Saturday, April 20, 2013
Familiaris Consortio - John Paul II - Apostolic Exhortation (November 22, 1981)
5. The discernment effected by the Church becomes the offering of an orientation in order that the entire truth and the full dignity of marriage and the family may be preserved and realized.
This discernment is accomplished through the sense of faith,(10) which is a gift that the Spirit gives to all the faithful,(11) and is therefore the work of the whole Church according to the diversity of the various gifts and charisms that, together with and according to the responsibility proper to each one, work together for a more profound understanding and activation of the word of God The Church, therefore, does not accomplish this discernment only through the Pastors, who teach in the name and with the power of Christ but also through the laity: Christ "made them His witnesses and gave them understanding of the faith and the grace of speech (cf. Acts 2:17-18; Rv. 19:10), so that the power of the Gospel might shine forth in their daily social and family life."(12) The laity, moreover, by reason of their particular vocation have the specific role of interpreting the history of the world in the light of Christ, in as much as they are called to illuminate and organize temporal realities according to the plan of God, Creator and Redeemer."
Pope John Paul II writes of the dignity of marriage and hints at the degradation of the holy sacrament, what I find interesting is the 'sense of faith' this grace is a mystery that blesses us with diversity of charisms however the challenge is to be able to illuminate and ORGANIZE TEMPORAL REALITIES. I believe marriage was created for companionship and procreation with the entry of sin/chaos into the perfect world; murder, jealousy pride and all the other evils soon became abundantly obvious, the problem faced by Catholics today is scruples in the temporal world and a lack of understanding of humanities problems when it comes to holiness and our sins hinder true evangelization.
The "supernatural sense of faith"(13) however does not consist solely or necessarily in the consensus of the faithful. Following Christ, the Church seeks the truth, which is not always the same as the majority opinion. She listens to conscience and not to power, and in this way she defends the poor and the downtrodden. The Church values sociological and statistical research, when it proves helpful in understanding the historical context in which pastoral action has to be developed and when it leads to a better understanding of the truth. Such research alone, however, is not to be considered in itself an expression of the sense of faith.