Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another Key - Knowledge

In Athos' post Catholic Culture I really thought Phil Lawler's comments were great (in both articles - #1 and #2), as he said, "we must first restore the integrity of the Catholic faith, and rebuild the foundations of a Catholic culture."

[By the way this sound a bit like a modern day re-phrasing of what Jesus called out to Francesco Bernardone from a painted Byzantine cross at the little dilapidated church at San Damiano sometime in 1205, "Francis, go repair my house which, as you see, is falling completely to ruin."]

Anyway, Lawler starts out right by identifying that, "When I am called to give an account for my life, I don't expect to be asked what the American bishops did or said about a particular problem; I'll be asked to explain what I did or said. Moreover, it is the duty of the Catholic laity, not the clergy, to transform the social order with the power of the faith." He goes on to list a number of 'beginner's' steps we can take to change ourselves to change culture however I think his list leaves off one very important tool to grow faith, our own and those around us - knowledge.

Faith not maturing grows weak, empty like chaff as Isa 33:11 exclaims, "You have conceived chaff, you will give birth to stubble; My breath will consume you like a fire."

In Pope Benedict XVI's Last Homily as a Cardinal he addresses what is demanded of us as Christians:
"... there is the maturing of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, as a condition and essence of unity in the body of Christ. Finally, there is the common participation in the growth of the body of Christ—of the transformation of the world into communion with the Lord."

"We should not remain infants in faith, in a state of minority. And what does it mean to be an infant in faith? Saint Paul answers: it means "tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery" (Eph 4, 14). This description is very relevant today!"

"... The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves—thrown from one extreme to the other..."
Ratzinger goes on to talk about lasting fruit that grows from love AND knowledge which produce gestures and words capable of touching the heart and opening the soul to joy in the Lord.
"Only in this way will the earth be changed from a valley of tears to a garden of God."
So let us add to Lawler's excellent list that we need to grow our knowledge of faith and tradition so to rebuild the church.

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