Pope: learning about Christianity, to counter relativism and “do it yourself” religion

Posted on October 17, 2012

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10/17/2012 12:52
Benedict XVI begins a series of catechesis dedicated to the faith, in this Year called to rediscover the joy of believing in Jesus. Believers today and especially young people are not free from the effects of secularization and a widespread nihilistic mentality, “without clear ideals and solid hopes, in fluid social and family ties. ” “Forms of barbarism, which pass under the sign of the conquests of civilization.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The individualism and relativism that have profoundly changed the culture of our day have also affected the lives of believers, giving rise to a “certain syncretism”: ” without clarity on the truths to be believed, the risk is not far off today of people building a so-called “do-it-yourself” religion” different from Christianity. This Year of Faith, Benedict XVI has decided to dedicate the catechesis of the general audience to understanding the truth of Christianity, to rediscover the “joy of faith” and “renew enthusiasm for Jesus, the only Saviour of the world.”

Announcing it today to the 30 thousand people present in St Peter’s Square, the Pope said he had led this year “so that the Church would renew its enthusiasm to believe in Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of the world, revive the joy of walking on the path that He has shown us, and witnesses in a concrete way the transforming power of the faith. ”

“Having faith in the Lord is not something that affects only our intelligence, the area of ​​intellectual knowledge, but it is a change that involves life, all of our being: feelings, heart, intellect, will, body, emotions, human relationships”.

In today’s world, “the processes of secularization and a widespread nihilistic mentality, where everything is relative, have a crucial impact on the general mentality. So, life is often lived lightly, without clear ideals or sound hopes, in transient and provisional social and family ties. Above all the younger generations are not educated in the search for truth or the deeper meaning of existence that goes beyond the contingent, to a stability of affection, trust. On the contrary, relativism leads to not having any fixed points, suspicion and inconstancy cause ruptures in human relationships, and life is lived in experiments that do not last long, or shoulder any responsibilities. If individualism and relativism seem to dominate the mind of many of contemporaries, we can not say that believers remain totally immune from these dangers, with which we are confronted in the transmission of the faith. The survey promoted in all continents for the celebration of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, has highlighted some: a living faith that is passive and private, rejection of faith formation, the rupture between faith and life. ”

And ” the cultural transformations taking place often show many forms of barbarism, which pass under the sign of “conquests of civilization”: faith affirms that there is no true humanity except in places, gestures, in the times and manner in which man is motivated by the love that comes from God, it is expressed as a gift, it is manifest in relationships full of love, compassion, care and selfless service to the other. Where there is domination, possession, exploitation, commodification of the other for pure selfishness, where there is the arrogance of the ego closed in on itself, man is depleted, degraded, disfigured. The Christian faith, active in charity and strong in hope, does not limit, but humanizes life, indeed it makes it fully human”.

If then we wonder where we can find “the essential formula” of faith, “the answer is simple: The answer is simple: in the Creed, in the Profession of Faith or Symbol of the Faith, we reconnect to the original event of the person and history of Jesus of Nazareth. We then “Even today the Creed needs to be better known, understood and prayed. Above all it is important that the Creed is, so to speak, ‘recognized’. In fact, knowing it, could only be an intellectual operation, while “recognizing” it means the need to discover the deep connection between the truths we profess in the Creed and our daily lives” so “that we might learn to live, in our choices and daily actions, the good and beautiful life of the Gospel. “

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