The Spirit always draws new things
from the Gospel
Faced with the “rampant religious ignorance” someone proposes to take up the Catechism of Christian Doctrine, published by Pius X in 1913, with its 433 questions and answers, summaries of all the issues of theology and morality. This booklet has certainly marked an era, but we wonder if it would make sense to propose the truths of the faith in a language and with threadbare images, belonging to a time so far away from ours.
In the opening speech of the Council, Pope John XXIII recalled a fundamental principle: “One thing is the truth of faith, another is the way in which they are formulated.” The Church’s mission is to translate, to make intelligible these same truths to people of all times and all places, using their language, their culture, their images, their way of thinking. Delicate and difficult task because inevitably accompanied by tensions and misunderstandings, but essential and which can be brought successfully to fruition, because in the church the Spirit of truth that animates Christ’s is present.
The falling back on the past, the fear of novelty, the pessimistic look about the present and the gloomy forecasts for the future are not signs of love and fidelity to tradition, but symptoms of poor faith in the work of the Spirit. Pope John XXIII dissented from the “prophets of doom” and invited them to contemplate “the fruit of the Spirit” present not only in the Church, but everywhere “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:19-22) blossom.
To internalize the message, we repeat:
“I believe in the work of the Spirit that is renewing the whole earth.”