“Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent.”
Pope Francis I
With much of the writing begun by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, today Pope Francis I published the first encyclical of his reign entitled Lumen Fidei or in English, The Light of Faith. In the short introduction, Pope Francis states the reasons that both he and Pope Benedict XVI before him focus on the topic of faith, especially during the Year of Faith and the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. There is an urgent need today to understand the value and importance of faith – not just to Christians but all humankind. The metaphor Benedict and Francis introduce and expand upon throughout the encyclical is that of light. Faith is the light that illumines our journey in life and provides clarity to all aspects of human existence. This understanding is critical today, because modern society rejects faith as subjective and infused only by fleeting emotion – in other words – living by faith is a dark, unenlightened pursuit. Pope Francis, seeking to correct the modern understanding, hopes that his encyclical will help the light of faith “grow and enlighten the present, becoming a star to brighten the horizon of our journey at a time when mankind is particularly in need of light” (LF, 4).