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Catechist Training. Lumen Fidei. Written mostly by Pope Benedict XVI To complete the trilogy of encyclicals on the theological virtues – Faith, Hope, and Love Deus Caritas Est – 2005 On Christian Love Spe Salvi – 2007 On Christian Hope Lumen Fidei – 2013 On Faith.

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pope francis first encyclical

Written mostly by Pope Benedict XVI

  • To complete the trilogy of encyclicals on the theological virtues – Faith, Hope, and Love
    • Deus Caritas Est – 2005 On Christian Love
    • SpeSalvi – 2007 On Christian Hope
    • Lumen Fidei – 2013 On Faith
Pope Francis’ First Encyclical
goals of lumen fidei

Pope Francis, Angelus Address, 7/8/13

- Two days after its release

“I offer it with joy to the whole People of God: in fact, especially today, we need to go to the essentials of the Christian faith, to deepen it, and to measure current issues by it. But I think that this encyclical, at least in some parts, can also be useful to those who are searching for God and for the meaning of life.”

Goals of Lumen Fidei
summary of goals

Review the essentials of Christian faith. 

Deepen Christian faith.

Measure current issues in our cultures and society by faith.

Help those searching for God and the meaning of life.

Summary of Goals

“As an experience of the mercy of God the Father, it sets us on the path of brotherhood. Modernity sought to build a universal brotherhood based on equality, yet we gradually came to realize that this brotherhood, lacking a reference to a common Father as its ultimate foundation, cannot endure. We need to return to the true basis of brotherhood.”

~Lumen Fidei, 54

themes from lumen fidei

Faith is not irrational, but a completely rational response to the Creator God.

    • God is not an object to investigate.
    • God is hidden – a mystery
    • Faith, not critique, is the proper response
Themes from Lumen Fidei
reflection discussion

Fr. Barron says that we cannot put God under the microscope since he is not an object in the world.

Have you ever put God to the test?

Reflection & Discussion
themes from lumen fidei1

God is not an abstract principle; God is a person (persons).

    • Persons are only known when they disclose themselves.
    • Faith is believing in the person even if you don’t know everything about them.
    • Faith is darkness that turns to light.
    • God is not one among many.
    • Faith is a power that unites the self to God.
Themes from Lumen Fidei
reflection discussion1

The Prophet Isaiah said, “Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior” (Is 45:15).

Does the fact that we cannot see God make it more difficult for you to believe? Why or why not?

Reflection & Discussion

Fr. Barron shares the many interests in his life right now: his role in the seminary, his role in Word on Fire, and his family.

What are the many interests on your mind today? Is God just one of these many interests or is he infused in all of them? Why?

themes from lumen fidei2

Faith is liberating. It liberates us from the narrow space of our own individual ego.

    • We are justified not by our own actions but by surrendering to God’s intentions for you.
    • “You are opened up to the infinite horizons of God” and away from the “infinitely boring space of your own ego.”
Themes from Lumen Fidei
reflection discussion2

According to Fr. Barron, faith is a “surrender to the alluring darkness of what God wants you to become.”

What is holding you back from completely trusting in God to be the light in that darkness and transform you into the person he wants you to become?

Reflection & Discussion

According to Fr. Barron, faith “opens up the mind to an infinite number of horizons.”

Are you holding on to limiting beliefs or thinking smaller than God’s true vision for you?

What are some areas of your life where you feel trapped and what other options might God reveal to you through the light of faith?

further study

Download the encyclical at under the Encyclical tab.

  • Sign up for an in-depth study at
  • New Faith Formation Page

Further Study