Friday, July 5, 2013

'Lumen Fidei': a summary

Pope Francis's first encyclical: 'fantastic' in summary

To encourage and motivate people to read through and learn more about the Catholic faith, Kevin Cotter has organized a concise summary of Pope Francis's first encyclical, outlining each of its four chapters, and giving us several notable quotes. It begins with a reflection on salvation history – the story of God's people – which builds into a focus on the relationship between faith and truth. The third chapter explains the community's reception of its faith, which leads us to accept the Eucharist and the other sacraments. Finally, Pope Francis's encyclical proclaims that faith is the foundation of our society, marriage, and family. As Cotter writes, "Faith should provide us with joy."

Summary of the introduction: The encyclical starts with what the ancients put their faith in and proceeds to move directly to what our culture believes about faith – that it is something for the blind, those driven by emotion. But, at the same time, our culture is discovering that reason is not enough. Confusion has set in on what is good and evil, right and wrong. Faith in Jesus and love in Him gives us a new vision to see the world. 
Summary of Chapter 1: Chapter 1 reviews Salvation History—the story of God's people—to see faith throughout history. It begins with Abraham, who St. Paul often quotes and uses as an example in the New Testament. It is noted that God speaks and acts towards Abraham as one in a relationship, not as a god who is far away. Our faith in Him calls us to make a step forward—to go on a journey with Him, just like Abraham. In this journey, our relationships with God are not just about our faith in Him, but in His faith in us! We can jeopardize this relationship with idolatry. The story of Israel points to the temptation of idolatry—to worship that which we make with our own hands. Finally, the story of faith finds its summation in Jesus. He is the fulfillment of all of God's promises and at the same time shows us why we can trust Him—He died for us! Because He came into our reality, we can now truly see reality. God is not something beyond us; He is someone who acts in the here and now.

For full summary, visit the FOCUS Blog .

For Pope Francis's full encyclical, visit

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