Characteristics of Faith
YEAR OF FAITH
OCTOBER 11, 2012 TO NOVEMBER 24, 2013
(Numbers on the left margin refer to the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph numbers. All this information is from the Catechism)
153: Faith is a grace. When St. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, son of the living God, Jesus declared to him that this revelation did not come “from flesh and blood,” but from “my Father who is in heaven.” Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him.”
154: Faith is a human act. Believing is possible only by grace and the interior helps of the Holy Spirit. But it is no less true that believing is an authentically human act. Trusting in God and cleaving to the truths he has revealed are contrary neither to human freedom nor to human reason.
156: Faith and understanding: What moves us to believe is not the fact that revealed truths appear as true and intelligible in the light of our natural reason: we believe “because of the authority of God himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.”
157: Faith is certain. It is more certain than all human knowledge because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie.
158: Faith seeks understanding. It is intrinsic to faith that a believer desires to know better the One in whom he has put his faith and to understand better what He has revealed; a more penetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love.
159: Faith and science. “Thought faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself nor can truth ever contradict truth.
160. The freedom of faith. To be human, “man’s response to God by faith must be free, and …therefore nobody is to be forced to embrace the faith against his will. The act of faith is of its very nature a free act.”
161: The necessity of faith. Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. “Since ‘without faith it is impossible to please (God)’ and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life ‘but he who endures to the end.’”