Friday, November 14, 2008

Three Effects of Faith Directed Life

At this week's public audience Pope Benedict XVI focused on St. Paul's dedication to our Risen Lord. Pope Benedict noted that there are three fundamental marks of living a faith filled Christian life:

  • The first attitude is the certainty that Jesus has risen, is with the Father, and because of that, is with us forever. Because of this, we are secure and free of fear. This was an essential effect of Christian preaching. Fear of spirits and gods was spread throughout the entire ancient world. And today as well, missionaries find -- together with so many good elements in natural religions -- the fear of spirits and the ill-fated powers that threaten us. Christ is alive; he has overcome death and has overcome all these powers. With this certainty, with this freedom, with this joy, we live. This is the first element of our living directed to the future.
  • [A believer knows - Christ] is with me. And that in Christ the future world has already begun -- this also gives the certainty of hope. The future is not a darkness in which no one gets one's bearings. It is not like that. Without Christ, also for the world today, the future is dark; there is fear of the future -- a lot of fear of the future. The Christian knows that the light of Christ is stronger and because of this, lives in a hope that is not vague, in a hope that gives certainty and courage to face the future.
  • We don't live as if good and evil were the same, because God only can be merciful. This would be a deceit. In truth, we live with a great responsibility. We have talents, we have to work so this world opens itself to Christ, so that it is renewed. But even working and knowing in our responsibility that God is a true judge, we are also sure that he is a good judge. We know his face -- the face of the risen Christ, of Christ crucified for us. Therefore, we can we sure of his goodness and continue forward with great courage.

The Pope concluded the audience with an adaptation of St. Paul the prayer that he taught earlier followers.

Noting that Paul taught them to say, "Maranà, thà, which literally means, 'Our Lord, come!'" Pope Benedict said that in this time time in history, "...totally and deeply, we too can and should say, with great urgency and in the circumstances of our time,

Come, Lord! Come to your world, in the way that you know.

Come where there is injustice and violence.

Come to the refugee camps, in Darfur and in North Kivu, in so many places in the world.

Come where drugs dominate.

Come, too, among those rich people who have forgotten you and who live only for themselves.

Come where you are not known.

Come to your world and renew the world of today."

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