appeal to the content of the faith and the values inspired by it, today this no longer seems to be the case in large swathes of society, because of a profound crisis of faith that has affected many people.”
Our priest put it a bit more simply: too often our faith is conforming to our culture, rather than our culture to our faith.
“We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church, and on the bread of life, offered as sustenance for his disciples (cf. Jn 6:51).”* That faith should result in action: “We cannot accept that salt should become tasteless or the light be kept hidden.”*
I’m not entirely sure what this year will mean for me yet, but you’d better believe I’ll be sharing the journey here with you. Hopefully it will mean reading some, if not all, of the Catechism. Hopefully it will mean a greater dedication to prayer. Hopefully, it will mean hearing from some of you on what faith means—whether you’re Catholic or not.
Our priest finished his homily by saying the Gospel is intended to “afflict the comfortable, and to comfort the afflicted.” I don’t think this refers to two different kinds of people. I think in everyone—I know, at least, that this is true for myself—there is something that is comfortable and something that is afflicted. Recognizing what those things are can help us to call to God to help us grow closer to Him through both His challenges to us and His consolation, and thus to increase our faith.
“Only through believing, then, does faith grow and become stronger; there is no other possibility for possessing certitude with regard to one’s life apart from self-abandonment, in a continuous crescendo, into the hands of a love that seems to grow constantly because it has its origin in God.”*
*All quotes marked with an asterisk are taken from Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter “Motu Proprio Data,” which can be found online in full at http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/motu_proprio/documents/hf_ben-xvi_motu-proprio_20111011_porta-fidei_en.html#_ftn2