Posts Tagged With: Hope

Annus Fidei: Year of Faith

Is anyone else getting super excited about the Year of Faith starting tomorrow? I think it’s just the thing we all need–a big refresher! Our faith has been pushed from the center of our lives to the outskirts, where it serves as a Sunday activity that has no bearing on the rest of our week. We need to do a deep dive into our faith; to say enough with milk, we’re ready for meat.

“I gave you milk to drink, not meat; for you were not able as yet. But neither indeed are you now able; for you are yet carnal.” –1 Corinthians 3:2

Do you want to end up like the Corinthians? Or are you ready for a faith steak? I’m ready! I get all giddy just reading through Porta Fidei, St. Benedict’s latest Apostolic letter.

“Ever since the start of my ministry as Successor of Peter, I have spoken of the need to rediscover the journey of faith so as to shed ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ…..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)…… At this point I would like to sketch a path intended to help us understand more profoundly not only the content of the faith, but also the act by which we choose to entrust ourselves fully to God, in complete freedom. In fact, there exists a profound unity between the act by which we believe and the content to which we give our assent. Saint Paul helps us to enter into this reality when he writes: “Man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved” (Rom 10:10). The heart indicates that the first act by which one comes to faith is God’s gift and the action of grace which acts and transforms the person deep within.” –Porta Fidei

The Year of Faith coincides with the 50th anniversary of the 2nd Vatican Council, as well as the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. But the Year of Faith isn’t just about developing a deeper understanding of our faith, it’s about becoming more effecting at sharing our faith, so that the faith that we pass on is authentic and vibrant. Our faith has become so watered down, the world around us can’t see Jesus in us, and what’s worse, we don’t see Jesus in our lives. No wonder there’s so much despair in the world! A Year of Faith, a fresh injection of the Holy Spirit–let’s have it! Let’s pass it on! I’m not even sure what to expect, but I’ll keep an eye on the Vatican’s website every day and read from my Magnificat Year of Faith Companion daily. I can’t wait to follow the church on this journey.

Categories: Chasing After God, Everything Else, Year of Faith | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

We Will Outlast

Wednesday, Scott and I and all his family arose long before the crack of dawn and hit the road to attend the funeral of their beloved Aunt. It was a lovely service, and I have much more to say about that later, but we left the house at about 6:15am and returned home just after 9pm and I still had to do laundry. Scott hit the pillows pretty much immediately, so I sat down in the living room to sort and fold and decided to watch the Daily Mass via YouTube. I had read (and posted) the readings for the day for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and a homily sounded just perfect for topping off the evening. Unfortunately, Wednesday’s homily was not available, but after a medium-sized hissy fit, I decided to settle for Tuesday’s mass. I was exceedingly glad that I did.

Fr. Mitch Pacwa gave the homily, which focused on the life and death of St. Maximilian Kolbe, who was killed in Auschwitz after volunteering to take the place of another prisoner. For anyone to volunteer to be starved to death in order than another person might live (there were no guarantees of life in Auschwitz, of course), is amazing, but what truly struck me about Fr. Mitch’s homily was what happened before and what happened after in regards to the friary he founded in Nagasaki, Japan.

St. Maximilian made several mission trips to Japan. When he built the friary, according to Shinto beliefs, it was built on the “wrong” side of the mountain and therefore out of harmony with nature. However, when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, the “right” side of the mountain bore the brunt of the blast and the monastery was protected.

The deadliest bomb ever created is dropped on a town, but the friary, built where it should not have been built, survives. We are that friary!

We live in difficult times. Christians cannot stand up for their beliefs without ridicule and animosity. Our Catholic institutions are being forced to pay for contraception and abortion insurance which is in direct violation of our beliefs. What will happen next? Evangelical atheism is rising and we see more and more billboards, videos, even t-shirts, for crying out loud, demanding that we stop this ridiculousness and throw away our faith. We face constant bullying and smear campaigns against anything or anyone which supports the gospel. Look no further than the Chick-fil-a fiasco. A businessman states that he supports biblical marriage and the internet explodes with accusations of hate speech. Co-workers I’ve spoken to who didn’t check the facts were under the impression that Dan Cathy stated outright that he hated gays, wouldn’t hire them, and wouldn’t serve them. Bottom line, you can’t stand up for what the Bible says without having a massive hate campaign launched against you. But this is much bigger than worrying that someone will be put out of business for standing up for what they believe. It raises this fear that Christians will eventually be stamped out and silenced forever.

But after the mushroom cloud dissipated, the friary still stood.

The Nazis rose to power and were destroyed. The communists came and the communists went. Even the Early Church was persecuted for over 300 years by the Romans. ROME FELL. All sorts of evil rises but it will always fall, and when it does, the Church will still stand. We will outlast this madness  because we are the carriers of a sacred message. When all of this has passed, no matter who rises to power and who falls, the Word of God will continue to be spoken and carried to those who need it. God will always make sure we’re on the right side of the mountain. Christianity isn’t going anywhere.

Categories: Chasing After God, Everything Else | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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