Friday, January 25, 2013

The Persecutor's Conversion



How is your Year of Faith going? Has it been a priority in your life since it began last October? Pope Benedict doesn’t want us to lose track of this time of grace so he asks us to pray this month that our knowledge of Christ may deepen, that our faith in him might be more joyful and attract people to him.

In announcing the Year of Faith, the Pope wrote about “a profound crisis of faith that has affected many.” He said, “We want this Year to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope.”

We can do this, first, by making “a concerted effort to rediscover the fundamental content of the faith,” especially through the Catechism of the Catholic Church. But we know that at its deepest level our faith is in a person. This year each of us can seek an encounter with that Person, Jesus. The Pope wrote: “We will need to keep our gaze fixed upon Jesus Christ, the ‘pioneer and perfecter of our faith’ (Hebrews 12:2).” For, “in him, all the anguish and all the longing of the human heart finds fulfillment.”

The Pope reminds us that “Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy.” Our prayer this month should lead us to that great “experience of love” which we won’t be able to keep to ourselves but will joyfully share with everyone. This love in us is the love in the Heart of Jesus.

Reflection

What are some of the signs of the “crisis of faith”? How can our faith help the Church respond to that crisis?

Scripture

1 Peter 3:13-17 Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for the reason for your hope.