Perhaps baptism ought to have some health warning attached to it; ‘If you take this step, if you go into these depths, it will be life-giving, but also dangerous.’ Jesus disciples discovered that as we see in the Gospels and gone on discovering it ever since. Like the saints before us we tread a dangerous path – which is at the same time the path to life in its fullness.
At the end of the Synod on the Family, Pope Francis beatified his predecessor, Pope Paul VI. In this week's Godtalk, Peter Knott SJ, argues that it's unfortunate the Paul VI is remembered negatively for Humanae Vitae, a document that was, in the end, prophetic.
As Pope Benedict XVI reminded us, being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice, but an encounter with a person. Pope Francis continues on this theme, particularly in Evangelii Gaudium, where he tells us that all of our evangelising efforts have to be founded on the Joy of the Gospel, on the joy of knowing the person of Jesus Christ. Peter Knott SJ explores the nature of our relationship with Christ, the relationship which should be the foundation of all our other relationships.
We can often feel quite lost, restless, and isolated. Rather than think of this as unnatural, as if there's something wrong with us, Peter Knott SJ suggests it might show us that we have a healthier spiritual life than we think.
Goodness is the fruit of the love shown by God when he created humankind; Christians don't have a monopoly of goodness. This is key to our evangelisation - our evangelisation will have a much greater chance of success if we can draw others to Christ through their admiration of the sensitivity, understanding and admiration we show for them, rather than by condemnation of the very world in which they, as individual non-Christians, lead lives of what is often sheer human goodness.
The Gospels are full of references to joy in everyday situations. However, we think of joy as something separate and special from everyday life - parties, weekends, and holidays. But joy cannot be forced - and in fact only really comes about when we actively try to create joy for others.