Saturday, October 27, 2007

Confident faith

Many thanks to Rocco for linking to the text of Archbishop Tom Collins' (the new Ordinary in Toronto) address at the 28th Annual Cardinal's dinner, held this past Thursday. Archbishop Collins focuses on the Holy Father's announcement that starting in June 2008 the Church will mark a year of St. Paul, and draws some broad sketches as to what following St. Paul might mean in his archdiocese. Of course, as a novice in a Society that takes special inspiration from St. Paul, this was of much interest.

If there is one theme that runs through this address it is this: bold discipleship.
Like Paul, we are engaged in the grand adventure of winning the world for Christ. ... There is nothing timid in St. Paul. ... Paul was not a man of small plans. He did great things for Christ. He shows us the way. ... He did not shy away from the marketplace, nor should we if we follow in his footsteps. He did not retreat into the security of the inner world of believers, but entered into dialogue with the alien world of unbelief. So must we, with humility, and with the confidence born not of natural bravado, but of the serene faith that gave courage to Paul.
Some practical suggestions include,
being involved wholeheartedly in the world of popular culture and the media ... we should not be shy in enganging in the public conversation regarding social issues, and Christians need to be encouraged to engage in public service as politicians. We need to give a reason for the hope we have to the people we meet day by day. ... We too need to seek creative ways to shine the light of the Gospel into every corner of our society.
The foundation of our faith is the encounter with Christ. "In Paul we see a man of action who is fundamentally a man of prayer." More importantly, "We do not save the world. We are only servants, and we must be attentive to our Master, in whom alone we find our strength."

There is much packed into this short address. Do read it! Or ... listen to it!

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