Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Faith and memory on the universal Feast of the Dedication of St. John Lateran

In Is It Possible to Live This Way?: An Unusual Approach to Christian Existence, vol. 2- Hope, Giussani says, "faith is the recognition of the great presence of God made man" (pg. 7). Luke Timothy Johnson elucidates how this can be in his wonderful book Living Jesus: Learning the Heart of the Gospel: "The Holy Spirit is the mode of Jesus' resurrection presence to the world" (pg. 15). Faith is faith in Jesus Christ and hope, according to Giussani, "is always connected with Jesus" (Is It Possible, 7).

Floorplan of the Basilica of St. John Lateran

On the Feast of the Dedication of St. John Lateran, let us take up the challenge issued by Giussani in this volume of Is It Possible to Live This Way? "to begin to understand the meaning of this word, hope, as the Church of God in the world uses it, as the first apostles used it and as missionaries who go to all parts of the world use it and as one who lives faith in Christ in his office or in his establishment uses it" (pg. 7). Let us also be reminded that "[t]he Church you have in front of you now, in which you believe, is the Church that has inherited two thousand years of history" (pg. 9). So, "hope has a radical link with the word memory" (pg. 8).

In a sermon to mark this occasion, St. Caesarius of Arles said: "My fellow Christians, today is the birthday of this church, an occasion for celebration and rejoicing. We, however, ought to be the true and living temple of God."

All holy men and women, pray for us

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