Sunday, November 18, 2012

Credo: The response of Faith

"Religion shall keep and justify the heart: it shall give joy and gladness." (Si. 1-18)

Credo, I believe, is a simple definition of what is meant by Religion.  Believing what God tells us through His own revelation is answering His call to a life of faith.  It is our response to God's Word to us.  To believe and live what we believe is answering a call to a life of service of God and our neighbor.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks about the human desire for God, and the way we come to know Him.

  • The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself.  Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for. (CCC 27) 

The Second Vatican Council reminds us that the dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God.  God willed that people should come to this perfect fulfillment in eternal life - in union with Him.  We are created to be with God and we will never be truly happy, whole, or complete until we have attain full union with Him.

This yearning for God accounts for the uneasiness, lack of fulfillment, and often dissatisfaction we experience  if we try to struggle through life without Him.  Money, self-satisfaction, power, or other finite realities can be a  temporary substitute and provide us with limited happiness. But we know that all these things fail to bring true peace of mind and contentment.  The beginnings of our seeds of faith can be found in the human longing for something more....and that more is God.

The Catechism reminds us that if we seek God we can know him through our human reason.  We can know God through His creation, the physical world around us and from the human person, the voice of conscience within him.  Truth is the conformity of our minds to reality, observation, reason and revelation.

We cannot rely on our own limited human experience alone, God manifests himself clearly through His own words to us, His revelation.  We could never come to know who God is without His direct intervention.  We need God's Revelation to enlighten us about those aspects that exceed our understanding, and about the religious and moral values that will lead us to Him.  God's plan is revealed by Himself, His plan of loving goodness, formed from all eternity in Christ, for the benefit of all men.

  • The divine plan of Revelation is realized simultaneously "by deeds and words which are intrinsically bound up with each other" and shed light on each other.  It involves a specific divine pedagogy: God communicates Himself to man gradually.  He prepares him to welcome by stages the supernatural Revelation that is to culminate in the person and mission of the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. (CCC 53)
This is the beginning of our salvation, God's Revelation.  When we say "yes" to God, "I believe", we make an act of faith, a reply to His invitation to communion with Him.  He has given us a choice......what will you choose?