The Fruit of True Faith in the Son of God

The fruits of faith in Christ’s divinity possess divine qualities themselves. The first of the fruits is eternal life. Whoever believes in him has eternal life (cf. Jn 3:5; 5:24; 6:40-47). The Gospel itself was written so that people would believe that Jesus is the Son of God and, believing, would have eternal life, [and] eternal life is not just the life that begins after death, but the new life of children of God which already opens up now for the believer. Whoever believes in him has already passed from death to life (Jn 5:24). Faith allows the divine world to irrupt into this our world right now. Believing, therefore, means something very different from believing in a “hereafter”, in life after death; it is to experience the life and glory of God here and now. Whoever believes already sees the glory of God, right now (cf. Jn 11:40)…. Christ willed to found his Church on nothing else than faith in him as Son of God. Peter becomes Cephas, Rock, the moment when, by revelation from the Father, he believes in the divine origin of Jesus. “On this rock, Saint Augustine comments, I shall build the faith which you have professed. On the fact that you have said: You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God, I shall build my Church.” The Church was founded on the first act of faith, in the temporal order, in Christ’s divinity. This remains her basis, this allows her to overcome the world and the gates of hell. How different the works of God are from those of human beings! The whole immense edifice of the Church set on something invisible, very fragile yet invincible: on faith in Christ the Son of God and on the promise made in response to this faith. The Church is, in herself, the tangible proof of the truth of those words: Whoever believes that Jesus is the Son of God overcomes the world. 

Father Raniero Cantalamessa 

Father Cantalamessa is a Franciscan Capuchin priest and theologian. He is the preacher to the papal household. 

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Living by His Gracious Words

Heavenly words of mercy, of justice, of sublime and of holy love fell from the divine lips of Jesus as gentle dew falling upon a parched earth. His words were-and continue to be-the great splendour, the great light for all mankind. His lips always spoke piety, sweetness, and confidence. He was and is Goodness, Mercy, and Kindness personified. If I were to allow his words to penetrate our hearts, how rapidly we would begin our transformation into him, and the truth is that by our good fortune, Jesus lives in our souls suffers in us. 

Who has ever said that the presence of God—in his actions and his words—has to be felt? Sometimes God grants that sensation. At other times, he doesn’t. But having or not having that disposition does not necessarily mean that we are far from God. When one comes to understand this, one receives desolation—the inability to hear Jesus’ voice interiority—as a precious grace from God and one accepts it in peace. 

There will be periods of dryness, lack of consolation, fatigue, and struggles. But in the midst of this, just as when we feel fervour, the same love must continue burning: a love that adapts itself to all circumstances and is never extinguished. This love comes from God and that which is divine is also immortal. 

The words of Jesus enthrall us and fill us with love. In them we find all that is pure, luminous, and beautiful and they take the soul beyond one’s possible dreams of holiness. Those words of Jesus are “food, light, perfume, life, delight, strength, and love!

Blessed Conception Cabrera De Armida

Blessed Conception “Conchita”, (1937) was a wife, mother, widow and spiritual writer in Mexico. She was the first Mexican lay woman to be beatified. 

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Offering Three Gifts 

Dearly beloved, the last verse of the Gospel reading, which is still ringing in your ears, is intended for the instruction of believers. It tells how, when they had entered the house in which the blessed Virgin Mother was staying with her child, they opened their treasures, and offered the Lord three gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh—thereby acknowledging him as true Lord, true Man, and true King. 

Holy Church also offers these same gifts to her Saviour every day without ceasing. She offers him frankincense by acknowledging and believing him to be the true Lord and Creator of all. She offers him myrrh when she affirms that he assumed the substance of our flesh, in which he willed to suffer and to die for our salvation. And she offers him gold by believing without doubt that he reigns eternally with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Alternatively, the offering of these gifts may be taken in a mystical sense. Heavenly wisdom is symbolised by gold, according to the verse of Solomon which says. A priceless treasure lies in the mouth of the sage; and elsewhere Scripture says: The mouth of the just will utter wisdom. By frankincense pure prayer is to be understood, as the psalmist says: Let my prayer rise like incense in your sight, 0 Lord. For when our prayer is pure, it yields a purer fragrance to the Lord than the smoke of burning incense, and just as such smoke rises upward, so does our prayer ascend to the Lord. Myrrh can be taken as the mortification of our flesh. 

Thus, we offer the Lord gold when we shine in his sight with the light of heavenly wisdom. We offer him frankincense when we send up pure prayer before him, and myrrh when, mortifying our flesh with its vices and passions by self-control, we carry the cross behind Jesus.
Saint Bruno of Segni

Saint Bruno of Segni (1123) was an Italian monk, bishop, and theologian.

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