Session 1 — September 9, 2021
Resources for this class
Download Robin Ryan’s Powerpoint presentation. REVELATION AND FAITH PASSIONIST FORMATION
Links to referenced Church documents
The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation. Dei Verbum
The Church’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Gaudium et spes.
Link to the recorded session
For those who may want to review this session, or for those who couldn’t attend, here is the recorded class.
Jan Martin says
I want to thank Fr. Robin for his presentation. He gave me much to think about especially because I struggle so greatly with the credibility of the hierarchy of our church. Much of his message deeply resonated within me. One of the discussion questions asked which elements of a theology of revelation and faith are most essential for people to hear today. My thoughts:
Revelation is ongoing. God reveal’s God’s self through relationships – not dogma or doctrine. No one can coerce faith because it is free – God is working within us, through relationships with others. The Holy Spirit pulls us toward growth and perfects faith within us.
Allow God to speak – Let yourself be gazed upon by God. (And realize God gazes upon all of us with that same LOVE). The Reign of God is when we love with God’s all inclusive love.
Talib Huff says
Thank you for your comments Jan. I’ve been working with the idea recently of revelation as relationship. Just as God reveals Him/Herself to us over time, we reveal ourselves to each other through relationship. Anyone that has been in a long-term relationship knows that there is always more to learn about your partner.
As we keep reflecting back on those elements of relationship and revelation, I keep thinking about our Passionist retreat centers. For years now we have been asking the question, why do people come to us? What is it that we offer? The answer we keep providing ourselves is that people are being nourished. Indeed, there is an element of truth to that. Yet subtly this can imply or question, are people not being nourished in their parishes? That is why I like this reintroduction to these terms.
If we were to use this language or vocabulary of friendship and revelation, we certainly find a clarity and a distinction which helps our understanding. We could look at the product (to use the secular term) or the mission of our retreat centers as providing people a place where they’re more capable of grasping the revelation of God and building their friendship. I think this is very true and probably a more accurate statement. And it builds on that element of hospitality which we link as part of our Charism. For a good number of retreatants, their experience is the Revelation that God cares about them; it’s the embrace of God. And they walk away saying, “That was the best retreat ever!” Our retreat centers provide a hospitable place for people to hear the creative Word being revealed to them.
This of course brings up a whole other question contrasting the role of sacramentality to this language of revelation and friendship. I won’t comment on that. I will leave that to scholars like Robin. However, I think it’s very accurate to say that the beauty of a Passionist retreat is that it helps restore peoples’ relationship with God and that experience unveils a small amount of God’s revelation in the midst of life’s realities.
Theresa Secord says
Thank you, Robin Ryan for articulating in a simple yet profound way we as people of faith are called to live and share this gift of faith selflessly given by our loving God. In the days following your presentation, I wish to share the following points I continue to to reflect and bring to prayer. They include:
–God reveals God-self in Word and action. Be open to sharing our faith stories and listening and learning from others through their story. Our faith grows through our relationship with God and others.
–‘Never judge another person who doesn’t have faith’. I am challenged to remember that ALL persons have been given this gift of faith! This being said, all people do not unpack this gift in the same way that I do and that’s okay. Different is not wrong, just different. Holy Spirit moves in each of us!
–‘Let yourself be gazed upon by God’
A challenge I want to say Yes to and grow through!
Talib Huff says
Father Ryan, your presentation was very rich and full. I especially liked your sharing of Teresa of Avila’s observation that prayer is “nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends.” Sometimes the simplest of ideas can penetrate deeply to move and change us. This was true for me and this sharing.