Welcome to Cultivate Your Faith
Brought to you by "Your Catholic Voice Foundation"
Dedicated to the "Servant of the Servants of God", Pope John Paul II
Put Out Into the Deep! DUC IN ALTUM! "58. Let us go forward in hope! A new millennium is opening before the Church like a vast ocean upon which we shall venture, relying on the help of Christ. The Son of God, who became incarnate two thousand years ago out of love for humanity, is at work even today: we need discerning eyes to see this and, above all, a generous heart to become the instruments of his work." Pope John Paul II, ( Novo Millennio Ineunte)
On October 22, 1978, Pope John Paul II stepped out on to the balcony in St. Peters Square and signaled his mission:
"Be Not Afraid! Open up, no; swing wide the gates to Christ. Open up to his saving power the confines of the State, open up economic and political systems, the vast empires of culture, civilization and development . Be not afraid!" he proclaimed to cheering throngs of the faithful gathered in St. Peter's square.
One of the chief architects of the Second Vatican Council and it's extraordinary document on the Church in the Modern World, "Joy and Hope", now occupied the chair of Peter.
In his invitation to build what he would later call a new "Culture of Life" and "Civilization of Love", this giant of a man stepped not only onto the balcony of St. Peter's, but also onto the world's stage.
History would never be the same.
Perhaps never in the history of the Church has such a talented and gifted "man of letters" ever occupied this office. He is an intellectual giant, a philosopher, a playwright, a poet, and a genuine human being with a heart that embraces the whole world, like the Heart of the One whom he follows.
However, not only was he entrusted with the most important role of service in the Church and the world, we believe that he is a Prophet. From his first encyclical letter entitled "The Redeemer of Man" forward he has not stopped passionately re-presenting the classical, unchanging, Christian message with a prophetic urgency, profound clarity and contemporary relevance.
The transforming themes of his work are set forth in a body of rich theology (and philosophy) that lay the ground for the renewal of the Church and through her, the transformation of human culture. However, they are all too often left on the page. We seek to offer them to inform lives and transform culture.
The oft-repeated paragraph 22 from "Joy and Hope" is a key to understanding John Paul's deep faith:
"In reality, it is only in the mystery of the word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear. For Adam, was a type of him who was to come, Christ the lord, Christ the new Adam, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of His love, fully reveals man to himself and brings to light his most high calling."
Your Catholic Voice Foundation sponsors "Cultivate Your Faith" as a part of our mission to inspire, educate and motivate Catholics to be faithful citizens. Our unique part of the mission of the "Your Catholic Voice" movement is inspirational, educational, motivational and informational. The movement strives to fulfill its mission to "Cultivate Your Faith" and "Activate Your Voice". "Your Catholic Voice" (http://www.yourcatholicvoice.org) serves the other part of the mission, "Activate Your Voice" Your Catholic Voice Movement is committed to the integration of faith and life and to the proper influence of the values informed by faith on human culture. The separation of faith and life has rightly been termed one of the "great errors of our age" Living the Catholic Christian life requires ongoing instruction in the faith and its application in our daily lives and in our participation in every aspect of human culture.
The classical definition of "theology" is "faith seeking understanding." All Christians need good theology. What we call "Catechesis" or instruction in the faith, must be more than what we remember from parochial school, homilies on Sunday, or even our attendance at C.C.D. as a child. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is an extraordinary gift from God. The problem is it remains unread by too many Catholics.
Our faith does not just speak to our "personal" lives. It is not "private". It speaks to the whole of life and is meant to inform and transform the entire way we both view and live our lives. Our faith is to be lived in our lives as an integrated whole. Our baptismal vocation invites us to live a "Unity of Life"
In fact the "separation between faith and life" has been called "one of the greatest errors of our age." That expression was a vital part of the "Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World" (Gaudium et Spes), the profound document of the Second Vatican Council :
"43. This council exhorts Christians, as citizens of two cities, to strive to discharge their earthly duties conscientiously and in response to the Gospel spirit. They are mistaken who, knowing that we have here no abiding city but seek one which is to come, think that they may therefore shirk their earthly responsibilities. For they are forgetting that by the faith itself they are more obliged than ever to measure up to these duties, each according to his proper vocation. Nor, on the contrary, are they any less wide of the mark who think that religion consists in acts of worship alone and in the discharge of certain moral obligations, and who imagine they can plunge themselves into earthly affairs in such a way as to imply that these are altogether divorced from the religious life. This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age."
The phrase has been repeated numerous times by Pope John Paul II and most recently became the framework for the Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Lifewherein the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith proclaimed:
"It is a question of the lay Catholic's duty to be morally coherent, found within one's conscience, which is one and indivisible." There cannot be two parallel lives in their existence: on the one hand, the so-called 'spiritual life', with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called 'secular' life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social responsibilities, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture.
The branch, engrafted to the vine which is Christ, bears its fruit in every sphere of existence and activity. In fact, every area of the lay faithful's lives, as different as they are, enters into the plan of God, who desires that these very areas be the 'places in time' where the love of Christ is revealed and realized for both the glory of the Father and service of others. Every activity, every situation, every precise responsibility - as, for example, skill and solidarity in work, love and dedication in the family and the education of children, service to society and public life and the promotion of truth in the area of culture - are the occasions ordained by providence for a 'continuous exercise of faith, hope and charity' (Apostolicam actuositatem, 4).
Living and acting in conformity with one's own conscience on questions of politics is not slavish acceptance of positions alien to politics or some kind of confessionalism, but rather the way in which Christians offer their concrete contribution so that, through political life, society will become more just and more consistent with the dignity of the human person.
We dedicate this site to Pope John Paul II as we dedicate our evangelical and educational apostolate to his mission. For a quarter of a century this giant in the Chair of Peter has stood as the Vicar of Christ, proclaiming and living the truth of the Gospel.
We strive to make the extraordinary themes of his pontificate known, understood, lived and accessible to as many as we can reach. "Cultivate Your Faith" is dedicated to offering this treasury of insight accessible not only to Catholics, but to all Christians, other people of faith and all people of good will who are seeking the deeper meaning of human existence.
We have constructed "Cultivate Your Faith" around the ever fresh, dynamic themes of the writings, and ministry of John Paul II. Themes such as "The Culture of Life", "The Civilization of Love", "The New Evangelization", "The New Springtime", "The Universal Call to holiness"; "Christian Marriage and family life as a domestic church"; "A Spirituality of Communion"; "The Theology of the Body"; "The Common Good"; "The Unity of Life"; "The New Humanism"; "The New feminism and the Feminine Genius"; "The Two Lungs of East and West"; A New Catholic Action" "The Two Lungs" and so many more.
Your Catholic Voice Foundation endeavors to make these themes much more than theological perspectives. We use them as the editorial philosophy and popular framework for our site and our mission, building our features around them and choosing our articles in order to make them real, practical, understandable and accessible to the faithful and to all those who hunger for the way of the fullness of truth which is Catholic Christian life - fully understood, embraced and fully lived!
We will also try to model the extraordinary commitment of Pope John Paul II to an authentic ecumenism by periodically featuring Christians of other church communities. Finally, we will also seek to model the rich tradition of the Church in honoring other religious traditions while all the while proclaiming the unique Christian claim that "Jesus is Lord."
We will present the beauty of the Church, east and west, the "two lungs" of Christianity through presenting the whole Catholic Church in her universality, eastern and western, as we prayerfully await the full reunion between Orthodox and Catholic Christianity.
We believe that Pope John Paul II is much more than an extraordinary gift, he embodies and has ushered in a great new missionary age and a great renewal of Christianity. His insights are a key to the "new springtime" and the "great missionary age" which he heralds.
His message must now be made known so that it can be lived and inform human culture.
To that end we pledge "Your Catholic Voice Foundation" and dedicate "Cultivate Your Faith" to him and in response to his encouragement at the beginning of this Third Christian Millennium to "Be Not Afraid" and "Put Out into the Deep"
Deacon Keith A Fournier
Your Catholic Voice Foundation is a Not-for-Profit Corporation. YCVF has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501 © 3 of the Internal Revenue Code.