Monday, July 8, 2013

The Light of Faith 1

Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith)

“The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God. Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives. Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfilment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us.”

Cardinal Ouellet comments on the Light of Faith encyclical:

A pillar was lacking in Benedict XVI’s trilogy on the theological virtues. Providence willed that this missing pillar should be both a gift from the Pope Emeritus to his successor and a symbol of unity. For in taking up and completing the work begun by his predecessor, Pope Francis bears witness with him to the unity of the faith. The light of faith is passed from one pontiff to another like a baton in a relay, thanks to “the gift of the apostolic succession.” This gift assures “the continuity of the Church’s memory,” as well as “certainty in attaining the pure source from which the faith flows” (49).So we feel an altogether particular joy in receiving the encyclicalLumen Fidei. Its shared mode of transmission illustrates in an extraordinary way the most fundamental and original aspect of the encyclical: its development of the dimension of communion in faith. The encyclical in fact speaks not with a “royal ‘We,’” but with a “we” of communion. It describes faith as an experience of communion, of the expansion of the “I” and of solidarity in the Church’s journey with Christ for the salvation of the human race. I will limit myself here to illustrating this viewpoint.