Quotes from Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Lumen Fidei”: Part 1

Light of Faith

“The light of Faith: this is how the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus” (Lumen Fidei 1).

Hey everyone!  As you may or may not know, one of the biggest headlines in the Catholic Church at this moment is the release of Pope Francis’ first encyclical “Lumen Fidei” last week.  I have tried my best to spend a little bit of time with the encyclical on a regular basis, but I understand that not everyone has the time (or the desire) to read the entire letter.  However, I know of plenty of people who are still interested to know something of what the pope has to say about the light of faith (the translation of the encyclical’s title from the original Latin), and therefore, I’ve decided to dedicate a few blog entries to posting some of my favorite quotes from the letter.  Enjoy!

“‘Man is faithful when he believes in God and his promises; God is faithful when he grants to man what he has promised'” (LF 10).

“Idols exist…as a pretext for setting ourselves at the centre of reality and worshiping the work of our own hands.  Once man has lost the fundamental orientation which unifies his existence, he breaks down into the multiplicity of his desires; in refusing to await the time of promise, his life-story disintegrates into a myriad of unconnected instants.  Idolatry, then, is always polytheism, an aimless passing from one lord to another.  Idolatry does not offer a journey but rather a plethora of paths leading nowhere and forming a vast labyrinth…Believing means entrusting oneself to a merciful love which always accepts and pardons, which sustains and directs our lives, and which shows its power by its ability to make straight the crooked lines of our history” (LF 13).

“We can respond in the singular- “I believe”- only because we are part of a greater fellowship, only because we also say “We believe.  This openness to the ecclesial “We” reflects the openness of God’s own love, which is not only a relationship between the Father and the Son, between an “I” and a “Thou,” but is also, in the Spirit, a “We,” a communion of persons.  Here we see why those who believe are never alone, and why faith tends to spread, as it invites others to share in its joy” (LF 39).

“The awakening of faith is linked to the dawning of a new sacramental sense in our lives as human beings and as Christians, in which visible and material realities are seen to point beyond themselves to the mystery of the eternal” (LE 40).

“In baptism we become a new creation and God’s adopted children” (LF 41).

“Since faith is a reality lived within the community of the Church, part of a common “We,” children can be supported by others, their parents and godparents, and welcomed into their faith, which is the faith of the Church…Parents are called, as Saint Augustine once said, not only to bring children into the world but also to bring them to God, so that through baptism they can be reborn as children of God and receive the gift of faith” (LF 43).

“In the Eucharist we learn to see the heights and depths of reality.  The bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, who becomes present in his passover to the Father: this movement draws us, body and soul, into the movement of all creation towards its fulfillment in God” (LF 44).

“The creed does not only involve giving one’s assent to a body of abstract truths; rather, when it is recited the whole of life is drawn into a journey towards full communion with the living God.  We can say that in the creed believers are invited to enter into the mystery which they profess and to be transformed by it…It takes us through all the mysteries of Christ’s life up to his death, resurrection and ascension into heaven before his final return in glory.  It tells us that this God of communion, reciprocal love between the Father and the Son in the Spirit, is capable of embracing all of human history and drawing it into the dynamic unity of the Godhead, which has its source and fulfillment in the Father” (LF 45).

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