As Christians we are called to continually learn about our faith and deepen our relationship with God. As we grow in love, understanding and awareness of the God who loves us, so we become ever mindful that devotion is the only appropriate response to a God whose mercies are so limitless. As our devotional-self grows so we become more able to engage in God’s work of love, justice and mercy in the world. Liturgy and learning are therefore essential if we are to become the people God calls us to be.
A word on faith
“Christian life is lived in relationship with God through Jesus Christ and, in common with other Christians, seeking to deepen that relationship and to follow the way of Jesus.
Central to that relationship is knowing we can trust God. Saint Paul reminds us that, ‘if God is for us, who can be against us?'(Rom. 8).
How do we know that ‘God is for us’? Because Jesus Christ, the one human being who is completely in tune with God – with what God wants and what God is doing – has carried the burden of our human tendency to run away from goodness. He has let himself be betrayed and rejected, and has not turned his back on us. Death did not succeed in silencing him or removing him from the world. He is alive; and that means that his love is alive, having survived the worst we can do.
Nothing – says St Paul in the same passage – can separate us from this love. But this isn’t an excuse for doing what we like, knowing we can get away with it. Once we know that God is ‘for us’, we open up to the gift that God wants to give us – which is a share in his own love and freedom and mercy. We breathe with his breath – that’s part of what it means to say that we receive God’s ‘Spirit’, which makes us live like Jesus ‘in tune’ with God. If we have really taken the message in, we shall live lives of selfless generosity, always asking how the gifts given us – material or imaginative or spiritual or whatever – can be shared in a way that brings other people more fully alive. And we shall be able to trust the generosity of others and be free to receive what they have to give us.
Generosity, gratitude, confidence that when we fail we are still loved – all of this focused on Jesus’ life and death and resurrection. That’s where we start in the lifelong job of being a Christian.”
Baron Rowan Williams of Oystermouth (Archbishop of Canterbury Emeritus).
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