This is a crucial point in the first of Pope Francis' encyclicals, based on a sketch by Benedict XVI.
"There is an urgent need, then," Pope Francis writes in the document, "to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim. The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illu¬minating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source."
That source is Jesus Christ, because "since Christ has risen and draws us beyond death, faith is also a light coming from the future and opening before us vast horizons which guide us beyond our isolated selves towards the breadth of communion."
Taking over the former Pope's encyclical and his words, Pope Francis carried forward Benedict XVI's ambitious program of returning the Church to God.
How will this be done in a Church that suffers from the gangrene of careerism and is perhaps excessively deferential to the media? How will it be carried out without trivializing solemn occasions and liturgies?
Following the example of Saint Benedict in his cloister, Benedict XVI aimed at a new civilization, using his speeches as the building blocks of a cathedral, moving attention away from gestures and actions and focusing instead on a deeper thought and theology.
Now that the doctrinal cathedral has been built up, Pope Francis can show the light of faith to the world from the loggia of the cathedral.
In the June 12 general audience, Pope Francis said, "Let our lives together be the one light of Christ; together we will carry the light of the Gospel to the whole of reality."
This is Pope Francis' ambitious program that draws from that of Benedict: to proclaim the light of faith, and to let it illuminate the world.
The encyclical can be accessed in CNA's resource section, found here.
Andrea Gagliarducci is an Italian journalist for Catholic News Agency and Vatican analyst for ACI Stampa. He is a contributor to the National Catholic Register.