Gracious Father, I am grateful for how you are present in all things in everyday life. Help me to work with you to build a more united world. I offer you my day for the Church and the great challenges of humanity, praying for the intentions of the Holy Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network. Our Father...
That people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time.
Faith is transmitted not simply by proclaiming dogmas and doctrine but through experiential knowledge. What we can touch, see, hear and experience for ourselves is what "speaks" to us most profoundly. Faith is no different. It is best transmitted when it is in dialogue with the Jesus of the Gospel and with humanity in a way that "speaks" clearly to peoples' hopes and fears and gives them a sense of wonder, awe and mystery before God's creation. However the language of the church and of the Bible can often seem foreign, and so has to be "translated" in a way that speaks to the heart as well as the mind.
Take, by way of example, the words of John the Baptist, "Here is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". (John 1:29) Jesus takes away the toxicity of sin by absorbing it, purifying it, and by refusing to give it back in kind: giving back love instead of hatred, graciousness instead of anger, blessing instead of envy, warmth instead of bitterness, and forgiveness for all the evil done to him. Christians are called to do the same. Such response to the sin of the world is never easy and is what Jesus meant by 'taking up one's cross.' In dialogue with the hopes and fears of humanity and with the Gospel, and by truly listening to peoples' stories, we pray that those involved in the service and transmission of faith will be able to find language suited to the conditions of the present time.
- Philip Fogarty SJ, extracted from Living Prayer