Lent is a time to renew our journey of faith, both as individuals and as a community, with the help of the word of God and the sacraments.
-Pope Benedict XVI
I know this is a little late, with Lent ending today, but I was going through some old email and came across this quote. While Lent offers the opportunity to renew our faith, especially with new members coming into the church on Easter Vigil, the renewal of one’s faith shouldn’t be confined to one 40-day period of the year.
To me, renewing my faith is a continual process. I am always trying to learn more about my religion and deepen my faith in God. There is just so much I feel I don’t know. I want to understand, and in order for me to grow in my faith, I need to continually seek out answers to my questions. Luckily, my parish is blessed with 2 priests and a religious sister who are available to answer questions.
A community of believers plays a huge part in renewing and deepening one’s faith. Those fellow believers allow you to have support when you doubt, strength when you fall, and prayer when you struggle. I am lucky that I have several friends who are also “seekers” in their faith journey, and they are also available to answer questions, or to hold my hand as I try new(ish) experiences.
For me, knowing that the Mass has been celebrated for the last 2,000 years, and that it is in mostly the same format throughout the world each Sunday helps me to strengthen my connections to other believers. Knowing that there is a body of Catholics celebrating the same sacraments I do gives me a sense of continuity to the earliest Christians.
I am trying better to live by Christ’s example and to follow the teachings of my Church. There were too many years when I was away from the Church, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I don’t necessarily like who I became during those years, so my challenge is to bring myself back to where I was – and I can do that by renewing my faith each day.
- Pope Benedict worried in his homily (disclose.tv)