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Rediscover Journey of Faith to Personal Relationship with Christ says Cardinal

Cardinal Seán Brady has called on Catholics in Ireland to continue the path to renewal by rediscovering the journey of faith, which leads to a personal relationship with Christ that fills our hearts with love.

In an interview with ciNews, Cardinal Brady spoke of his hopes for the Year of Faith, which begins on Thursday, as a year when people would encounter Christ, get to know their faith better and its history, and be ready to give witness.  He also hoped that the Irish people would use the year to visit places of pilgrimage like Lough Derg, Knock, Maynooth,  Croagh Patrick, Monasterboice and Mellifont Abbey, places he described as, “treasures of the Irish Church,” of which many are unaware.

\\\"They are places where you get away, places where the power of the spirit breaks through into our lives.” 

In his interview Cardinal Brady spoke of the crisis of faith in Ireland and Europe, where people live in a culture in which God is effectively, “absent but not missed.”

“The result is that there is no longer a felt need for God.”  Among the reasons for this secularised culture is an, “exaggerated individualism\\\".  \\\"People feel impelled to find their own life plans and their own values and so they don’t feel a need to refer to a transcendent being like God, or a community, like the Church.  They prefer to write their own references.”

He went on, “It is hard to propose a common faith or common values, but it has to be done.”

There is still, “quite a lot of faith,” in Ireland Cardinal Brady told ciNews, but the Year of Faith is important to, “make ourselves aware that there is a diminishing of faith taking place.  We have to keep alive what is alive,” he said.

The Primate of All Ireland said faith is both personal and intimate, as well as public and communal. “People say, I have my own private faith, but faith is not private.  We are part of a community of believers.”

The Year of Faith marking the 50th anniversary of Vatican II and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is also a call to people to have a sound and profound knowledge of the contents of the faith as the Pope said in his letter, “The Door of Faith,” which the Cardinal recommended to the Irish people.\"\\"\\"\"

He also recommended devotions to the saints, “the Olympians of faith,” which he said often lead to an encounter with Christ in a way that few other things did. 

Recently he had witnessed huge gatherings around  feast days of saints like a special Mass for the feast of St Thérèse at St Malachy’s church in Armagh that was, “packed to the doors,” and the current novena to St Gerard Majella in Dundalk.

The Eucharistic Congress revealed, “a huge hunger to know more about faith and went part of the way towards dispelling the myth that people would do with minimal spiritual nourishment.  They won’t.  People need to be nourished.  Faith has to not just be professed but celebrated and prayed and lived, that is the challenge,” he added.

by Susan Gately

© CatholicIreland.net 2002-2012

 

 

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