Lumen Fidei – The Light of Faith
Today Pope Francis published the encyclical letter: The Light of Faith (Lumen Fidei). Many people think that such letters are beyond them, theologically incomprehensible with lots of big words and churchy language. Yes, encyclical letters are theologically robust, but the language is not what you might expect. In days past when many people were illiterate published texts were rare, the content of these great letters was available to very few. Now the letters are accessible to all, and the reading and comprehension level required is that of a year 9 (third form) student. Take a moment to consider this sample paragraph from today’s publication:
“Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey. To those who suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything; rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence, a history of goodness which touches every story of suffering and opens up a ray of light.”
I encourage you to spend some time over the next few days reading Pope Francis’ letter. Take just a few paragraphs at a time. Don’t think of it as an academic reading assignment, but instead read in a mood of reflection and openness to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you personally as you read. As you read, think of this as a letter that the pope has written to you personally.