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Year of Faith

 

 

 

 

Pope Benedict XVI has declared October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013 the Year of Faith. October 11th marks the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Click here to read Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei

Click here to read Pope Benedict’s homily for the Opening of the Year of Faith

Welcoming the Year of Faith

Pope Benedict XVI has declared that from October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013 to be the Year of Faith.

The pope describes us to be in an era where we are experiencing a “crisis of faith.” What does that mean? We live in a culture that either denies or attacks our faith and this has led many of us to become lukewarm, indifferent and ignorant. We can see this in the media pressing upon us to accept the mediocre. We can see it with government, in particular with our country and the HHS mandate. The pope in reference to Matthew 5:13-16 states: “We cannot accept that salt should become tasteless or the light be kept hidden,” (Porta Fidei 3). It is time for us to walk through the door of faith and to stand for truth in the midst of persecution, this is Benedict XVI’s hope for the Year of Faith. In his first lines of Porto Fidei he says:

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.

How can we in this Year of Faith become salt that is tasteful and a light to the world? What can we do this year in our lives and with our families to grow in faith?

  1. Adore the Eucharist:
    The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith.. When we adore the Eucharist we are strengthened to live our faith. During the Year of Faith, on the Feast of Corpus Christi (June 2, 2013) Pope Benedict will lead a solemn holy hour of adoration of the Eucharist and is asking that every Catholic parish participate at exactly that same hour. This year try and commit yourself to visiting the perpetual adoration chapel once a week even if it is only for 15 minutes.. Also, take advantage of our daily Mass Schedule try to attend daily Mass once a week after or before work. Adore and receive the Eucharist so that you can be nourished to live your faith and life as one.
  2. Study the Catechism: The Catechism can seem like an intimidating “Big Book” of do’s and do not’s. However the pope calls it the “precious and indispensable tool,” (PF 11) for us to learn and teach the Catholic faith. The word catechism stems from two words: cate (kata) which is Greek for down and chism (echein) which is a Greek verb meaning to sound or to echo. Thus catechism means to echo down. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is not merely a dictionary or an encyclopedia. It is a teaching tool, a vessel in which we pass down the deposit of faith in all its power and beauty. It is a great treasure that needs to both be guarded and passed on. If you are a Catholic, the Catechism is for you! We are all called to share and teach the faith.
  3. Pray the Rosary & Read the Lives of the Saints: In the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke (see page 28 of this booklet) we read the perfect model of the faith we should all have. That model is Mary’s fiat, her yes to God and His plan for her and the salvation of all humanity. Mary said yes to God in all things and is now in heaven. Mary and Saints had a strong faith and many of them lived normal lives like us. We can look to them, see their example, and ask for their prayers to be strengthened to live out our faith in the midst of our world.We never retire from being a disciple of Christ; just like the pope says this journey of faith “lasts a lifetime.” May we be strengthened for this journey during the Year of Faith, so that we are transformed by God’s grace to be more firm and steadfast in loving Him and those around
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