FRIDAY HOMILY: Having and Holding to an Interior Faith
the necessary inner strength to continue living out our lives of obedience while experiencing divine love that cannot come from anyone but Him.
As Christians, we can be tempted to trust in externals and hope that "being a good person" is all that God requires. An Evangelical pastor, the late John Wimber, used to say that he believed anyone could join any church in America by doing just five basic things: attend somewhat regularly, give somewhat regularly, verbally affirm the beliefs of the Church, render some service and hide their sin for 3-4 hours a week.
For Catholics this trust in externals can take on particular forms. We can robotically attend Mass, go to confession, participate in programs, etc. while still missing the actual interior conversion we are all called to live out. The liturgy, sacraments and Christian service in line with the social teachings of the Church can be exercised without much regard to our interior conversion. They are, however, the means through which grace is mediated, but we have to prepare our hearts to receive it.
I believe a rightly-focused-faith is the goal of our Holy Father for this year; that the Church would come alive in love - love for God, love of God and love from God that is ours as we participate in living out our lives through the Gospel. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "Faith is a personal adherence of the whole man to God who reveals himself. It involves an assent of the intellect and will to the self-revelation God has made through his deeds and words." (CCC 176)
Pope Benedict issued an Apostolic Letter, entitled "Porta Fidei," to announce the Year of Faith. In it he writes, "Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy. It makes us fruitful, because it expands our hearts in hope and enables us to bear life-giving witness: indeed, it opens the hearts and minds of those who listen to respond to the Lord's invitation to adhere to his word and become his disciples."
He began that section of his letter by saying, "Today as in the past, he sends us through the highways of the world to proclaim his Gospel to all the peoples of the earth (cf. Mt 28:19). Through his love, Jesus Christ attracts to himself the people of every generation: in every age he convokes the Church, entrusting her with the proclamation of the Gospel by a mandate that is ever new." (Pope Benedict XVI, "Porta Fidei," 7)
Through living an authentic life of faith we can all be the kind of witnesses to the love of Christ where people will stop us and ask, "I don't know what you have, but whatever it is, this is the kind of life I want to live."
Father Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and a priest with the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (http://usordinariate.org) established by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, through the Apostolic Constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus."
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Faith, Year of Faith, St. Paul, Galatians, Pope Benedict
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Year of Faith News
- THURSDAY HOMILY: Choosing to Live the Way of Forgiving Love
- WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Me, Myself, and I, How to Overcome the Unholy Trinity
- TUESDAY HOMILY: Christian Perfection
- Does the Lord Really Mean We Are to Be Perfect?
- Pope Francis On Gospel of Life Sunday: Let Us Say Yes to Life!
- SUNDAY HOMILY: The Happy Priest - Thoughts on Fatherhood
- Taking Custody of Your Heart
- OMG! LOL! NOT.
- MONDAY HOMILY: When it Comes to Love, Super-size It
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?