More on Faith and Unbelief

08-27-2023Weekly Reflection

To believe in or unto God, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived, is essential to the dynamism of faith. By adhering with personal faith to the Word of God, the believer consents to the supreme attraction exerted by the full and absolute Good that is the Blessed Trinity. In this sense, faith – and theology as the science of faith and wisdom – offers to all “lovers of spiritual beauty” a full-flavored foretaste of eternal joy. While assent is the principal act of faith, faith is from God moving us interiorly by grace"—though this is a movement of our will and so it is consonant with free choice. Here we broach the mystery of grace and human freedom, about which much ink has been spilled in the history of Christian theology.


Belief and Unbelief

08-20-2023Weekly Reflection

Blaise Pascal, in his famous wager, summarized in the illustration above, points out the stakes regarding belief and unbelief. St Thomas Aquinas reminds us that Faith is the perfection of human understanding. What follows are thoughts from his teachings about Faith. Sanctifying grace gives a person a share in the very life of God, Who dwells within his humanity through the power of the Holy Spirit. Life and action go together and hence God’s life becomes active in the human person through the virtues. The life of God in the Christian is meant to grow to maturity and bear fruit just as a child is meant to grow to maturity as an adult. This growth takes place through the virtues and reaches its full maturity in Heaven where the person sees God face to face. The theological virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity directly tie us to God and the first of these is Faith. Faith is the perfection of our understanding. It gives knowledge of God as He is in Himself and His activity in the world for our good. Human reason can learn some things of God on its own but it is limited. It can never, on its own, know God’s inner life.