Lumen Fidei — The Light of Faith
Pope Francis’ First Encyclical – A Commentary
The Holy Father shows how faith should be the very foundation of our society in this final chapter – chapter 4 of Lumen Fidei, his first encyclical.
He tells us that faith is foundational to society and that in marriage and family people show their faith and love and provide a model of faith to all humanity – marriage that is a stable union of a man and woman. This union is born of God’s love for humanity, and is a sign of God’s love for all to see. It is the foundation of family that is the basis of all society and societal relationships. The faith in a common Father, God, is what makes our society endure and is establishes for us, what John Paul II called ‘the dignity of the human person.’
The Holy Father also tells us that our strength in suffering also comes from our faith. No doubt every question is not answered; but it is faith that provides the light in the darkness — the presence of God who stands beside us and holds us in our suffering. Joy is born of our faith during times of difficulty. This is the joy of knowing and believing Jesus; of having a relationship with Jesus. Faith cannot eliminate suffering, but brings us this joy, this hope, this peace, knowing we are enveloped by God’s love.
The light of faith is the basis of, and promotes, peace and respect for all of God’s creation. In the end we must conclude, as the Holy Father does — Faith must be a part of family life and both faith and family must be a part of society, indeed, are the building blocks of society.
“Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey.”
The Holy Father ends his encyclical by commending us to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who had perfect faith from the very beginning to the very end.
~ Deacon Paul