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It is the gift of the Holy Spirit that makes us fit for mission and strengthens our witness, making it frank and courageous.


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Profession of faith is an act both personal and communitarian. It is the Church that is the primary subject of faith. In the faith of the Christian community, each individual receives baptism, an effective sign of entry into the people of believers in order to obtain salvation. Knowledge of faith opens a door into the fullness of the saving mystery revealed by God. The giving of assent implies that, when we believe, we freely accept the whole mystery of faith, because the guarantor of its truth is God who reveals himself and allows us to know his mystery of love.

On the other hand, we must not forget that in our cultural context, very many people, while not claiming to have the gift of faith, are nevertheless sincerely searching for the ultimate meaning and definitive truth of their lives and of the world. In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool.

It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council. I declare it to be a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion and a sure norm for teaching the faith.

A Prayer for Strength When You're At Your Weakest

It is in this sense that that the Year of Faith will have to see a concerted effort to rediscover and study the fundamental content of the faith that receives its systematic and organic synthesis in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here, in fact, we see the wealth of teaching that the Church has received, safeguarded and proposed in her two thousand years of history.

From Sacred Scripture to the Fathers of the Church, from theological masters to the saints across the centuries, the Catechism provides a permanent record of the many ways in which the Church has meditated on the faith and made progress in doctrine so as to offer certitude to believers in their lives of faith. In its very structure, the Catechism of the Catholic Church follows the development of the faith right up to the great themes of daily life.

On page after page, we find that what is presented here is no theory, but an encounter with a Person who lives within the Church. The profession of faith is followed by an account of sacramental life, in which Christ is present, operative and continues to build his Church. Without the liturgy and the sacraments, the profession of faith would lack efficacy, because it would lack the grace which supports Christian witness. By the same criterion, the teaching of the Catechism on the moral life acquires its full meaning if placed in relationship with faith, liturgy and prayer.

In this Year, then, the Catechism of the Catholic Church will serve as a tool providing real support for the faith, especially for those concerned with the formation of Christians, so crucial in our cultural context. To this end, I have invited the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by agreement with the competent Dicasteries of the Holy See, to draw up a Note , providing the Church and individual believers with some guidelines on how to live this Year of Faith in the most effective and appropriate ways, at the service of belief and evangelization.

To a greater extent than in the past, faith is now being subjected to a series of questions arising from a changed mentality which, especially today, limits the field of rational certainties to that of scientific and technological discoveries. Nevertheless, the Church has never been afraid of demonstrating that there cannot be any conflict between faith and genuine science, because both, albeit via different routes, tend towards the truth.

One thing that will be of decisive importance in this Year is retracing the history of our faith, marked as it is by the unfathomable mystery of the interweaving of holiness and sin. While the former highlights the great contribution that men and women have made to the growth and development of the community through the witness of their lives, the latter must provoke in each person a sincere and continuing work of conversion in order to experience the mercy of the Father which is held out to everyone. The joy of love, the answer to the drama of suffering and pain, the power of forgiveness in the face of an offence received and the victory of life over the emptiness of death: all this finds fulfilment in the mystery of his Incarnation, in his becoming man, in his sharing our human weakness so as to transform it by the power of his resurrection.

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In him who died and rose again for our salvation, the examples of faith that have marked these two thousand years of our salvation history are brought into the fullness of light. Lk Visiting Elizabeth, she raised her hymn of praise to the Most High for the marvels he worked in those who trust him cf. With joy and trepidation she gave birth to her only son, keeping her virginity intact cf. With the same faith, she followed the Lord in his preaching and remained with him all the way to Golgotha cf. Lk , 51 , she passed them on to the Twelve assembled with her in the Upper Room to receive the Holy Spirit cf.

Acts ; By faith, the Apostles left everything to follow their Master cf.

Mk They believed the words with which he proclaimed the Kingdom of God present and fulfilled in his person cf. They lived in communion of life with Jesus who instructed them with his teaching, leaving them a new rule of life, by which they would be recognized as his disciples after his death cf. By faith, they went out to the whole world, following the command to bring the Gospel to all creation cf. Mk and they fearlessly proclaimed to all the joy of the resurrection, of which they were faithful witnesses. By faith, the disciples formed the first community, gathered around the teaching of the Apostles, in prayer, in celebration of the Eucharist, holding their possessions in common so as to meet the needs of the brethren cf.

By faith, the martyrs gave their lives, bearing witness to the truth of the Gospel that had transformed them and made them capable of attaining to the greatest gift of love: the forgiveness of their persecutors. Nehemiah Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick?

Then I was very sore afraid,. Psalm ,4,5 Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver…. Psalm Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. Psalm O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.

Psalm ,8 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying , …. Psalm Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous. Psalm As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

Facing the Storms of Life

New International Version How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? New Living Translation How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? English Standard Version How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?

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How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Berean Study Bible How long must I wrestle in my soul, with sorrow in my heart each day? How long will my enemy dominate me? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? King James Bible How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? Christian Standard Bible How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? Contemporary English Version How long must I be confused and miserable all day? You can cancel anytime during the trial period.

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