As the Liturgical Year comes to a close, I’ve got to ask you, “How’s your Year of Faith going?”
And why do I ask?
Because it’s almost over, and you’ve still got some time to squeeze some special graces out of it!
Last October, Pope Benedict XVI, in his apostolic letter, Porta Fidei, announced The Year of Faith, running from October 11, 2012 until the Feast of Christ the King, November 24, 2013, the last Sunday of this liturgical year before the start of Advent. In his letter, the Holy Father calls the Church to a “renewed conversion to the Lord Jesus and to the rediscovery of faith, so that the members of the Church will be credible and joy-filled witnesses to the Risen Lord, capable of leading those many people who are seeking it to the door of faith.” (source)
Four practical ways we can respond to this call are to:
- Know the creed
- Study the Catechism
- Witness to your faith
- Perform acts of Charity
Let’s look a little closer at each of these. Whether you do any or all of these things regularly, or they would be new for you, make a serious effort over the next eleven days to avail yourself of the grace that awaits us. Choose one, two or all, just make sure that what you choose is manageable so that you can actually achieve the goal you set.
Pray the creed daily, like you’ve never prayed it before – slowly and with deep concentration to let the words soak in. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind and heart to help your faith take deep roots.
The Catechism is big. Go to the table of contents and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the area about which you most need to learn. Schedule time every day to study and go deeper with your faith.
A friend once said to me, “People can refute your theology, but they can never refute your experience.” Sharing how God works in our lives makes Jesus come alive and makes him more real for those who don’t know him. The greatest way we can witness is by how we live our lives. If you have a constant struggle with being patient with a particular person, then for the next eleven days, work on it. Maybe it’s being forgiving, or not gossiping, or not judging… Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what you need most to be an authentic witness to Christ, and then commit to growing in that area.
Mindfulness of the “other” marks acts of charity. They can be in thought, word, or deed, big or small, public or private, seen or unseen. Opportunities abound. All we have to do is say, “Yes,” to the invitation. Over the next eleven days, look for opportunities to extend the love of Christ to those in need. Ask the Holy Spirit and your Guardian Angel to be your guide, and do not hesitate to respond to their promptings.
We’ve got a unique chance to grow in grace and love during this special time of grace in the Church. Let’s reach out and grab it!
Come Holy Spirit! Anne