Hey everyone! So I thought that this week would be a good time to post the second half of my feature on Pope Francis’ encyclical “Lumen Fidei” (LF). It seems appropriate, especially considering the fact that World Youth Day has been going on down in Rio over the past few days. As much as I would have loved to have been down there, I’m grateful that I was able to spend a few days down in Maryland with friends. I know that that was where the Lord wanted me, but my mind wasn’t far from all those young people who were fortunate enough to have this amazing opportunity. I know how amazing it is, and I still think back to my own WYD experience in Sydney with great joy. But without further ado, some more of my favorite quotes from “Lumen Fidei”:
“In faith, Christ is not simply the one in whom we believe, the supreme manifestation of God’s love; he is also the one with whom we are united precisely in order to believe. Faith does not merely gaze at Jesus, but sees things as Jesus himself sees them, with his own eyes: it is a participation in his way of seeing” (LF 18).
“Those who…want to be the source of their own righteousness…become closed in on themselves and isolated from others; their lives become futile and their works barren, like a tree far from water. Saint Augustine tells us in his usual concise and striking way: ‘Do not turn away from the one who made you, even to turn towards yourself.’ Once I think that by turning away from God I will find myself, my life begins to fall apart. The beginning of salvation is openness to something prior to ourselves, to a primordial gift that affirms life and sustains it in being. Only by being open to and acknowledging this gift can we be transformed, experience salvation and bear good fruit. Salvation by faith means recognizing the primacy of God’s gift” (LF 19).
“Those who believe come to see themselves in the light of the faith which they profess: Christ is the mirror in which they find their own image fully realized. And just as Christ gathers to himself all those who believe and makes them his body, so the Christian comes to see himself as a member of this body, in an essential relationship with all other believers…Christ’s word, once heard, by virtue of its inner power at work in the heart of the Christian, becomes a response, a spoken word, a profession of faith. As Saint Paul puts it: ‘one believes with the heart…and confesses with the lips’ (Romans 10:10). Faith is not a private matter, a completely individualistic notion or a personal opinion: it comes from hearing, and it is meant to find expression in words and to be proclaimed…For those who have been transformed in this way, a new way of seeing opens up, faith becomes light for their eyes” (LF 22).
“The heart…is where we become open to truth and love, where we let them touch us and deeply transform us. Faith transforms the whole person precisely to the extent that he or she becomes open to love…Faith knows because it is tied to love, because love itself brings enlightenment. Faith’s understanding is born when we receive the immense love of God which transforms us inwardly and enables us to see reality with new eyes” (LF 26).
“Love cannot be reduced to an ephemeral emotion. True, it engages our affectivity, but in order to open it to the beloved and thus to blaze a trail leading away from self-centeredness and towards another person, in order to build a lasting relationship; love aims at union with the beloved. Here we begin to see how love requires truth. Only to the extent that love is grounded in truth can it endure over time, can it transcend the passing moment and be sufficiently solid to sustain a shared journey. If love is not tied to truth, it falls prey to fickle emotions and cannot stand the test of time. True love, on the other hand, unifies all the elements of our person and becomes a new light pointing the way to a great and fulfilled life…If love needs truth, truth also needs love. Without love, truth becomes cold, impersonal, and oppressive for people’s day-to-day lives. The truth we seek, the truth that gives meaning to our journey through life, enlightens us whenever we are touched by love. One who loves realizes that love is an experience of truth, that it opens our eyes to see reality in a new way, in union with the beloved” (LF 26-27).
“The light of love is born when our hearts are touched and we open ourselves to the interior presence of the beloved, who enables us to recognize his mystery…By his taking flesh and coming among us, Jesus has touched us, and through the sacraments he continues to touch us even today; transforming our hearts, he unceasingly enables us to acknowledge and acclaim him as the Son of God. In faith, we can touch him and receive the power of his grace. Saint Augustine…says, ‘To touch him with our hearts: that is what it means to believe.'” (LF 31).
“Truth leads to humility, since believers know that, rather than ourselves possessing truth, it is truth which embraces and possesses us” (LF 34).
“Religious man strives to see signs of God in the daily experiences of life, in the cycles of the seasons, in the fruitfulness of the earth and in the movement of the cosmos. God is light and he can be found also by those who seek him with a sincere heart…Religious man is a wayfarer; he must be ready to let himself be led, to come out of himself and to find the God of perpetual surprises” (LF 35).
“We have all seen…the joy that young people show in their faith and their desire for an ever more solid and generous life of faith. Young people want to live life to the fullest. Encountering Christ, letting themselves be caught up in and guided by his love, enlarges the horizons of existence, gives it a firm hope which will not disappoint. Faith is no refuge for the fainthearted, but something which enhances our lives…It assures us that this love is trustworthy and worth embracing, for it is based on God’s faithfulness which is stronger than our every weakness” (LF 53).
“God, by his concrete actions, makes a public avowal that he is present in our midst and that he desires to solidify every human relationship. Could it be the case, instead, that we are the ones who are ashamed to call God our God?” (LF 54).
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!