Deus Caritas Est

Deus Caritas Est

Fiducia Supplicans

Lumen Fidei

New Evangelization

lumen fidei

What is faith?

This encyclical was started by Pope Benedict, but the one who finished it and gave it the final form was Pope Francis. That’s why it lacks the unity that a single author gives. The encyclical is not easy to read in its original format, but it is easy as a comic. The subject is exciting.

What does it mean to believe? Why do some have Faith and others do not?

Apparently, human-reason reaches where Faith does not. Or so many believe. Is it so?

If our life is like a melody, Faith is the rhythm. The entire first chapter tells us what Faith is and what relationship Faith has with Love and with individuality.

The second chapter deals with the relationship between Faith and Truth. And in that sense, the senses (which tell us about the truth) have a fundamental role: seeing and hearing. If we see something or are told a story, we believe.

For example, if we see an apple falling from a tree or they tell us «I saw an apple falling from a tree» we will believe it without any problem. Also, it matches our experience.

However, the encyclical collects the phrase of Saint Augustine:

«To touch him with our hearts: that is what it means to believe«

The third chapter speaks of the Sacraments and other means with which men have transmitted the Faith. Because communicating the Faith is not entirely obvious: how to do it? The first thing is always to respect the freedom of each person (just as God respects us). What faith do we want to transmit?

The fourth and final chapter is especially interesting: why believe? what’s the point?

The encyclical ends with the Virgin Mary, who was a model of many things and also of belief.

Because of her close bond with Jesus, Mary is strictly connected to what we believe.



Faith and catechists

This encyclical is especially helpful for catechists. The catechism is not so much about offering answers but about providing the right questions. Because there is no human being who does not wonder about things that only Faith can answer.

You also have to know how to answer questions. The encyclical, in this sense, gives many answers.

Faith is an inner light



Believing in God and being carried by Him is something luminous. But it is also a path and we must be willing to walk it.

God’s ways are not characterized by being wide and comfortable. The ways have no machines or infallible tests that will lead us to Him.

What to do in order to have Faith?



What moves people the most is testimony. It is of little use to give a speech based on Saint Thomas Aquinas or Saint Anselm. But if the one who listens to us feels how moved we are by the Faith, he or she will also be open to that path.

And God needs an open crack in the door and a small invitation to present Himself. Our job is to make it easier.

The right questions.

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Lumen Fidei

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