Monday, July 15, 2013

Pope Francis' encyclical: Is faith "for real"?

I am still on retreat, but before silencing myself and my electronics, I prepared a series of posts featuring a passage or two from Pope Francis' first encyclical, "Lumen fidei" (Light of Faith). In section #24, he speaks of the tendency in our society to dismiss faith as an option for the weak-minded or perhaps for the fragile. If it helps you feel better to believe, well, at least it does you some good, even though it has no real, essential connection to life.

Isn't this an accurate description of how "the world" thinks of faith--and Pope Francis makes it clear, that without truth, the world would be right: faith should be dismissed, or relegated to the field of psycho-somatic medicine. If faith were divorced from real, solid truth, this is all it would be:

"Faith without truth does not save, it does not provide a sure footing. It remains a beautiful story, the projection of our deep yearning for happiness, something capable of satisfying us to the extent that we are willing to deceive ourselves."

Now, since this is how many of our neighbors, co-workers, even family members see faith, what might be the first step or two we could take to prepare the way for a New Evangelization?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it comes back to living our faith in day to day life in such a manner that leaves no doubt as to which King we serve first and foremost. Your description of what others think of Christians was spot on - add to the list religion as a hobby.

We regularly invite our feral athiest bachelor neighbour for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners as otherwise he'd be heating a microwave frozen dinner. Of course he believes he's helping us to eat up the turkey, thus avoiding too many leftovers, never occurs to him he's invited because we don't want him to be alone on such occasions. He has a lot of opinions about religion, none of which are correctly informed, but occasionally will seek clarification on a belief. Short of beating him over the head with the drunstick he takes home with leftovers, all we can do is to explain and attempt to share our faith. We don't know whether any of it is sinking in, but he knows he can always count on us for evangelization and a place at our table. - Jean