Vatican II: Nostra Aetate

If you missed the first part of this five-part series on documents from the Second Vatican Council, go here.

If you want to see all five parts, go here.

Nostra Aetate: The relation of the Church to non-Christian religions

Oct. 28, 1965

learn something

It seems like I’m picking the short documents to study first… out of laziness or lack of time, I’m not sure.

Key takeaway:

As the Church has always held and holds now, Christ underwent His passion and death freely, because of the sins of men and out of infinite love, in order that all may reach salvation. It is, therefore THE BURDEN OF THE CHURCH’S preaching to proclaim the cross of Christ as the sign of God’s all-embracing love and as the fountain from which every grace flows.”

(emphasis mine)

It’s OUR BURDEN to proclaim the cross as the sign of God’s ALL-embracing love.”

Just like Christ carried his cross (thank you Simon!), we must carry this burden with love, sharing Christ’s love which is for all regardless of what religion a person practices (or doesn’t).

Infinite love… I was reading the Bible today (surprise), and it crossed my mind that God’s steadfast love is mentioned A LOT in there. His steadfast love endures forever, his steadfast love endures forever.

I’ve heard that “don’t worry” is in the Bible 365 times, and well I wonder if that’s one of those feel-good made-up things, I wonder how many times God’s steadfast love is mentioned.

His infinite, steadfast love. The kind of love we can only know through Jesus.

Paul VI really touched my heart with this declaration.

“Men expect from the various religions answers to the UNSOLVED RIDDLES of the human condition … what is man? what is the meaning, the aim of our life? what is moral good, what is sin? whence suffering and what purpose does it serve? …”

I guess I don’t think of these questions as riddles. And I don’t think of our deep thoughts as humans as a “condition.”

I know some things can get lost in translation, but unsolved riddles?

Riddles are for kids… and yet, did Jesus not say that the kingdom of heaven belongs to children? They may not have the answers to these “riddles,” but they certainly ask all the questions.

We kind of quit doing that when we grow up. The electric and water bills have to be paid, so the big… riddles get pushed aside for life.

It’s also startling that Paul VI still calls them “unsolved.” Doesn’t the Church have the answers?

Well, we have hope. Our hope is necessary for our salvation.

I know not even the Church knows everything, though she has a pretty good idea.

This is another document (like the first part of this series), that people should just read.

It’s easy to read, but still very profound.

“The Church regards with esteem also the (Muslims). The adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth …”

“God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or the calls He issues.”

It’s not a secret that the Church doesn’t have the best history with Muslims or Jews.

I think now, it’s getting better. When we really think about what Jesus asks us to do, love our neighbors, than it makes sense.

“This sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare.”

One last thought (and I should mention that my thoughts don’t reflect the order of the declaration):

“Other religions found everywhere try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing ‘ways,’ comprising teachings, rules of life and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions.”

God bless, always.

(I apologize… I am having so many issues editing the way spacing looks on my blog when the posts are published… I don’t know what to do.)



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