Year of Faith

Pope Benedict asks that we reflect on what our faith actually means for us, and how we make it our own. He reminds us that faith is something we profess (e.g. in the Creed), we celebrate (in the liturgy, especially the Eucharist), we live out (through the witness of our lives) and we pray (individually and as a community). “We want this Year to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope.”  

The Pope asks us to rediscover and study the content of our faith, for example through deepening our knowledge and understanding of the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. What is presented in the Catechism is the encounter with Jesus Christ which is the heart of our faith.

27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. Acts 14:27

The “Door of Faith” Pope Benedict XV1 

The “door of faith” is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime.

THE DOOR OF FAITH

Loving Lord,

you are always there,

waiting graciously at the door

to welcome each one of us,

waiting for each one of us

to dare to knock at that door

so that you may open that door

ever more widely

and welcome us home to you.

 

Loving Lord,

you are always there

with a welcome look,

with warm enfolding hands,

with open-hearted hospitality.

You are constant in your desire

to welcome the returner,

to pardon the sinner,

to bandage the wounded,

to give fresh home and hope to the stray.

 

Loving Lord,

your door is always open

to enable us to re-discover a taste for you,

to encounter you afresh,

to provide us with renewed enthusiasm,

to show us the power and beauty of the faith.

 

Loving Lord,

you are always there

to take us to your heart,

to confirm our understanding,

to challenge us to further exploration,

to enable us to grow in our witness of you,

to radiate our joy in believing.

 

Loving Lord,

you hold out the precious gift

of a more conscious and profound adherence

to your Gospel of life.

You grace us with the ability

to profess, celebrate and witness to your Gospel

at the level of the heart

that authentic sacred space within each one of us

 

Loving Lord,

as we enter into this Year of Faith,

we would not be seeking you

had you not already set out to seek and meet us.

Keep on reminding us

that our faith is not theory,

but our faith is first and last

a live encounter with You, Jesus,

who live within the Church.

 

Loving Lord,

Keep on reminding us

that our faith is a conscious decision

to stand with You

so as to live with You

and with the values you bring.

Keep on reminding us

that our profession of faith

is both personal and communitarian.

Keep on reminding us

that we are called to be credible witnesses,

individuals and a community

who show their conviction

by daily lives lived with

something of the Spirit of Jesus.

 

Loving Lord,

then this Year of Faith

will blossom out into

something beautiful for you

and others will notice

and be attracted by

such clear witness,

and long to belong

more closely to Jesus

and to his family, the Church.

Amen.

Denis Blackledge SJ

Questions to think about

       What does your Baptism mean to you?

      Why were your children Baptised?

      When do you pray?

      How has your relationship with God changed over the year? When has it been strong? When has it faced challenge?

      How do you find renewal? What part does God play in this renewal? Do you need to renew your relationship with God? Do you need to renew your relationship with your Faith?

      How are you making a difference today?

 

The joys and hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts

Gaudium et Spes, 1