Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sense of the Faith (Sensus Fidei)

In the Peace Weekly Peace Column, the columnist introduces us to the phrase Sensus Ecclesiae (Sense of the Church). He uses the word often when he speaks with those working in the Church. It's the sensitivity to know when something is Catholic or not. The ability to distinguish and discern what is and what is not Catholic.

The faithful at baptism received the threefold mission of priest, prophet, and king. These three tasks are  not carried out in the  manner of the world but in the manner of the Church's understanding which is according to the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness, and chastity.

Within the community of faith without the expression of these gifts, it's difficult to gain the  sympathy of the community. The columnist for his part feels it's necessary to have this feeling for the Church.

Recently he attended a symposium in which one of the speakers spoke about this Sensus Fidei as a requisite in the lives of the clergy and laity if we want renewal. This  Sensus Fidei  is not much different  from Sensus Ecclesiae: a supernatural instinct of the faithful. Because of this, there is a need to overcome the division between the teaching and learning Church. Pastors and faithful need to have sympathy for each other  and with this common sensitivity toward the faith, we will have renewal.

After hearing about the Sensus Fidei he went to the book published by the International Theological Commission: Sensus Fidei In the Life of the Church, 2014.  

"The importance of the sensus fidei in the life of the Church was strongly emphasized by the Second Vatican Council. Banishing the caricature of an active hierarchy and a passive laity, and in particular the notion of a strict separation between the teaching Church (Ecclesia docens) and the learning Church (Ecclesia discens), the council taught that all the baptized participate in their own proper way in the three offices of Christ as prophet, priest, and king. In particular, it taught that Christ fulfills his prophetic office not only by means of the hierarchy but also via the laity" (#4).

Consequently, the hierarchy and clergy need to respect the 'sense of the faithful'  and accept them as  cooperators in the work. Without this, the laity will very likely find the flame of the Holy Spirit going out. He lists six attitudes that help this sense of the faith: participating in the life of the Church, listening to the word of God, openness to reason, adherence to the magisterium, holiness - humility, freedom and joy, and edification of the Church (89~105).

The Korea Church in  vitality is the envy of many other countries, however, if we look inside we see problems: authoritarianism and centrality of the clergy, immaturity, and individualism of the laity. The emphasis on the 'Sense of faith' in the symposium is the way we need to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment