“For years I have considered the revelation of
God as self-giving love as the greatest legacy we as
church can hand on to our children and their children.
Said another way, if we but kept this wonderful truth
alive among us by our actions we should not be troubled
if all our other treasures were to be lost. Obviously
I would be deeply disappointed with our leadership if
they did not share such priorities -- if they cared more
about material treasure, for example, than the spiritual
foundation that makes all our ambitions on earth worthwhile
for eternity. Voice of the Faithful as a movement can
help them to keep their sights on the things that shall
‘Deus Caritas Est’ is very welcome, a constructive
voice for us today, though it is about 25 years overdue….
The letter I would like to have seen would keep the
firm grounding in the God of Jewish and Christian revelation
that this letter proudly possesses. It would also display
the following three qualities.
First, we learn to embrace and hand on the self-giving
love of God by our own life of sharing in community and
our own self-giving. In other words, love is lived more
than it is studied and defined. That is the lesson of
chapter 15 of John's Gospel. And that has been the lesson
in particular of our modern-day martyrs, many of whom
had to suffer at the hands of fellow Catholics in positions
Second, such self-giving has been the object of much
serious philosophical study by thinkers in many countries
and religious persuasions. We Catholics can quote their
work with pride, assuring ourselves at the same time
that we have no monopoly on this wonderful revelation.
Thirdly and finally, the self-giving to which we are
called is the source of the Church's indestructibility.
We often allude to our humblest members as the treasures
we possess, and then press on to the earthen monuments
that bear our names and yet will not endure. We do not
reach the fullness of life to which God has called us
by knowing what God's love is, but by putting it into
practice in imitation of God. To quote the prophet, the
truth by which we are to live will be found not in our
letters and books and basilicas but in our hearts.” Paul
Schlachter, VOTF Miami, FL
“ The new president of Notre Dame University, John Jenkins,
says that Thomas Aquinas' greatest intellectual influences,
aside from Scripture and Church Fathers, were Aristotle,
Avicenna, and Maimonides--a pagan, a Muslim, and
a Jew. Jenkins says that part of Aquinas' strength was
a willingness to learn from any source he could.
And us?” John Chuchman
“The next St. Francis is VOTF. Our Lord told Francis
to ‘rebuild my church,’ just like the
Holy Spirit has inspired many in VOTF to do. And it will!
Stay the path, my dear friends, and keep the HOPE. I pray for you (us)
daily.” Bill Freeman