POPE FRANCIS: "LUMEN FIDEI", "FAITH IS NOT A PRIVATE MATTER"

"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". With these words the Pope, in his first encyclical, explains the meaning of the connection between faith and evangelisation. "Our culture – the Pope points out – has lost its sense of God’s tangible presence and activity in our world. We think that God is to be found in the beyond, on another level of reality, far removed from our everyday relationships". "But if this were the case – the Pope’s objection -, if God could not act in the world, his love would not be truly powerful, truly real, and thus not even true, a love capable of delivering the bliss that it promises. It would make no difference at all whether we believed in Him or not". Christians, on the contrary, "profess their faith in God’s tangible and powerful love which really does act in history and determines its final destiny: a love that can be encountered, a love fully revealed in Christ’s passion, death and resurrection". "The Christian can see with the eyes of Jesus and share in his mind, his filial disposition, because he or she shares in his love, which is the Spirit", the Pope recalls. In this way, "the life of the believer becomes an ecclesial existence", because faith is professed from within the body of the Church, as "a concrete communion of believers".

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