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Browsing Fr. Joel Hastings

BASICS OF CATHOLICISM: 14. THE RESURRECTION AND LIFE EVERLASTING PART 3 – AMEN/SUMMING UP THE CREED

Aug 28, 2019

As we come to the end of our look at the creed, we take a moment to give a summary of the points of the profession of faith, mindful of the final word “amen” that draws it all together.

 We have surveyed the creed (primarily by way of the Apostles’ Creed, aware that the Nicene Creed contains more detail) by looking at each statement, or “article” of faith that is contained.  We have considered the Trinity of Persons in God:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  While considering God in His Triune nature, we delved into the attributes of God, along with the external works of God in creation, in our redemption through Jesus Christ who takes on our human nature, and in the works of the Holy Spirit.  Finally, we most recently considered the nature of the Church and our hope of eternal life in heaven in the fullness of our human nature.  These articles of faith point to the fundamental beliefs of Catholicism, though they are not exhaustive of all that we believe (evidenced by the fact that we are only partially into our review of all the basics of Catholicism and have much more territory to cover).

 Our reciting of either creed (and of most prayers, for that matter) concludes with the Hebrew word “Amen.”  Such a small word contains multiple meanings – each of which are fitting.  Among the meanings of amen is that it simply says “so be it,” implying acceptance of that which preceded it.  Likewise, amen can mean “it is true,” or simply to say “yes,” also expressing acceptance of what has been professed while adding emphasis to the truth contained within what has been said. 

Given this multi-layered significance of “amen,” might we be reminded of the importance of always saying the words of the creed (and of every prayer) with right intention and sincerity, always seeking to “mean what we say” and not to simply to say words because they are familiar.  An intentional reciting of these words leads to our saying of the word amen with the fullness of its significance – in all its meaning.  Likewise, might we consider that whenever we say amen during prayer, the word itself is a profession of faith in God, entrusting ourselves to Him and His will.

Finally, as we are about to move from the creed into consideration of the commandments, it is important to be reminded that the whole of the Catholic Faith is not just a set of statements or a list to be followed – but a call to relationship with God who is love and who loves us unconditionally.  As was said at the beginning of this series, it is important that we keep in mind as we go through the various topics of the Catholic Faith the end goal of eternal life with God in the fullness of His love.  Thus, as we move onto the commandments, may we continue to seek to profess our faith as a response of love for God, who loves us.  Likewise, might we remain aware that what we are about to explore in these commandments are responses of love to the God of love, who desires our fidelity to Him, that we might share in His love forever.

 For further reading:  In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 1061 – 1065 defines the word “amen,” showing the depths of our use of this simple Hebrew word.

 

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