As the New Year 2014 is upon us, we tend to reflect upon a multitude of things – our health, finances, resolutions made, and, of course, our spiritual needs. In October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI called for a “Year of Faith”, which closed in November 2013. During the Year of Faith, our Home was visited weekly by three young seminarians – Kyle Gorenski from the Diocese of Providence, Dylan LaBonte from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and Matthew Langielle from the Diocese of Boston – whom we came to call “our seminarians”. Together, we celebrated Mass and joined together in prayer .
Even with the official closing of the Year of Faith in 2013, we must continue to reflect upon and strengthen our faith in God in 2014. Below is a reflective piece on the Year of Faith by one of our seminarians, Dylan LaBonte.
It is finished. Consummatum Est.
Christ’s final words express the vast profundity of His trust in His Father in Heaven. In his soft, even pitiable, statement that “It is finished”, Jesus is able to model for all of humanity the way in which we must learn to trust God. Although Christ was racked in fear over his imminent torment and execution at the hands of the Romans, spending the better part of a night pleading that the Lord might spare Him the agony and indignity which He was destined to suffer at the hands of the Earthly authorities of Jerusalem. When however He realized just how important it was to His Father in Heaven that He suffer and die for the sake of humanity, Jesus resolved to trust in God rather than in His own desires. “My Father”, Christ says proclaims to Heaven, “if it is not possible for this cup to pass without me drinking it, your will be done!” (Matt 26:42)
We must be extra vigilant to remember Jesus’ example now that the Year of Faith has come to a close. Faith, it must be remembered, is an act of the will which overcomes our inherent distrust and suspicion towards God. Thanks to Christ’s example in the Gospel, the Door of Faith (Acts 14:27) has been made open for us all. Whenever we struggle with our unbelief, with the lack of faith that is the mark of our fallen nature, we need only look to the example of our Lord and Savior and remember that even for Him in His perfect nature faith was a difficult act; a struggle of pious will against the darkness of doubt and distrust.
In the end, we must remember in a special way the words of our Holy Father Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when he brought us into the Year of Faith in October of 2012. The purpose of the Year of Faith, the Holy Father said in his Encyclical PortaFidei, was to act as a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world.” Let us strive as we live in the twilight of the Year of Faith to do what we can to ensure that in our own lives and in the lives of those around us the summons of the Year of Faith does not go unheeded and is not forgotten.
Your brother in Christ,