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A New Look at the Creed View Comments
By Greg Friedman, OFM

The new English translation of the Mass, introduced last Advent, invites Catholics to take a second look at the Nicene Creed. Phrases such as “consubstantial with the Father” and “incarnate of the Virgin Mary” replace more familiar words we’ve been using for decades.

Early in Christianity our creed was born in fierce debates about what we believe. The ancient words invite our “Amen” to this faith forged by the early Church. It’s like a handshake across the centuries — “a sign of recognition and communion between believers” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 188).

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Greg Friedman, OFM, became a Franciscan in 1968 and was ordained in 1976. He has written and produced resources for faith formation, served in pastoral ministry and hosted a national Catholic radio program. He is author of five books, includingAdvent With the Saintsand Lent With the Saints, published by Franciscan Media.

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Paul Miki and Companions: Nagasaki, Japan, is familiar to Americans as the city on which the second atomic bomb was dropped, immediately killing over 37,000 people. Three and a half centuries before, 26 martyrs of Japan were crucified on a hill, now known as the Holy Mountain, overlooking Nagasaki. Among them were priests, brothers and laymen, Franciscans, Jesuits and members of the Secular Franciscan Order; there were catechists, doctors, simple artisans and servants, old men and innocent children—all united in a common faith and love for Jesus and his Church. 
<p>Brother Paul Miki, a Jesuit and a native of Japan, has become the best known among the martyrs of Japan. While hanging upon a cross, Paul Miki preached to the people gathered for the execution: “The sentence of judgment says these men came to Japan from the Philippines, but I did not come from any other country. I am a true Japanese. The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ. I certainly did teach the doctrine of Christ. I thank God it is for this reason I die. I believe that I am telling only the truth before I die. I know you believe me and I want to say to you all once again: Ask Christ to help you to become happy. I obey Christ. After Christ’s example I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.” </p><p>When missionaries returned to Japan in the 1860s, at first they found no trace of Christianity. But after establishing themselves they found that thousands of Christians lived around Nagasaki and that they had secretly preserved the faith. Beatified in 1627, the martyrs of Japan were finally canonized in 1862.</p> American Catholic Blog By way of analogy, we are taught that we all have the same sun shining on us and we all have the same rain falling on us. It is how we deal with sun and rain, how we deal with the happy and the not-so-happy things of life that causes our interior weather. Basically, we do it to ourselves.

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