People Often Ask WHAT IS FAITH?

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by Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox

First of all, it is a supernatural (theological) virtue that is a gift we receive from God when we are baptized, alone with the other theological virtues Hope and Charity. “The object of this faith is truth about God and the things that pertain to God. The object of faith is not something seen or sensed; nor, in itself, is this object grasped by the intellect.” (Tour of the Summa)

Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, OP, in a paper he wrote on the Holy Eucharist said, “The temptation to consider that the word is greater than the Eucharist is a consequence of a certain intellectualism which is not sufficiently able to be overcome by faith. In a supernatural point of view, we love more to understand than to believe; whereas, we should love more to believe than to understand.”

In other words, there are times when we must surrender our intelligence in order to believe. Remember, it is to Almighty God that we are surrendering our intelligence. We are surrendering our human gift of intelligence so that we can better receive His divine gift of Faith. We surrender our intelligence to the truths that God has revealed and we do not understand. As we profess in the Act of Faith, “I believe in these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic teaches because you have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.”

It is for this reason that we profess the Creed together as a faith community. It is important to be aware of the fundamental truths that bind us together as Christians.

“The internal act of faith is the unhesitant assent of the mind or intellect, under the direction of the will, to the truth that is proposed for belief upon sufficient authority. In the case of religious faith, the authority is God, who is truth itself.” (Tour of the Summa)

Our external act of faith is not only the Creed we profess out loud, but also the way we live. St. James tells us, “Be assured, then that faith with out works is as dead as a body without breath.” James 3:26

If our Faith does not influence our decisions it is dead. If our faith does not inspire us to pray everyday and to worship God it is dead.

For this reason we have chosen a slogan we often use, “Faith is a gift, believing is a choice!”

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