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Faith: Our Capacity For God
Transcript of Faith: Our Capacity For God
God's revelation unfolded gradually throughout history
Covenant with Noah
God reveals his name to Moses, "I Am Who Am."
Prophets foretell the coming of Christ Bring About The Obedience Of Faith God makes himself known to us through Revelation in order both give us something and to draw a response from us. Both this gift of God and our response to his Revelation is called faith.
By faith we are able to give our minds and hearts to God, to trust in his will, and to follow the direction he gives us.
Faith As The Human's Response to God's Revelation
In all of us there is a longing to know God. Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? Why do I need to struggle to achieve my goals? What is it so hard to love and be loved? What is the meaning of sickness, death, and evil? What will happen after death? Why? “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God.” CCC 27 God has planted in every human heart the hunger and longing for the infinite, for nothing less than God. "Our heart is restless until it rests in you.” -St. Augustine, 5th century theologian How is our quest for God awakened? God first pursues us: this spurs us to search for him for whom we were made. God is discovered both in creation and in the human person. The Human Person The beauty, order, harmony, and purposefulness of creation point to an intelligent Creator. "Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made." -Romans 1:20 We are people who seek to know the truth and experience goodness. Moral goodness appeals to us; we possess freedom and desire to maintain it; we long for absolute happiness and fulfillment. The voice of our conscience speaks to us.
These things make us aware of our souls and spiritual nature. These are the seeds of eternity within us that have their origins only in God. "I praise you, so wonderfully you made me." -Psalm 139:14 Summary God has planted in every human heart the hunger and longing for the infinite--for nothing less than himself.
Only in God will we find the truth, peace, and happiness for which we never stop searching. Created in God's image, we are called to know and love the Lord.
By our openness to goodness and truth, our experience, our sense of moral goodness, our listening to the voice of conscience, and our desire for happiness, we can discern our spiritual soul and can come to see that this could only have its origin in God.
God can be known with certainty from his works in creation and from the spiritual nature of the human person by light of natural reason, although there are many difficulties in coming to this knowledge because of humanity's historical and sinful condition.
We can speak of God even if our limited language cannot exhaust the mystery of who he is.
While we can come to know something about God by our natural power of reason, there is a deeper knowledge of God that comes to us through Divine Revelation. "You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you; now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burn for your peace.” - St. Augustine Discussion Questions How has a longing or desire for "something more" appeared in your life? How have you addressed it? What has fulfilled your longings? What has not fulfilled them? "By natural reason man can know God with certainty, on the basis of his works. But there is another order of knowledge, which man cannot possibly arrive at by his own powers: the order of divine revelation." -First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, no. 1870 Revelation enables us to learn about God’s inner life and his loving plan to save us from sin and share in his divine life. No amount of unaided thinking could penetrate such a mystery. God freely chose to share this hidden mystery with us. Revelation is the self-disclosure of the living God. It bridges the gulf between God and the human race.
God’s sharing was an act of friendship for us, revealing himself as one reveals his or her heart to a friend. Love does such things. By revealing himself, God wishes to make men and women capable of responding to him, and of knowing him, and of loving him far beyond their own natural capacity. God desires to have an intimate relationship with all people. Jesus Christ The culmination and fulfillment of Revelation is Christ. Revelation is complete with Christ--there will be no new Revelation. "In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son." -Hebrews 1:1-2 Summary Revelation is the self-disclosure of the living God and his plan to save us. Revelation shows us that God desires to have an intimate and loving relationship with everyone.
The process of Revelation took centuries to unfold. God gradually communicated the divine mystery by words and deeds.
From the beginning, God established a personal relationship with our first parents. After the Fall, he encouraged them with the hope of Salvation by promising them Redemption.
God's Revelation resulted in a relationship with people that is called a covenant in Scripture. Scripture tells us that God entered into a covenant with Noah and all living beings.
Revelation is an act by which God speaks to and forms a covenant people beginning with Abraham. He then chose Moses through whom the divine law was given to the covenant people.
Through the prophets God prepared the covenant people to look forward to the coming of the Messiah who would bring the salvation destined for all people.
Revelation reached its fullness in God's Son, Jesus Christ. The Son is the Father's definitive Word. No new public revelation will occur before the final, glorious manifestation of Jesus Christ.
God's Revelation is transmitted to us by Apostolic Tradition and Scripture. "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." -Luke 1:38 What Is Faith? Faith is a personal and communal relationship.
Faith seeks understanding and is a friend of reason.
Faith is necessary for salvation.
Faith is a gift of grace.
Faith is a free, human act.
Faith believes with conviction in a message. Creeds "We do not believe in formulas, but in those realities they express, which faith allows us to touch...All the same we do approach these realities with the help of formulations of the faith which permit us to express the faith and hand it on to celebrate it in community, to assimilate and live on it more and more." -Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 170 The Apostles' Creed Nicene Creed I believe in one God, the Father almighty, of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen. Summary Faith is a gift from God. He not only enters a relationship with us but also gives us the grace or help to respond in faith.
In faith we surrender our whole being to God who has revealed himself to us. This involves the assent of the intellect and will to the Revelation that God has made in words and deeds.
By faith, we enter a relationship of trust in God as well as belief in the message of truth that he has revealed.
Faith is a free conscious, human act. Faith is a way of knowing just as reason is, though it is different from reason. Faith involves the whole of the human being. Aided by the Holy Spirit we exercise faith in a manner that corresponds to our human dignity.
Faith is a supremely personal act: "I believe." It is also communal, occurring within the life and worship of the Church. In the assembly of believers at Mass, as we join together in the Profession of Faith (the Creed), we experience ourselves as the Body of Christ.
By faith we believe with conviction in all that is contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, which the Church proposes for belief as divinely revealed.
Faith is necessary for salvation. "Believing in Jesus Christ and the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 161).
We have two forms of the Creed that we use for prayer and worship: the Apostles' Creed, the ancient baptismal Creed of the Church of Rome; the Nicene Creed, from the first two Ecumenical Councils--Nicea in 325 and Constantinople in 381.
A Creed is a brief normative summary statement or profession of Christian faith. Creeds are also called Symbols of Faith.