Year of Faith: The Door of Faith is the Way Out of the Iron Cage of Modernity
What more then is required? Faith. Faith is required to leave the 'iron cage'
The "iron cage" of modernity is built exactly by these two "giants," the "passion and the pride of man," a man that considers himself autonomous and entirely free to pursue his lusts and disregard the "Law of Nature and Nature's God." It would seem that Cardinal Newman is right and more than reason is required to free us from the "iron cage." What more then is required? Faith is required to leave the "iron cage."
As John Henry Cardinal Newman put it in his book The Idea of a University, "Quarry the granite rock with razors, or moor the vessel with a thread of silk; then may you hope with such keen and delicate instruments as human knowledge and human reason to contend against those giants, the passion and the pride of man."
The "iron cage" is built exactly by these two "giants," the "passion and the pride of man," a man that considers himself autonomous and entirely free to pursue his lusts and disregard the "Law of Nature and Nature's God." It would seem that Cardinal Newman is right and more than reason is required to free us from the "iron cage."
What more then is required? Faith. Faith is required to leave the "iron cage."
A renewed faith is what Pope Benedict XVI sees as the solution to the world's malaise. In his apostolic letter Porta fidei, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his desire to initiate a "Year of Faith" beginning October of this year. This coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The purpose of the "Year of Faith" is two-fold.
First, it is intended to have Catholics re-enliven, rediscover the splendor, the power, and the beauty of their Faith. It is intended to help Christ's faithful understand the full import of the Second Vatican Council. It is intended to remind them that the conciliar texts need "to be read correctly," that is, to be interpreted and implemented "guided by a right hermeneutic." Read correctly and rightly understood, the texts and their message are to be "widely known, and [to be] taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church's Tradition." A renewed faith will take us out of the "iron cage."
Second, it is to inspire us to become committed to the New Evangelization so that we might bring those without faith into the household of faith. A renewed faith will allow us to bring others out of the "iron cage" of modern secularism.
In this article, we will address the first purpose. In a subsequent article, we will address the second purpose.
In the apostolic letter Porta fidei, Pope Benedict XVI elaborates on the fundamental components of faith. By looking at these components, we can see how a renewed faith is the way out of the "iron cage" of secularism.
In the Catholic understanding of it, faith is a rich concept. Faith has an intellectual content--what God has revealed; it is a content of power and beauty. But it is more. Faith is a human act in response to the God who reveals. It is an act both personal and communitarian. It is sacramental and therefore ecclesiastical and divine in origin, beginning in baptism. But it is not a once-saved-always-saved proposition; rather, the life of faith is a continuous journey, ending only in death when we shall see God not as through a glass darkly, but face to face. (1 Cor. 13:12)
The act of faith is not unreasonable, and yet it is something more than reason and it is inspired throughout by grace. The act of faith can never be something private, but is necessarily and essentially public. It is transformative: it must radically affect us and so effect change in us--in our personal life but then ramifying into our social, cultural, and political life. It is freeing and therefore salvific; belief in Jesus Christ "is the way to arrive definitely at salvation." Porta fidei, 3. Finally, faith brings forth joy and enthusiasm, and so it is evangelical. Especially to those in the dark "iron cage," faith must be proclaimed from the housetops. (Matt. 10:27)
All these components of faith are addressed by Pope Benedict XVI in his apostolic letter Porta fidei, a letter well worth reading. And it is an absolute imperative to make sure that we understand faith as an ...
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