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FAITH GROWS AS WE GROW IN CONSCIOUSNESS

11 April 2017 No Comment

FAITH GROWS AS WE GROW IN CONSCIOUSNESS
Father John Walsh

Zijad’s post Living Life On Auto Pilot affirms that Islam is dealing with modernity, a failure often attributed to Islam.  The Roman Catholic tradition was also accused of failing to face modernity.  The Church, for millennia, defended its faith and its beliefs.  Apologetics was the order of the day.  Adversaries were many.  The Christian Catholic faith needed to be strong. It was to become a bastion of truth against Jews from the beginnings of the Jesus movement, Muslims after Mohammed founded Islam and Protestants after the Protestant Reformation. Two thousand years of adversarial relationships.  The Church stood on its own as the one, true faith and its beliefs were divine revelations. At the Second Vatican Council totally new relationships were initiated. Truth would now be discovered in dialogue. Nostra Aetate expressed respect for the other two monotheistic religions, Judaism and Islam, but other faith traditions as well; ruptured relationships were offered healing. The Catholic Church in Lumen Gentium is recognized as being in the world where God is redemptively present and in seeking the signs of the times Catholics are able to work where God is calling forth a faith response. A faith response grows with the growth of an individual’s consciousness and leads to a growth in the consciousness of the Church, now defined as the People of God. In Gaudium et spes the very first paragraph establishes the expanse of faith to include all of the history of humankind.

The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the women and men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts. For theirs is a community composed of women and men, united in Christ, who are led by the Holy Spirit in their journey to the Kingdom of their Father and they have welcomed the news of salvation which is meant for every man. That is why this community realizes that it is truly linked with humankind and its history by the deepest of bonds.
The Church today professes that from the Bishop to the last of the people each has a supernatural impulse to reach a consensus on matters of faith and morals.

There is great hope in Zijad’s post because it offers me the same playing field for us to reflect together from our own respective faith traditions on the meaning of faith in the modern world, or as it is often referred to the post-modern world.  The key now is for all three monotheistic religions, all three people of the book, to apply the historical-critical method of hermeneutics together to our respective sacred texts and move beyond any literal interpretations of the Bible or the Qo’ran. It is when we recognize the same starting point and the general direction in which we will move together, then the meaning of our faith will maintain our direction in our reliance upon each other and upon the one God.

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