Are We Ready for the Year of Faith?

by Nick Franchini, Catholic entrepreneur and founder of Good Works

My own answer to the above question is that I am ready to give it a good go. Indeed, perhaps it was to ensure that I would throw my hat in the ring that I agreed to be a speaker at the October 6th ‘Called to a Deeper Discipleship – Finding your Personal Key for the Year of Faith’ retreat day.

As an entrepreneur I was invited to bear witness to my own journey of faith. I won’t dwell on the history of that journey now. Instead I think it would be fitting to dwell on the road ahead.

October 6th was without a shadow of doubt another step along my journey and I am sure its impact will be felt for some time to come. I can feel that deep down inside me new ideas are working themselves out, brewing away until they are ready to come to the fore.
One small step forward has already happened. Right from the beginning of my journey to give me a point of reference I have periodically tried to encapsulate what God might be trying to tell me in a simple phrase. Up until October 6th it was ‘show me your way’. This reflects my perhaps clumsy attempt to put my trust in Him. Since the retreat day, however, this phrase has changed ever so slightly by just two letters to, ‘Show us your way’.

Both common sense and science tell us that human beings are social animals. We are made or undone by how well we interact and cooperate together. But as Catholics we know that there is a deeper level of understanding of the human condition. This is the knowledge that we are also a flock and therefore the key to our ultimate wellbeing is how well we heed our shepherd. In this I can see, and indeed feel, a marvellous triangular symmetry. The ‘I’ of the individual and the ’We’ of the group are completely dependent on each other but in the end achieving the right balance between them depends on allowing God to show us his way and then following his example.

And following his example, especially if it involves others, is in itself the first step in expressing our faith out in the world beyond our private or public prayer life. In the complex ‘globalised’ world we live in nowadays, it is impossible to see all the significant consequences of our choices and actions. It is like walking along a path whose direction and destination is forever obscured by another bend or another brow of a hill. But we must go ahead and take the next step anyway. We simply need to trust in our Lord. And if we are ready to trust in Him then we do not have any real excuse for not taking that step.

So then, if we feel ready, let’s go ahead and open the first door of faith on this pilgrimage. Let’s open ourselves to God’s calling in our lives at this time and ask him what he wants us to do and how to go about it. Be sure that besides our own inner voice his answer will come through the responses and reactions we experience in other people.

If on the other hand we don’t feel ready, let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that all things considered, if we do not take that so-called ‘leap of faith’ it is because of the condition our soul is in, rather than because of the condition the world around us is in. If that is the case then perhaps the first step we need to take on our Year of Faith journey is to ask ourselves what the problem is and ask for God’s help so that we can move forward.

And if that is the case, let’s not fret. There is plenty of time for the journey ahead. In his wisdom, the Holy Father has even included a thirteenth month in his Year of Faith!

Prayer for Vocations

Lord Jesus Christ, Guide and Shepherd of your people, touch the hearts of our young people, that they may, for the love of you, give their lives in the service of the Church. Renew the hearts of priests, that they may model their lives on the mystery of the Cross, and imitate the Sacred Mysteries they celebrate at the Altar. Strengthen our families, that they may generously support those of their sons whom you call to serve you as priests. Amen.

Prayer for Seminarians

Lord Jesus, we ask your special blessing on those preparing for the Sacred Priesthood. May their hearts overflow with love, understanding, and generosity. May their desire to serve inspire others to answer Your call. Lord Jesus, fill the hearts of seminarians with the fire of your love make them holy as You are Holy. Amen.