Father Stefan reflects on Pope Francis ‘Joy of the Gospel’ Challenges to inculturating the faith

Pope Francis writes, “Seeing reality with the eyes of faith, we cannot fail to acknowledge what the Holy Spirit is sowing….The immense importance of a culture marked by faith cannot be overlooked before the onslaught of contemporary secularism an evangelized culture, for all its limits, has many more resources than the mere sum total of believers.” 

When the popes talked about groups that need to be evangelized they reference nations that were once solidly Catholic but the majority of the people in those countries no longer go to mass. They are baptized but have lost connection with the Church and Jesus. Pope Francis is saying that in these countries the faith remains in ember form. On the surface, the faith might appear dead but the wind of the Holy Spirit can blow these embers into a blazing fire.

Last April I was in Ireland for 6 masses and healing services over 4 days. The Churches were full. The Irish people have a Catholic Soul and they are looking for new ways to express their faith. 

Pope Francis writes, “The new Jerusalem, the holy city (Rev 21:2-4), is the goal towards which all of humanity is moving. It is curious that God’s revelation tells us that the fullness of humanity is realized in a city.” Here is a extended quote from Cardinal Ratzinger book, ‘Eschatology’ which sums up Pope Francis thought about , ‘The fullness of humanity is realized in a city.’ Ratzinger writes, “Heaven will only be complete when all the members of the Lord’s body are gathered in…Let us say it once more before we end: the individual salvation is whole and entire only when the salvation of the cosmos and all the elect have come to full fruition. For the redeemed are not simply adjacent to each other in heaven. Rather, in their being together as the one Christ, they are heaven. In that moment, the whole creation will become song. It will be a single act in which, forgetting of self, the individual will break through the limits of being into the whole, and the whole take up its dwelling in the individual. It will be Joy in which all questioning is resolves and satisfied.” 

 

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