Both of Pope Francis’ recent interviews have caused significant waves through the Catholic Church and the secular media. Nearly everyone has an opinion on his perspective, style, and content. Below is a link to an article written by Carl E. Olson for The Catholic World Report which presents a very balanced and thoughtful look at the Holy Father’s comments. Feel free to respond to the article in the comments section or under the original article.
On September 7th, Pope Francis invited to the world to join him in a vigil for peace. This time of prayer served as a response to the growing conflict in Syria. Pope Francis’ brief homily focused on the necessity and the beauty of peace while he boldly proclaimed that we need to recognize that war and violence are not the methods of peace, but rather we must look to the example of Christ on the cross. He issued the challenge: is peace possible and do we want it?
“I would like for each one of us, from the least to the greatest, including those called to govern nations, to respond: Yes, we want it! My Christian faith urges me to look to the Cross. How I wish that all men and women of good will would look to the Cross if only for a moment! There, we can see God’s reply: violence is not answered with violence, death is not answered with the language of death. In the silence of the Cross, the uproar of weapons ceases and the language of reconciliation, forgiveness, dialogue, and peace is spoken.”
I highly recommend that you take five minutes and read the entire homily. Our Holy Father continues to inspire us with his wisdom and courage in leading the Church. For the full text of the homily click here.
As I continue to read through Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis’ first encyclical, I thought that I could, over the next few days, post some quotes that particularly struck me. Hopefully these quotes will inspire a more detailed reading of the entire text since it is a true gift to the Church. Click here for the entire text.
“Faith was thus understood either as a leap in the dark, to be taken in the absence of light, driven by blind emotion, or as a subjective light, capable perhaps of warming the heart and bringing personal consolation, but not something which could be proposed to others as an objective and shared light which points the way… As a result, humanity renounced the search for a great light, Truth itself, in order to be content with smaller lights which illumine the fleeting moment yet prove incapable of showing the way. Yet in the absence of light everything becomes confused; it is impossible to tell good from evil, or the road to our destination from other roads which take us in endless circles, going nowhere.” #3
“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 fulfillment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us.” #4
The following is an excerpt from Blessed Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, Veritas Splendor.
The new evangelization will show its authenticity and unleash all its missionary force when it is carried out through the gift not only of the word proclaimed but also of the word lived. In particular, the life of holiness which is resplendent in so many members of the people of God, humble and often unseen, constitutes the simplest and most attractive way to perceive at once the beauty of truth, the liberating force of God’s love, and the value of unconditional fidelity to all the demands of the Lord’s law, even in the most difficult situations.
For this reason, the church, as a wise teacher of morality, has always invited believers to seek and to find in the saints, and above all in the virgin mother of God “full of grace” and “all-holy,” the model, the strength and the joy needed to live a life in accordance with God’s commandments and the beatitudes of the gospel.