Archbishop Hector Aguer of La Plata, Argentina called the upcoming Year of Faith a chance for Catholics to reaffirm their identity in Christ, adding that it should not reduced by neglect or routine.
“Today there exists an erroneous tendency to consider the faith not as objective and certain knowledge, but rather as an emotion, a sentiment, a vague religious aspiration,” Archbishop Aguer said Sept. 29.
“According to Sacred Scripture, on the other hand, believing involves accepting God’s manifestation of Himself, the revelation that comes to us fully in Jesus Christ; its main object are the divine mysteries that are summarized in the Creed, and everything that the Church proposes as truths revealed by God.”
Pope Benedict's Year of Faith – which launches on Oct. 11 in honor of the 50th anniversary of Vatican II – should be at time of personal and pastoral renewal, using the Catechism and the documents of council as resources, he added.
Likewise, the Year of Faith “demands of us a greater commitment to prayer, to seeking a deeper and broader understanding of the truths in which we believe and to a clear and fervent missionary effort to communicate the joy of the faith,” the archbishop said.
“Parishes, movements and pastoral institutions should offer simple and timely opportunities to study and assimilate Catholic truth, since faith, because of its very dynamism, always seeks to understand more and better.”
Archbishop Aguer also called for a greater commitment from the laity “in the different areas of culture and social life.”
The Year of Faith happens to coincide with the theme of the upcoming Synod of Bishops, the new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith, he noted.
“The recipients of the new evangelization are first of all the baptized who do not live the faith and are estranged from the Church,” he said.
Archbishop Aguer concluded by calling for greater preparation for the sacraments of Christian initiation, an intensifying of missionary work and more evangelization of the culture and society. Catholic schools, he said, have an important role to play in this regard.