And I will espouse thee to me in faith: and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.” (Osee Hosea 2:20)
This weeks Catechism essay is on Faith. This is where it all begins. “Be mindful of the analogy of Faith.- the coherence of the Truths of the faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.” (CCC#114) In today’s society, we are ever reminded of people with misplaced faith that ignores the tenet , “ according to the Sacred Scriptural is written into the heart of the Church, rather than in documents and records. “For the Church carries in her Tradition, a living memorial of God’s Word; ”….. of the Church has as authority regarding the whole sense of living Traditions, Sacred Scripture and in the heart of the Church, “according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church.” (Origen, Hom. In Lev5:5: pg12, 454D). (CCC113) Others attempting to replace the above, have undermined the truth with individual interpretations and private revelations of self, that more often than not, disregard Tradition (Christian or Hebrew ) and ignore the “whole”, testimony of God’s Word. Some professing christians prefer this “church of Self” to Christ’s Church.”
Keep in mind also, that those who profess a faith in Christ “I believe” Apostles Credo, are in fact stating, “I pledge” to ALL the truths of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, not self interpretation and private Revelations, confirming the doctrine of One. Restated: Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. (CCC#150) Not God adherence to man’s idea of faith and belief, such as false prophets, Buddah’s, or Caesars.
In this catechism discussion on Faith, City of God.Blog will touch on what we profess“I believe”, man’s response to God, obedience to faith, Adherence of Man to God, man’s cooperation with grace, and man’s freedom of faith. Our virtue in faith – We must bear witness, live it, spread it, not bury in the ground as in the parable of the rich man’s unprofitable servant did who was given 1 talent. (Mt25:14-30). Therefore, be not in “Obstinate opposition” embracing opinions contrary to the TRUTH!
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
“I BELIEVE” – “WE BELIEVE”
CCC#26 We begin our profession of faith by saying: “I believe” or “We believe”. Before expounding the Church’s faith, as confessed in the Creed, celebrated in the liturgy and lived in observance of God’s commandments and in prayer, we must first ask what “to believe” means. Faith is man’s response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself to man, at the same time bringing man a superabundant light as he searches for the ultimate meaning of his life. Thus we shall consider first that search (Chapter One), then the divine Revelation by which God comes to meet man (Chapter Two), and finally the response of faith (Chapter Three).
“He that believe in the Son, hath life everlasting; but he that believe not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abide on him.” (Jn3:36)
So do you think, that John means just believe in the Son, or is he not actually stating you must believe everything Jesus taught and did? Disobedience is the opposite of “ I Believe”. Looking at the commentary, we see St Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on St John, 80 Casciaro, John,46., means holding to the full person, fully human and fully divine. So when Jesus said I will build my Church (Mt16:18) Whose sins you forgive are forgiven. (Jn20:23), does this mean you can forgive yourself and circumvent the Church? Or is Jesus stating His Church has this authority? As the Father sent me I send you! (Jn20:21) You must accept all of what Jesus said and taught, and listen to he left behind.
If not you do NOT have faith!
RESPONSE TO GOD
CCC#142 By his Revelation, “the invisible God, from the fullness of his love, addresses men as his friends, and moves among them, in order to invite and receive them into his own company.”1 (DV 2; cf. Col 1:15; 1 Tim 1:17; Ex 33:11; Jn 15:14-15; Bar 3:38 (Vulg.). ) The adequate response to this invitation is faith.
CCC#143 By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God.2 (DV 5) With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, “the obedience of faith”.3(Cf. Rom 1:5; 16:26).
CCC#144 To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to “hear or listen to”) in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.
CCC#145 The Letter to the Hebrews, in its great eulogy of the faith of Israel’s ancestors, lays special emphasis on Abraham’s faith: “By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go.”4 (Heb 11:8; cf. Gen 12:1-4). By faith, he lived as a stranger and pilgrim in the promised land.5 (Gen 23:4 ) By faith, Sarah was given to conceive the son of the promise. And by faith Abraham offered his only son in sacrifice.6(Heb 11:17)
CCC#146 Abraham thus fulfills the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”:7 (Heb 11:1). “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”8 (Rom 4:3; cf. Gen 15:6). Because he was “strong in his faith”, Abraham became the “father of all who believe”.9 ( Rom 4:11,18; 4:20; cf. Gen 15:5).
In John’s Gospel, we see the famous Nicodemus “born again?” passage. Nicodemus Pharisee member of the Sanhedrin and was well versed in the doctrines of the Law. But his faith did not transform to his heart. John uses this figure to demonstrate that unless you have full and complete faith, in Jesus word, you are as Nicodemus, who could not understand the sense of “born again”.. As he ask how one returns of his mother’s womb? (“Nicodemus saith to him: How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born again?”(John 3:4) )
It is more than a casual coincidence, that the modern evangelicals would misunderstand even this Nicodemus image, and use this “born again” in their lack of (faith) understanding too. Jesus is speaking of things unseen (spiritual matters). Both Nicodemus and modern Evangelicals faith are lost in things that are seen. In our Creed we state “we believe in all things both seen and unseen.” Our Evangelical neighbors demand that this rebirth be seen, and later witnessed to, in their congregation. Until one admits (swears) to this, “human sense of feeling” one cannot be baptized and accepted in their new community and religion.
CCC#147 The Old Testament is rich in witnesses to this faith. The Letter to the Hebrews proclaims its eulogy of the exemplary faith of the ancestors who “received divine approval”.10 (Heb11:2, 39). Yet “God had foreseen something better for us”: the grace of believing in his Son Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith”.11 (Heb11:40; 12:2 )
I KNOW WHOM I have BELIEVED:
“but I am not ashamed. For I know whom I have believed, and I am certain that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him, against that day. (2Tim1:12)
CCC#150 Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed. As personal adherence to God and assent to his truth, Christian faith differs from our faith in any human person. It is right and just to entrust oneself wholly to God and to believe absolutely what he says. It would be futile and false to place such faith in a creature.17 (Cf. Jer 17:5-6; Ps 40:5; 146:3-4).
CCC#151 For a Christian, believing in God cannot be separated from believing in the One he sent, his “beloved Son”, in whom the Father is “well pleased”; God tells us to listen to him.18 (Mk 1:11; cf. 9:7. )The Lord himself said to his disciples: “Believe in God, believe also in me.”19 (Jn14:1) We can believe in Jesus Christ because he is himself God, the Word made flesh: “No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.”20 (Jn1:18). Because he “has seen the Father”, Jesus Christ is the only one who knows him and can reveal him.21 (Jn 6:46; cf. Mt 11:27).
CCC#152 One cannot believe in Jesus Christ without sharing in his Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals to men who Jesus is. For “no one can say “Jesus is Lord”, except by the Holy Spirit”,22 (1 Cor 12:3). who “searches everything, even the depths of God. . No one comprehends the thoughts of God, except the Spirit of God.”23 (1 Cor 2:10-11). Only God knows God completely: we believe in the Holy Spirit because he is God. The Church never ceases to proclaim her faith in one only God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.CCC#153 When St. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the 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”.24(Mt 16:17; cf. Gal 1:15; Mt 11:25). Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him. “Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and ‘makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth.'” 25 (DV 5; cf. DS 377; 3010).
CCC#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. To be sure, revealed truths can seem obscure to human reason and experience, but “the certainty that the divine light gives is greater than that which the light of natural reason gives.”31 (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II,171,5,obj.3). “Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt.”32 (John Henry Cardinal Newman, Apologia pro vita sua (London: Longman, 1878) 239.
City explains, Jesus established only One church with his twelve apostles. All the perceived troubles, complaints, one may have with Holy Mother Church matter NOT. We must hold fast as sheep to our one shepherd, one voice. Believe what His Church teaches as truth, and do not doubt. Therefore, be converted and be saved there is no other, One, I know of no other, “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.”
III ONE FAITH
CCC#172 Through the centuries, in so many languages, cultures, peoples and nations, the Church has constantly confessed this one faith, received from the one Lord, transmitted by one Baptism, and grounded in the conviction that all people have only one God and Father.58 (Cf Eph4:4-6) St. Irenaeus of Lyons, a witness of this faith, declared:
CCC#173 “Indeed, the Church, though scattered throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, having received the faith from the apostles and their disciples…. guards (this preaching and faith) with care, as dwelling in but a single house, and similarly believes as if having but one soul and a single heart, and preaches, teaches and hands on this faith with a unanimous voice, as if possessing only one mouth.”59 (St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 1,10,1-2:PG 7/1,549-552).
CCC#176 Faith is a personal adherence of the whole man to God who reveals himself. It involves an assent of the intellect and will to the self-revelation God has made through his deeds and words.
CCC#177 “To believe” has thus a twofold reference: to the person, and to the truth: to the truth, by trust in the person who bears witness to it.
CCC#181 “Believing” is an ecclesial act. The Church’s faith precedes, engenders, supports and nourishes our faith. The Church is the mother of all believers. “No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother” (St. Cyprian, De unit. 6: PL 4, 519).
City points to these paragraphs “ONE FAITH” these explicitly state that to believe requires the Church, this Catholic Church. You must be of the One FAITH, that Jesus founded on earth, handed down to the Apostles, whose creed you profess. If you are not in communion with CCC(173, 176 and 181) how then can you claim, “Faith”?, as St Thomas demands is required, and as the Church has taught through the age. for example; St Athanasius is a Church Father, Doctor of Orthodoxy, a disciple of St.Polycarp, who himself was taught by St John, the Apostle, writer of the 4th Gospel. The first line of St Athanasius Creed bears witness to this truth, “Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith.” Let us NOT sugar coat or gloss over this long held truth, as the Holy Office has professed time and again, such neglect is not Charity for your neighbor. Reluctance to witness to truth, shows a severe lack of concern for his salvation. It is this standard we will be held, not how nice your indifferntism seems to skirt around the edges, letting our brothers remain lost. Such indifferentism for others souls and your grace of faith may not go unaccounted! Jesus said, you must have faith and be baptized. Baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is of course a prerequisite, but faith is required to persevere.
In the following 4 paragraphs, the Church gives meaning to the faith with scriptures explains; why ‘Sole Fide’ is a false teaching. Salvation is not by faith alone, as cited above! We know we must persevere to the end, have faith and be baptized, we must follow the commandments of Jesus, and do the Father’s will. Sin against the divine will is not a commitment to ones whole self to God, but presumption of His mercy. When you are asked by one of these mis-instructed christians “Are you saved?” their implicit meaning “by faith alone” Tell them, I and Apostle Paul alike agree…. “I am, with fear and trembling working out my salvation.” [Philippians 2:12] or (1Cor2:3, 2Cor7:15; Eph6:5; Ps 2:11, Ps54:6;)
One too, must wonder, what Martin Luther and his followers are thinking, with ‘Sola Fide doctrine’. When we read John’s gospel chapter 6 verse 29, “Jesus answered, and said to them: This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he hath sent”. Here we have Jesus stating faith is the work of God. John makes the statements that true work as faith. God’s grace requires man’s cooperation. When we look at this in it’s entire context, we must say that, [works of faith and faith are inseparable]. Even today the Sola Fide advocates make the case; cooperation is unnecessary, but as we see in this text, once again the protestant dogma denies plain explicit reading of the gospel of John. Possibly these think John’s gospel, is another book of straw perhaps?
CCC #1813 The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being. There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity.77 (1Cor13:13)
CCC #1814 Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith “man freely commits his entire self to God.”78 (DV5) For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God’s will. “The righteous shall live by faith.” Living faith “work[s] through charity.”79 (Rom1:17;Gal5:6)
CCC #1815 The gift of faith remains in one who has not sinned against it.80 (Counsel of Trent (1547), DS1547), But “faith apart from works is dead”:81 (Jas2:26) when it is deprived of hope and love, faith does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of his Body.
CCC #1816 The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it: “All however must be prepared to confess Christ before men and to follow him along the way of the Cross, amid the persecutions which the Church never lacks.”82 (LG42;DH14) ( Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation: “So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”83 (Mt10:32-33)
Another new unrevealed teaching from todays evangelical movement; “It is finished” for them this means the redemption action is over, now a believer’s faith (as imperfect as it may be) is sufficient, Christ Cross did the work, once for all. Sin is now of little or no consequence.
But John writes, “They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us; but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of us” Doesn’t this sound like they abandoned unity of our faith (“they went out from us”?, and St John, the evangelist concludes, “these never were of us“!).
John surmises that a true believer would never leave us therefore, these were never believers. In short they DID NOT have true faith, grace from God, cooperating with man, Faith is the work of God.
“they went out from us, but they were not of us, they would no doubt have remained with us” (1Jn2:19)
They went out from Us – So WHO established your church?
Who established your Lutheran church? Martin Luther, 1517 AD
“ “ “ Methodist “ ? John Wesley, 1744 AD
“ “ “ Baptist John Smyth, 1605 AD
“ “ “ Christian Scientist Mary Eddy, 1879 AD
“ “ our Catholic Church Jesus the Christ 33 AD