A Year of Faith

Pope Benedict XVI has called for a Year of Faith, beginning on October 11th 2012. I am not a Catholic; I was raised in the Methodist Church and in Anglican Schools. However, I self-associate as Christian. I am not a fan of the divisive nature of denominations. I understand there was a need for them to develop and I understand that different churches offer different structure and support which helps different people in different ways. On the other hand, part of me believes that too great a focus on denomination makes Christianity a religion of rules and buildings instead of a lifestyle. An act of faith.

But I digress, we have now begun the Year of Faith in the Catholic Church. As my school is Catholic, we are looking at notions of faith and commitment – concepts which I believe to be important regardless of your religious beliefs. It has been interesting to explore these concepts with children – often the insights they provide, still largely untainted by the world, are more powerful than those shared by men and women considered older and wiser. Age is a funny concept; whilst time

provides us with experiences to shape our views, it also erodes the natural innocence of childhood.

Every child at school was given a copy of  a prayer to keep with them for this Year of Faith. I spent some time this weekend looking at various prayers which are being used during this year. This Prayer to Be a Faithful Witness is one of my favourites. I think it resonates so powerfully because whether you believe in God or not, there is a call for us as humankind to be faithful to one another. If we can have faith in our own convictions, if we can stand strong in our beliefs, and if we can hold onto the truth always – perhaps we can motivate a generation of faith, love, and loyalty. Then again, maybe I am just an idealist.

Happy Year of Faith.