Thursday, October 11, 2012

THE YEAR OF FAITH

I didn't take this picture, it is from the Vatican News website.  But I could have it I had my camera with me.  
Today the Holy Father opened the year of Faith with Mass in St. Peters square.  Some of us were blessed to be in attendance for this beautiful celebration of the Holy Eucharist.  I was especially struck at the many different cultures that came together for the Mass.  It is a reality at most Papal events, but today for some reason the Lord showed me how great of a gift it is to have faith in Jesus Christ and to share it with so many people all over the world.  There are some videos, pictures and articles in the following paragraphs.  The Holy Father has called us to commit to growing in our faith this year, therefore we should attempt to make an extra effort to do so.  There are many ways to do so.  By clicking the following link you can receive a daily email of the Catechism of the Catholic Church reading the entire thing in one year. http://www.flocknote.com/catechism
Another way to follow up on the Holy Fathers challenge would be to get closer to him and what he is saying.  Read an encyclical, ready his homilies, read his angelus address each day.  This can all be found on the Vatican website.  http://www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm

Here are some excerpts from his homily at today's Mass:

"The Second Vatican Council did not formulate anything new in matters of faith, nor did it wish to replace what was ancient. Rather, it concerned itself with seeing that the same faith might continue to be lived in the present day, that it might remain a living faith in a world of change. ... The Council Fathers wished to present the faith in a meaningful way; and if they opened themselves trustingly to dialogue with the modern world it is because they were certain of their faith, of the solid rock on which they stood. In the years following, however, many embraced uncritically the dominant mentality, placing in doubt the very foundations of the deposit of faith, which they sadly no longer felt able to accept as truths.
"If today the Church proposes a new Year of Faith and a new evangelisation, it is not to honour an anniversary, but because there is more need of it, even more than there was fifty years ago!

"The journey is a metaphor for life, and the wise wayfarer is one who has learned the art of living, and can share it with his brethren - as happens to pilgrims along the Way of St. James or similar routes which, not by chance, have again become popular in recent years. How come so many people today feel the need to make these journeys? Is it not because they find there, or at least intuit, the meaning of our existence in the world? This, then, is how we can picture the Year of Faith: a pilgrimage in the deserts of today’s world, taking with us only what is necessary: ... the Gospel and the faith of the Church, of which the Second Vatican Council documents are a luminous expression, as is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, published twenty years ago.
"Venerable and dear brothers, 11 October 1962 was the Feast of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. Let us entrust to her the Year of Faith, as I did last week when I went on pilgrimage to Loreto. May the Virgin Mary always shine out as a star along the way of the new evangelisation".

This and some other things can be received daily from the free Vatican news service.  Check out a lot more on the Year of Faith including videos and other news at: http://www.news.va/en
If you scroll down to the bottom and click on Vatican Information Service you can sign up for the free email.  

Together with you all in prayer,
Seminarian, Christopher Jarvis



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