Faith does not just mean accepting a certain number of abstract tenets about the mysteries of God, of man, of life and death, of future realities.
Faith consists in an intimate relationship with Christ, a relationship based on love of him who loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:11), even to the total offering of himself....
But what does it mean to love Christ? It means trusting him even in times of trial, following him faithfully even on the Via Crucis, in the hope that soon the morning of the Resurrection will come. Entrusting ourselves to Christ, we lose nothing, we gain everything. In his hands our life acquires its true meaning. Love for Christ expresses itself in the will to harmonize our own life with the thoughts and sentiments of his Heart. This is achieved through interior union based on the grace of the sacraments, strengthened by continuous prayer, praise, thanksgiving, and penance. We have to listen attentively to the inspirations that he evokes through his Word, through the people we meet, through the situations of daily life. To love him is to remain in dialogue with him, in order to know his will and to put it into effect promptly.
Dear brothers and sisters, faith as adherence to Christ is revealed as love that prompts us to promote the good inscribed by the Creator into the nature of every man and woman among us, into the personality of every other human being and into everything that exists in the world. Whoever believes and loves in this way becomes a builder of the true "civilization of love", of which Christ is the center.
Pope Benedict XVI. "Keep my commandments." given during the Pastoral Visit of his Holiness to Poland, Homily by the Holy Father, Mass in Pilsudzki Square, Warsaw, May 26, 2006.
Reprinted with permission of Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
Pope Benedict XVI is the author of Jesus of Nazareth, Vol II, Jesus of Nazareth, Vol I, Caritas in Veritate: Charity in Truth, Saved in Hope: Spe Salvi, God Is Love: Deus Caritas Est,The End of Time?: The Provocation of Talking about God, Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions, Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, Salt of the Earth: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church at the End of the Millennium, God and the World: Believing and Living in Our Time, In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, The Spirit of the Liturgy, The Ratzinger Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church, Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Introduction to Christianity, Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today, Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977, Behold the Pierced One, and God Is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life.Copyright © 2006 Libreria Editrice Vaticana
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