September 10, 2015

From the Year of Faith to a Life of Faith

October 11th 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI declared that the Universal Church would celebrate a Year of Faith continuing until November 24th 2013. Many dioceses and parishes began to engage in various programs to delve deeper into their faith. Bible studies, prayer groups, Holy Hours, Eucharistic Adoration, and suggested spiritual reading lists from the Church’s rich tradition began to flourish. It is important that the momentum gained over that year does not dwindle away, especially in our personal journeys of faith. What we have learned and shared must continue if we are to come to know both who we are and what we believe as Catholic Christians.

Who We Are

Knowing who we are comes from getting to know our heritage through reading the divinely inspired texts of the Bible. Here we learn where we have come from as a people of faith. The stories reveal the growth in our relationship with God, especially as we get to know the person of Jesus Christ. Salvation history is an elaborate love story that enlivens the soul and reconnects us with our creator. While some books and passages may resonate more with us, all books and all stories in the Bible are part of this rich heritage. Continuing to read and meditate on just one chapter of the Bible each day will help us to continue this important journey of getting to know who we are. It is by meditating on the Word of God that we see what we have come from and what we are made for.

What We Believe

Often the questions we hear from family or friends are connected to what we believe as Catholics. It is important to know what we believe so that we may live our faith and be able to share it with others. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is one such resource that can help in our search for answers. The first time we look at this book, it may seem daunting, but reading just 8 paragraphs a day will get you through it in less than a year! Why not read it as a family or with a friend so you can discuss the content with someone? Having a buddy in this will help keep you on track.

The Liturgy also gives insight into our faith. The prayers used throughout the Mass tell us exactly what we believe as Catholics. Listening attentively to the words spoken, especially the Eucharistic Prayer sheds light on our faith. Even spending some time slowly reviewing the Creed on our own are just some ways we can learn more about our faith through our worship.

Share The Gift

Faith is a gift from God. While many of the tips mentioned are practical ways of learning information about our faith, heartfelt belief is a grace we receive. Once we have received this great gift, it is meant to be shared with others, not kept to ourselves. Someone living their faith is like a light shining in the darkness. All can see this light, and are naturally drawn to it. At the end of this Year of Faith be one of the faithful whose light continues to burn brighter and brighter with every day.

Answering the Call