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LENT: A TIME FOR RENEWING FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE, BUT… HOW DO WE KNOW IF WE’RE DOING LENT RIGHT?

How do you know if you are doing Lent right? You can’t really answer that question unless you know what Lent is for. Lent is not an end in itself. We want to find meaning in the demands of Lenten disciplines as we see that they are the tools that allow us to train for a goal.

Lent involved confronting the evil within us and the evil around us. How do we do that with zeal, perseverance, integrity and humility? How do we confront evil within us and around us without becoming neurotic, arrogant, self-righteous or despairing?

Pope Benedict XVI speaks about… FAITH

(CATECHESIS, WEDNESDAY GENERAL AUDIENCE, OCTOBER 2012—DECEMBER 2012.)
THE YEAR OF FAITH: THE STAGES OF THE REVELATION
DECEMBER 12, 2012

This Revelation of God fits into human time and history: a history that becomes “the arena where we see what God does for humanity. God comes to us in the things we know best and can verify most easily, the things of our everyday routine, apart from which we cannot understand ourselves” (cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Fides et Ratio, n. 12).

Pope Benedict XVI speaks about… FAITH

(CATECHESIS, WEDNESDAY GENERAL AUDIENCE, OCTOBER 2012—FEBRUARY 2013.)
THE YEAR OF FAITH: GOD REVEALS HIS “BENEVOLENT PURPOSE” (3)
DECEMBER 5, 2012

Blessed* Pope John Paul II recalled that “Revelation has set within history a point of reference which cannot be ignored if the mystery of human life is to be known. Yet this knowledge refers back constantly to the mystery of God which the human mind cannot exhaust but can only receive and embrace in faith” (Encyclical Fides et Ratio, n. 14).

Pope Benedict XVI speaks about… FAITH

(CATECHESIS, WEDNESDAY GENERAL AUDIENCE, OCTOBER 2012—FEBRUARY 2013.)
THE YEAR OF FAITH: GOD REVEALS HIS “BENEVOLENT PURPOSE” (2)
DECEMBER 5, 2012

This “benevolent purpose” was not, so to speak, left in the silence of God, in his heavenly heights. Rather, God made it known by entering into a relationship with human beings to whom he did not reveal just something, but indeed himself. He did not merely communicate an array of truths, but communicated himself to us, even to the point of becoming one of us, of taking flesh… God does not only say something, but communicates himself, draws us into his divine nature so that we may be integrated into it or divinized. God reveals his great plan of love by entering into a relationship with man, by coming so close to him that he makes himself man… With their own intelligence and abilities alone human beings would not have been able to achieve this most enlightening revelation of God’s love; it is God who has opened his heaven and lowered himself in order to guide men and women in his ineffable love.

Pope Benedict XVI speaks about… FAITH

(CATECHESIS, WEDNESDAY GENERAL AUDIENCE, OCTOBER 2012—FEBRUARY 2013.)
THE YEAR OF FAITH: GOD REVEALS HIS “BENEVOLENT PURPOSE” (1)
DECEMBER 5, 2012

At the beginning of his Letter to the Christians of Ephesus (cf. 1:3-14), the Apostle Paul raised a prayer of blessing to God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,…in terms full of joy, wonder and thanksgiving, according to his “benevolent purpose” (cf. v. 9), of mercy and love.

Pope Benedict XVI speaks about… FAITH

(CATECHESIS, WEDNESDAY GENERAL AUDIENCE, OCTOBER 2012—FEBRUARY 2013.)
THE YEAR OF FAITH. HOW TO SPEAK ABOUT GOD (3)
NOVEMBER 28, 2012

In our time too, the family, the first school for communicating the faith to the new generations, is a privileged place in which to talk about God… Parents [are] the first messengers of God, called to rediscover their mission, assuming responsibility in educating, in opening the consciences of their little ones to love of God as a fundamental service to their life and in being the first catechists and teachers of the faith for their children. And in this task watchfulness is of the utmost importance. It means being able to take favorable opportunities to introduce the topic of faith in the family and to develop a critical reflection with regard to the many forms of conditioning to which children are subjected.

Pope Benedict XVI speaks about… FAITH

(CATECHESIS, WEDNESDAY GENERAL AUDIENCE, OCTOBER 2012—FEBRUARY 2013.)
THE YEAR OF FAITH. HOW TO SPEAK ABOUT GOD (2)
NOVEMBER 28, 2012

Communicating faith, for St. Paul, did not mean putting himself forward, but rather saying openly and publicly what he had seen and heard in his encounter with Christ, what he had experienced in his life that was transformed by that encounter: it meant putting forward Jesus whom he felt present within him and who became the true orientation of his existence, to make it clear to all that Jesus is necessary to the world and crucial to every person’s freedom… And this is also true for Christian communities: they are called to show the transforming action of God’s grace, by overcoming individualism, closure, selfishness, indifference, by living out God’s love in their daily relations. Let us ask ourselves whether our communities really are like this. To be so, we must, always and truly proclaim Christ and not ourselves.

Pope Benedict XVI speaks about… FAITH

(CATECHESIS, WEDNESDAY GENERAL AUDIENCE, OCTOBER 2012—FEBRUARY 2013.)
THE YEAR OF FAITH. HOW TO SPEAK ABOUT GOD (1)
NOVEMBER 28, 2012

The important question we ask ourselves today is: how can we talk about God in our time? How can we communicate the Gospel so as to open roads to his saving truth in our contemporaries’ hearts — that are all too often closed — and minds — that are at times distracted by the many dazzling lights of society?…The first answer is that we can talk about God because he has talked to us; so the first condition for speaking of God is listening to all that God himself has said. God has spoken to us! God is therefore not a distant hypothesis concerning the world’s origin… God takes an interest in us, he loves us, he has entered personally into the reality of our history, he has communicated himself, even to the point of taking flesh… He is so great that he has time for us too, he takes an interest in us. In Jesus of Nazareth we encounter the face of God, who came down from his heaven to immerse himself in the human world, in our world.

Pope Benedict XVI speaks about… FAITH

(CATECHESIS, WEDNESDAY GENERAL AUDIENCE, OCTOBER 2012—FEBRUARY 2013.)
THE YEAR OF FAITH: THE REASONABLENESS OF FAITH (2)
NOVEMBER 21, 2012

The prejudice of certain modern thinkers, who hold that human reason would be as it were blocked by the dogmas of faith, is false. Exactly the opposite is true, as the great teachers of the Catholic Tradition have shown… Intellect and faith are not foreign or antagonistic to the divine Revelation but are both conditions for understanding its meaning, for receiving its authentic message, for approaching the threshold of the mystery.

Pope Benedict XVI speaks about… FAITH

(CATECHESIS, WEDNESDAY GENERAL AUDIENCE, OCTOBER 2012—FEBRUARY 2013.)
THE YEAR OF FAITH: THE REASONABLENESS OF FAITH (1)
NOVEMBER 21, 2012

Let us proceed in this Year of Faith bearing in our hearts the hope of finding all the joy there is in believing and of rediscovering the enthusiasm of communicating the truths of the faith to all. These truths are not a simple message about God… They express the event of God’s encounter with human beings… Faith leads to the discovery that the meeting with God enhances, perfects and exalts all that is true, good and beautiful that exists in man.