It is not always easy to believe all the time, to practice this virtue of faith. There are many things in our Catholic Faith that may rub us the wrong way on certain occasions. The Church’s teachings on contraception, the death penalty, and the indissolubility of marriage, for example, are not the ways of the world. The ways of the world, however, would be much “easier” to accept and embrace. Instead, the theological virtue of faith asks us to submit not to the world but rather to truth himself. Faith requires us to submit our entire intellect and will to the Lord, and not to the latest polls in the New York Times.
This might be one reason why the Lord blesses us with his Church, so that we would have a place where we belong, where our life is being lived in union with other people living the same way. The Church strengthens our lives of faith by reminding us of those who have lived this faith before us. The saints, the martyrs, and perhaps even members of our own families have been examples to us for living the faith. The Church brings us all together in that one act of profession of faith.
– Father James M. Sullivan, O.P.
Pope Francis has released his first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei,” the light of faith. The letter gleams with hope and reason for a world that is losing faith in many place. He calls the letter a work of “four hands,” his and those of Pope Benedict XVI, who began writing the letter before his resignation.
The PDF is available for free from the Vatican’s website.
Photo credit: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat/2013/03/pope-francis-scares-me-because-god-give-us-what-we-need.html
If we give our freedom to God we shall remain free. If we prefer anything to God we shall lose our freedom and fall into slavery of some kind. Knowing this, God forbids us to acknowledge other gods. The Bible calls this God’s jealous, because he prefers our happiness to everything else. This is why Christian faith is exclusive. There is only one God, one Lord, one Creator, one Redeemer. Throughout the Bible God asks: “Has any other god done for you what I have done?” No other god is Creator. No other god took notice of Israel in slavery and set them free. No other god became man and died to set us free from sin. We owe everything – our existence, our freedom, our hope – to God. To believe this in faith means to prefer God to all else: riches, fame, power, pleasure. To prefer him to all things is to refuse to get distracted, to cling to what gives ultimate meaning and purpose to life. In this way faith fulfills the commandment not to have other gods besides him. Even more, by faith we prefer God to life itself: His “love is better than life” (Psalm 63:4).
– Douglas Bushman