Pope in Santa Marta: To transmit the faith is not proselytism

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In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained how to correctly transmit the faith. The first step, he explained, is through love. 

'Transmitting faith is not proselytism. It is another thing, it is bigger still. It is not looking for fans who support this soccer team, this club, this cultural center; this is fine, but proselytism is not for faith.'

Lastly, he remembered Benedict XVI's words when he admitted that the Church grows through attraction and by the testimony of those who form it.

(Source: Vatican News)

“Transmitting the faith is not to be confused with proselytism. The Church is not about looking for cheering fans; neither is it simply reciting the Creed, which is an expression of the faith. Neither is it merely the passing on of information as if it were as easy as: Here, take this book, study it and then I will baptize you.'

Rather, transmitting the faith is rooting the heart in faith in Jesus Christ. This is the Church’s challenge: to be a fruitful mother, giving birth to children in the faith. Grandparents, and parents are especially apt to transmit the faith because they perfume it with love. And he added that care-givers, even if they are foreigners, can also effectively transmit the faith to those whom they care for.

The faith is transmitted when people are attracted by our testimony. At times, that testimony ends in martyrdom. Testimony provokes curiosity. It is when others see a consistency in someone’s life that they are led to ask: Why does so-and-so live like that? Why would a person spend their life in service to others? The Holy Spirit uses that curiosity and he goes to work within the person.

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