Sunday, 26 September 2010

Make your faith more visible - says Archbishop Vincent Nichols

In the wake of the Holy Father's visit the Archbishop of Westminster has issued a Pastoral Letter today encouraging Catholics to "be more confident in our faith and more ready to speak about it and let it be seen each day." He suggests we might "be quicker to say to others that we will pray for them, especially to those in distress" and that we might take "the simple step of more regularly using the greeting 'God bless you', gently and naturally" or "the more frequent use of the Sign of the Cross". "Making faith visible is so much a part of the invitation the Holy Father has extended to us all."
You can read the full text here:

I hope that the Holy Father's visit has inspired us all take a renewed confidence in the Faith. He has made us see that you can be an out and out Catholic and lo and behold, rather than turn people away it attracts and engages them. Who would have thought you could be orthodox, preach the fullness of the Faith without compromise with the world, hold to traditional values and still be an attractive, caring and gentle human being? I think many in the Church have not been quite sure of that.

Letting the Faith be more visible is something I've been preaching for years - ask my long-suffering parishioners if its not one of my soap-box issues! Yes - be seen saying grace at meals, making the sign of the cross with a prayer as a funeral cortege goes past, make the sign of the cross in honour of the presence of the Blessed Sacrament as you pass a Catholic Church, be known for abstaining from meat on a Friday. These are outward and human signs of the Faith that should be the natural counterpart (and daily reminder to us) that we are people of prayer and people who should be known by others for our kindness and compassion, marked out as different from our non-believing neighbours.

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