A Year of Faith! A Year of Discussion!

Here at Patheos, we like to say we are “hosting the discussion on faith”, and we try to live up to it.

To that end, and as the Holy Father today declares open a dedicated “Year of Faith”, we at Patheos are today launching a dedicated Year of Faith Page.

Every week throughout the Year of Faith that page will be showcasing Catholic voices from around the world, featuring people of all stripes and callings – women and men, and Catholic youth; bishops, religious, deacons and priests – all sharing their experience of this year of growth, which is meant to deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ and strengthen his Church.

And you might want to bookmark the page to check back every day, because I’ll be posting pieces as I get them, all year long — or, keep track of things by “liking” it’s Facebook page!

We are happy to start off with a bit of a bang, with a lead piece by Indianapolis’ super plugged-in Bishop Christopher J. Coyne who writes on Jesus and the Digital Culture:

In order to “speak in the light” and “proclaim on the housetops,” I need to go where the proclamation will be heard. Today, the digital culture is one of those places. I desire to both evangelize through and evangelize the new media digital itself. Right now, there is too much “darkness” in the new media and not enough light. By bringing the name and person of Jesus Christ to the new digital media, by proclaiming the Good News, and by being a presence of Christ and His Church in the new media, I hope to bring others to either know Him for the first time or to know Him more deeply in His Church.

You might want to also bookmark this truly outstanding piece by Pat Gohn, who — after describing the three means by which we propel the year and invite the workings of the Holy Spirit into our lives and actions — has taken the trouble to create a wide-ranging resource so you can make the most of the Year of Faith at home, online or on-the-go.

[The Year of Faith] has a three-fold focus: knowing our Catholic faith, living it out sacramentally within the church and in the world, and sharing the faith through evangelization and catechesis…Here are some links to help us get the most out of this year.

Pat has everything in there, including where you can find perpetual adoration and mass times, all over the country. A very valuable resource you’ll want to pass around to your friends!

As Pew researchers contend that 20% of the nation is either atheist or a “none” (meaning they practice no form of organized religion) theologian Tim Muldoon is feeling called to use this year to examine and explore the intellect and education and how both impact the life of faith.

I choose faith in the God revealed in the life of Jesus, because I understand that faith to be a prerequisite for discerning meaning in the world, and even more importantly for acting in love. Unlike (say) Plato or Aristotle, Jesus’ teachings are rather limited; he left nothing written in his own hand. Like Socrates, though, his life was his teaching, and his disciples simply attempted to tell his story. I don’t want to worship (that is, anchor my life in and be ready to die for) a god that I can understand, nor do I want to engage in a conceit that there really is no god at all. For as wonderful as thinking can be, it is still a rather small tool. Plato understood this, as did other Greek, Jewish, and Christian thinkers from Qoheleth to Plotinus to Augustine. Reading them, I see reminders of a constant thirst for knowledge of God, and with it a stark realization that trying to know God is (to use an image attributed to Augustine) like trying to fit the ocean into a spoon.

This promises to be a fascinating series of posts.

Noting that October is the month of the Rosary, Deacon Greg Kandra, urges us to dust ours off and dive in.

This piece by Pat McNamara is not specific to the Year, but it is such an inspiring example of the life of faith — faith for today, modeled in our past — that I include it as an edifying shot in the arm. A beautiful story and a beautiful man! It’s one to share!

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About Elizabeth Scalia