The Year of Faith is an Invitation to Encounter the Risen Christ Anew and Become Missionaries
We need to be converted anew, re-catechized and experience afresh the grace that comes from the Sacraments
The Year of Faith is an invitation to each one of us to encounter anew the Risen Lord Jesus, find our home in the heart of His Church and say "yes" to his invitation into the Mission of the Third Millennium of Christianity as loyal sons and daughters of that Church. Let us together, following the successor of Peter, open the door, enter in, and witness the wonders of God anew.
VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - On Thursday, October 11, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI will lead the Catholic Church throughout the world through the Door of Faith and into a Year of Faith. This extraordinary opportunity for grace and renewal will continue until November 24, 2013. That is the last day of the Church year, the Feast of Jesus Christ the Sovereign King.
On October 11, 2011, Pope Benedict announced his intention to call the Year of Faith by releasing a letter entitled "The Door of Faith". (Porta Fidei) In this letter he wrote "The 'door of faith' (Acts14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church." The opening day was chosen to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the official release of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
As with everything this Pope does, the choice of the Image of a Door and the reference to the Acts of the Apostles, the New Testament account of the missionary activity of the Church of the First Centuries, is packed with prophetic meaning and pastoral insight. First, the door. As with every door, it must be opened and one must walk through it in order to enter in. Clearly, Pope Benedict XVI sees our age as a new missionary age. He knows that the same Risen Lord who empowered the early Church is in our midst and opening the same door of faith. We must choose to respond.
The chapter from which the Holy Father quotes details the spread of the Christian faith into the world of the First Millennium. It speaks of the heroic missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas to the Gentiles. Upon their return they give their testimony o the Christians of the Church of Antioch. "They called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith..."(Acts 14:27).
He is exercising his Petrine ministry by leading all of us through this Door of Faith into a new encounter with the Risen Christ in the heart of the Church. We need to be converted anew, re-catechized - and experience afresh the grace that comes from the Sacraments. Then, equipped to participate in the mission of the Church, we are being sent into the Third Millennium like Paul and Barnabus were sent into the First millennium. We can - we will - witness the same kind of miraculous results that Paul and Barnabas did in the First Millennium. That is if we allow the Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to continue His mission through us.
Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI's election I wrote an article quoting from Alisdair MacIntyre's book "After Virtue" : "It is always dangerous to draw too precise parallels between one historical period and another; and among the most misleading of such parallels are those which have been drawn between our own age in Europe and North America and the Epoch in which the Roman Empire declined into the Dark Ages."
"Nonetheless, certain parallels there are. A crucial turning point in that earlier history occurred when men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman Imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of the Imperium."
"What they set themselves to achieve instead- often not recognizing fully what they were doing- was the construction of new forms of community within which the moral life could be sustained so that both morality and civility might survive the coming ages of barbarism and darkness. If my account of our moral condition is correct, we ought also to conclude that for some time now we too have reached that turning point."
"This time however, the barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time. And it is our lack of consciousness of this that constitutes part of our predicament. We are waiting not for a Godot, but for another-doubtless very different- St. Benedict."
I suggested that "another Benedict" was here in the person of Pope Benedict XVI. I am more convinced of it now. I suggested back then, "This will be a pontificate that emphasizes and vigorously contends for the truth; one that recognizes the loss of the soul of contemporary culture and proclaims the ever fresh yet ancient truths of classical Christianity to an emerging new paganism. This will be a prophetic as well as a pastoral Papacy. We will witness a resurgence of Christianity that is rightly "orthodox" in both faith and practice.
"Because of that, many will try to "claim" ...
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