Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lumen Fidei: The Light of Faith

Reading Lumen Fidei: The Light of Faith for the second time on Transfiguration Sunday seemed appropriate.  Last Friday, we had our Cursillo Women’s Team overnight, and I believe it’s safe to say we all had a bit of a mountaintop experience while at Richmond Hill.  We were fed in mind, body, and spirit, then sent out to live the Gospel in hope to bring others closer to Christ. 
In the sermon our pastor Fr. Dan Brady gave Saturday evening, he emphasized that following Christ, giving your life over to Him, doesn’t mean you won’t face any suffering.  What it means is that you will not be alone in your suffering—for Christ will always be with you.
The message of being sent into the world as a light for all nations is one that appears many times throughout the Bible.  Faith isn’t always easy, neat, or tidy.  At times, it can require a whole lot more of us than we ever thought it would. 
The New Evangelization we’ve been called to requires that we acknowledge the light of Christ and bring illumination to the dark places in our world so that they may be transformed, so that we may be transformed from the inside out. 
God’s love is at the core of who we are and is what we desire more than anything else.  We are given the gift of that love as freely as we are given inherent dignity because we were made by God and in His image.  The more we claim, accept, and grow deeper in that love, the more faith we have in Christ to be with us, especially in the midst of suffering. 
Pope Francis describes how vitally important it is that our faith in God and the blessings He gives us are used to help others who are suffering to know, experience, and be opened to the Lord’s unconditional love.  Light, just like faith, changes the way we see things in and around us.  It brings us to a greater awareness of who and what are before us. 
The guidance and security of the Light of Christ give us the courage and strength we need to carry out such apostolic actions as will build up the Kingdom of God.
Lumen Fidei, the encyclical letter à quatre mains begun by Pope Benedict XVI and completed by Pope Francis, was issued on the feast day (June 29) of two of the original evangelizers: Peter and Paul.  The two apostles, like these two popes, promulgated the faith using their God-given gifts.  We are called to do the same: to offer all that we have been, all that we are and all that we will be to Our Lord to use however He wishes in time and eternity. 

I highly recommend every Christian reading Lumen Fidei.  For more information, or to order your own copy of this encyclical letter, click here.  I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  
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