The Building of a Civilization of Love

The third area of commitment that comes with love is that of daily life with its multiple relationships. I am particularly referring to family, studies, work and free time. Dear young friends, cultivate your talents, not only to obtain a social position, but also to help others to “grow”. Develop your capacities, not only in order to become more “competitive” and “productive”, but to be “witnesses of charity”. In addition to your professional training, also make an effort to acquire religious knowledge that will help you to carry out your mission in a responsible way. In particular, I invite you to carefully study the social doctrine of the Church so that its principles may inspire and guide your action in the world. May the Holy Spirit make you creative in charity, persevering in your commitments, and brave in your initiatives, so that you will be able to offer your contribution to the building up of the “civilisation of love”. The horizon of love is truly boundless: it is the whole world!

- Pope Benedict XVI, WYD 2007 MESSAGE, Growing in love each day

3:12. Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect: but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus.
3:13. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: Forgetting the things that are behind and stretching forth myself to those that are before,
3:14. I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.

-St. Paul to Philippians

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sharing Faith: So that our joy may be complete.

"We are writing you this that our joy may be complete" (1 Jn 1:4). The
revelation of the Gospel of life is given to us as a good to be shared with all
people: so that all men and women may have fellowship with us and with the
Trinity (cf. 1 Jn 1:3). Our own joy would not be complete if we failed to share
this Gospel with others but kept it only for ourselves.

The Gospel of life is not for believers alone: it is for everyone. The
issue of life and its defence and promotion is not a concern of Christians
alone. Although faith provides special light and strength, this question arises
in every human conscience which seeks the truth and which cares about the future
of humanity. Life certainly has a sacred and religious value, but in no way is
that value a concern only of believers. The value at stake is one which every
human being can grasp by the light of reason; thus it necessarily concerns
everyone." (Gospel of Life 101).

However, most often we seem to find good reasons not to share our Faith. At least I know that I have negleted it until recently. My reasons were similar to the following:

Actually I was trying to share my faith in a different way. I have discovered that, may be for melancholic people like me, the following quotes are most appropriate. We can somehow share our faith even though we are not perfect and we are sinners. Slowly, with Gods' help, we can learn how to apply them in our daily lives:

"Once and for all, a short rule is laid down for you: Love, and do what you
will. If you keep silence, do it out of love. If you cry out, do it out of love.
If you refrain from punishing, do it out of love.
Let the root of love be
within. From such a root nothing but good can come. " St. Augustine.

"Preach the Gospel, if necessary use words." attributed to St. Francis

These quotes can of course be misunderstood and/or misapplied. But the best way to understand them, is to check the lives of the saints who said them. It is obviously the best answer/attitude they found for the "eight reasons" of the guys in the video clip. As Fr. Corapi would say: " Learn your Faith". Yes, I am increasingly taking him seriously. After all we can't share what we don't have. Sometimes we don't really realise the consequences of negleting to learn our Faith. They can range from missing an opportunity to learn how to love and be virtuous, to being converted into a different system of belief (only to come back after we have learned our Faith, like it just happened to the president of Evangelical Society who just returned Home Rome (Roman Catholicism) - causing chock waves in the Sola System (Evangelical world) - ), or to falling into even really grave sin out of ignorace/despair (Lubben's testimony)

I have discovered that by learning more about our Faith, reading saints and converts stories, we can confirm ourselves in Faith and built more confidence in sharing it while we know that we are not perfect. St. John (was probably melancholic according to 4Marks Temperaments) also while telling us that he is sharing with us so that his joy may be full (1John 1:4), he also reminds us that he is a sinner and that he would be lying if he says that he is not a sinner. (1 Jhn 1:9), nevertheless, he feels that he have to share what he has witnessed (1 Jhn 1:1)
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