Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A look at Lumen Fidei - a leap in the dark

I am almost done reading Pope Francis' encyclical Lumen Fidei.  What a joy it is to read.  It is not to difficult or academic and it directly makes contact with my everyday life and issues related to my faith journey.  If you have not read it you can find it here and I would strongly recommend giving it a read.
Since it is so packed with information as I read it I underline words and phrases that stand out to me.  I have been going back and rereading these underlined phrases and thinking about them and praying about them.
Since these lines have been so beneficial to my prayer life and my life I wanted to share the lines and my thoughts on them and some ideas about how they can be carried out in our present lives.  My plan is to gather these up into a small series over the next few weeks.

"Faith was thus understood either as a leap in the dark, to be taken in the absence of light..."
      -Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis

I have come across this so often.  In college I studied various fields of science.  I took science classes, had scientist professors and spent a good amount of time with other students involved in the sciences.  Many of these people were not religious but the topic of religion and faith did come up.  People of faith were often spoken about as those other people.  Those people that aren't educated.  Those people who do not believe in science.  Those people who have not yet found the truth of science.

This put me in an awkward position.  Either I was a scientist or I was some poor person without knowledge, without understanding fumbling around in the dark.  I knew that wasn't true.  I knew faith was not something I turned to because I didn't know any better.  I new faith wasn't something that I believed in because I had nothing else to believe in.  I knew that I was educated.  I knew the truths of science. I had information.  I was in light.  And I still had faith.  My faith did not come out of a lack of information but from a wealth of information.

I knew this but the people around me didn't (and many still don't.)  How can we change this perception.  For one, make it known that you are Catholic.  I don't mean that you should announce to everyone that you are Catholic but don't hide it or be ashamed to bring it up in conversation.  It should come up in conversation.  It is who you are.  If one of your co-workers or friends is picturing a Catholic they should be picturing you instead of some hypothetical person.

Next, be ready to support your beliefs.  Our faith is not just a jumble of ideas and rules, there are reasons and teachings behind them.  become educated in your faith and show it off.  Our faith comes from light not darkness.

Lastly, be knowledgeable.  Show that you are a person of faith and you understand foreign policy.  Or show that you are a person of faith and you can understand a scientific journal.

For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness.
1 Thessalonians 5:5