Blog # 277 Year of Faith 2012 - 13
A major focus Pope Benedict has designated for the Year of Faith which begins for us next Wednesday, October 10, is Adult Faith Formation. Normally when we think of religious education programs in local parishes our focus rests upon religion classses in our Catholic schools and CCD programs for our children. But in our particular moment of history , the Holy Father rightly recognizes a real and serious threat to the faith of us all and especially anyone who is not well grounded both in the knowledge and positive experience of the basic truths that have been handed down to us generation after generation back to the origins of the Church and Jesus Himself.
The Year of Faith is a call to each of us no matter where we stand at the present time in our relationship with God and the Church to grow in our awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the content and value of our faith and in our experience of a personal love for God and one another.
If we are only willing to remain ever the same as we were, there is no room or possibility for growth. To grow in faith as I see it we must be willing and prepared to grow in creativity, curiosity, discovery, excitement, wonder, freedom, and joy. May we , one by one, and as a faith community ever listen for the Holy Spirit to call us from where we are, emotionaly, spirituallly, physically, to places closer to Himself !
Years ago when I was Pastor of a parish out in Akansas, in preparation for our four weeks of Advent, to help us in our quest to make the time and opportunity an experience of growth in holiness, the remainder of this blog was part of the content of our Sunday bulletin the week before Advent. I am using it for myself again this year in preparation for a fruitful Year of Faith and hope it might be useful to you as well. It works better when you use it not as a test but as an invitation.
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What do I think of when I think of God ? When and how often do I think of God?
Could I explain to someone what it means to pray ? Do I pray ? When ? Why? Why not?
If I were looking at myself from the outside or writing a book about myself how would I describe myself ?
What do I like most about myself ? What do I dislike most about myself ?
Is there anything I would like to have more/less of in my life? What? Why ?
Am I changing in any way ? How? When ? Why? Why not ?
What does it mean to belong to the Church ? Do I care whether my neighbors belong to the Church? Why? Why not ?
What 'happens' when we 'go' to Mass ? Why?
What do I think of when I think of death ? Why ?
Who is Jesus? Where is Jesus ? How do I know ?
What part does the Bible play in my life ?
Am I happy? Why? Why not ?