Thursday, 11 October 2012
The Year of Faith
So it begins! The Year of Faith which the Holy Father has inaugurated on the anniversary of the opening of Vatican II (1962) and the publishing of the subsequent Catechism (1992). It is a year in which he invites us to enter more deeply into the faith, as through a door into our true home:
"The door of faith" (Acts 14: 27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. (Pope Benedict, Apostolic Letter "Porta Fidei", 1)
Far from being something closed, then, faith is something that opens us to the full panorama of our human horizons, where earth and Heaven touch. For this reason, the Catechism dares to say that
faith is already the beginning of eternal life. (CCC 163)
In this Year, we are encouraged to renew our faith in two ways:
i) we renew our fundamental act of faith, by which we place our trust in God alone, whose initiative of grace invites this response from us. In this way we imitate Mary, who offered her life to God in complete confidence, thereby loosening the knot of Eve's disobedience (see Lumen Gentium 56).
ii) We turn again to the content of our faith, the fidei depositum. What do we believe? What has God entrusted to us through his Word in Scripture and in the Church's Tradition? Who is Christ? How does God act in human history? How are we saved? What is the Church? What is the purpose of the sacraments? What is the role of the saints? We ponder these questions anew as we reflect on our Creed. Again, we imitate Mary, who pondered in her heart the mystery of her Son, who is the fulness of revelation (Lk 2: 51).
So during this year I for one will be thinking of ways I can renew my confidence in and dependence on God, as well as how I can internalise the mysteries of the faith which God reveals in the Church for our salvation.
There is a Mass in St John's cathedral Norwich today to celebrate the start of this year. Though I cannot be there, I am thinking of and praying for the diocese as we enter into this privileged time!