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Pope Benedict announces a Year of Faith

I have only just now had a chance to begin to sit down and read Pope Benedict’s Motu Proprio Porta Fidei in which he proclaims a Year of Faith, beginning 11 October 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and ending on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on 24 November 2013.  (So yes, for us nit pickers out there it’s a little more than a year.)  While I haven’t had a chance to read the whole of the document just yet I get the feeling from the tone of what I have read that the Holy Father senses a great need in the Church and an urgent need in the world for a deep renewal in the very basics – the very bases – of our faith.  The third paragraph is illustrative of my point:

We cannot accept that salt should become tasteless or the light be kept hidden (cf. Mt 5:13-16). The people of today can still experience the need to go to the well, like the Samaritan woman, in order to hear Jesus, who invites us to believe in him and to draw upon the source of living water welling up within him (cf. Jn 4:14). 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). Indeed, the teaching of Jesus still resounds in our day with the same power: “Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life” (Jn6:27). The question posed by his listeners is the same that we ask today: “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (Jn 6:28). We know Jesus’ reply: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (Jn 6:29). Belief in Jesus Christ, then, is the way to arrive definitively at salvation.

He goes on to say, “The Year of Faith […] is a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Saviour of the world.”  Why? “Today too, there is a need for stronger ecclesial commitment to new evangelization in order to rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith.”  Because, “[o]nly 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.

To wrap up my early thoughts on this Motu Proprio, I would like to note one more sentence: “Religious communities as well as parish communities, and all ecclesial bodies old and new, are to find a way, during this Year, to make a public profession of the Credo.”  Granted I may be over-reaching this statement, but it certainly seems to be telling us all that we are to take this year to remember, renew and re-learn what we believe that we might bring it forth into the world.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Ben Yates October 24, 2011, 5:08 pm

    I’m glad I found this, I have not heard of this yet… and I’m sharing it with others.

    Thank you for the write up… my faith was renewed last year, and was confirmed when I received the Eucharist for the first time at this past Easter.

  • adora November 11, 2011, 2:08 am

    my mother was received in the Church last Sept. 24, 2011. Faith is truly a gift from God. We have been praying for it and it came to her in a most natural but beautiful way. Now she has to learn and love what she has been given.

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