Although Catholic Christians the world over recite–more or less mindlessly–the Nicene Creed each Sunday, there are literally dozens of new creeds being written around the world that reflect the individual needs and affirmations of the local communities. Here is one that speaks profoundly to my heart:
WE BELIEVE in God our Father, who has made us free and who accompanies us in the continuing struggle for liberation.
WE BELIEVE in Christ, crucified again and again in the suffering of the poor–a suffering that is capable of awakening our consciences–and a suffering that necessarily leads to resurrection.
WE BELIEVE in that power of the Spirit, capable of provoking a radical generosity, that still leads some of us to martyrdom.
WE BELIEVE in the Church, because it has been convoked by Jesus and his Spirit, and because, in our coming together, Jesus is with us, as is our mother Mary, that woman so faithful to God.
WE BELIEVE in the Christian community as the place where we can realize the Christian ideal and from which we can proclaim that ideal with all its power and truth.
WE BELIEVE in and are building a Church where together we reflect on our situation, share our lives and our earthly goods with each other, lead a life enriched by prayer and sacraments and are inspired by the prophetic mission of Jesus. As such, we make present the Reign of God on earth.
WE BELIEVE we must love each other but must also fraternally correct one another, accepting each other’s flaws and weaknesses in our efforts to make our conversion process a reality.
WE BELIEVE that the marginalized, the persecuted, the victims of hate and discrimination, the illiterate and the sick among us are the poor of whom the Gospel speaks as the preferred companions of Jesus. It is through their eyes that Jesus challenges us to view our world and to work for justice and peace.
WE ALSO BELIEVE that the face of Christ is present in our sisters and brothers enslaved by their narrow vision and their prideful judging of others. We pray for their conversion and commit to loving them even though they may attempt to slander, persecute and harm us. We commit ourselves to finding ways of helping them so that one day they, too, will be included among God’s humble people.
–Adapted from the 3rd General Council of Central American Bishops, December 12, 1984.