EG 125: Piety Facilitates Love

Vasnetsov_Maria_MagdalenePope Francis explains it a bit more in #125: that faith is more than mere assent to God’s teachings. One author I encountered recently said there’s a difference between faith  in God and agreeing with God. Agreement with moral teachings and theological principles might be the result of deep faith. It might also just be brownnosing the one in charge–the Eddie Haskell approach to religion.

125. To understand this reality we need to approach it with the gaze of the Good Shepherd, who seeks not to judge but to love. Only from the affective connaturality born of love can we appreciate the theological life present in the piety of Christian peoples, especially among their poor. I think of the steadfast faith of those mothers tending their sick children who, though perhaps barely familiar with the articles of the creed, cling to a rosary; or of all the hope poured into a candle lighted in a humble home with a prayer for help from Mary, or in the gaze of tender love directed to Christ crucified. No one who loves God’s holy people will view these actions as the expression of a purely human search for the divine. They are the manifestation of a theological life nourished by the working of the Holy Spirit who has been poured into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5).

When I think about this it makes perfect sense coming from the pen of a Jesuit. Seeking the affective side of our relationship with Jesus is very much part of the Ignatian search for integration and wholeness in God’s presence. This is what Pope Francis seems to be urging for the Church: a reunification of heart and head. Evangelii Gaudium is online at the Vatican site here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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