Have you had a chance to read Misericordiae Vultus, Pope Francis' document inaugurating the Jubilee Year of Mercy? This just lifted my heart this morning. I think I am in great need of this Jubilee Year. How about you? Here is a section which touched me greatly. I am not sure I agree that the "walls" which "had made the Church a kind of fortress" have been torn down quite yet. But Pope Francis sure is doing an amazing and wonderful job at getting us back to the basics of what the Church's mission is all about as it continues the teaching and presence of Christ in the world.
4. I have chosen the date of 8 December because of its rich meaning in the recent history of the Church. In fact, I will open the Holy Door on the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The Church feels a great need to keep this event alive. With the Council, the Church entered a new phase of her history. The Council Fathers strongly perceived, as a true breath of the Holy Spirit, a need to talk about God to men and women of their time in a more accessible way. The walls which too long had made the Church a kind of fortress were torn down and the time had come to proclaim the Gospel in a new way. It was a new phase of the same evangelization that had existed from the beginning. It was a fresh undertaking for all Christians to bear witness to their faith with greater enthusiasm and conviction. The Church sensed a responsibility to be a living sign of the Father’s love in the world.
We recall the poignant words of Saint John XXIII when, opening the Council, he indicated the path to follow: “Now the Bride of Christ wishes to use the medicine of mercy rather than taking up arms of severity … The Catholic Church, as she holds high the torch of Catholic truth at this Ecumenical Council, wants to show herself a loving mother to all; patient, kind, moved by compassion and goodness toward her separated children.”
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.