Our Faith and the Year of Faith – Jan 13
Pope Benedict XVI, in his Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei, asks that the Year of Faith be one in which each member of the Church makes a profession of faith. This is summed up in the Creed.
St Cyril of Jerusalem says that the Creed is “the one teaching of the faith in its entirety”. When we profess our faith in the Creed we profess everything.
The central focus of Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Letter is an encounter with Christ that is possible only through the act of faith. The Pope states that “faith is the entry into life with Christ”. The Year of Faith is depicted as an open door. The “door of faith” (Acts 14:27) is always open for us. We are offered a life of communion with God and entry into His Church when the Word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be transformed by grace.
Faith is choosing to stand with the Lord so as to live with him.
The General Directory for Catechesis (#87) states there are four elements in the process of catechesis: 1) Knowledge of the Faith; 2) Formation based on Faith knowledge; 3) Commitment to the Lord flowing from knowledge and formation; 4) Mission as a result of informed commitment.
Each of the four elements must be present in the life of a mature Christian. The four elements of catechesis must be in relationship with each other on a permanent basis. Their interaction is the heart of the growth formula for a Christian. (On the Ministry of Catechesis #28)
While knowing the content to be believed is not sufficient unless the heart is opened by grace to understand the Word of God, an initial step would be to know the basics of the faith.
Many resources are already available in the Archdiocese:
- Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Joseph Harris – Lord, I Believe; Help my Unbelief
- The Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI – Porta Fidei
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church
- The prayer leaflet This Is Our Faith – available at the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office
We are already three months into the Year of Faith and each of us will have to ask: Have I tried in any way to deepen my faith so as to understand my faith and live my faith daily?
It is never too late to make a first step. I urge you to be intentional in making a difference during this Year of Faith.
Juliet Rajah (Sr) CHF
Archdiocesan Catechetical Office