Excerpts from an old catechism on the nature of faith July 1, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Grace, Interior Life, reading, sanctity, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
More specifically, our Catholic Faith, but also the virtue/grace of faith. Some somewhat random excerpts from The Catechism Explained which I think (hope) will form a cohesive whole. I will keep comments to a minimum to try to keep this post brief:
The Christian faith is the firm conviction, arrived at with the grace of God, that all that Jesus Christ taught on earth is true, as well as all that the Catholic Church teaches by the commission She has received from Him.
Christian faith is both a grace and at the same time a matter of the understanding and an act of the will.
Faith never requires us to believe anything that is contradictory to human reason. [While some things, like bodily resurrection, may be beyond our comprehension, they are not contrary to reason]
The man of good will can always find a sufficient reason for believing, a man of bad will an excuse for not believing.
It would be blasphemy to suppose that Our Lord, Who is Truth itself, could ever have, in one single instance, deceived us. Hence faith gives us a greater certainty than the evidence of our senses. Our senses can deceive us – God cannot deceive us.
We believe the teaching of the Church because Christ guides the Church to all truth through the Holy Ghost, and guards it against all error, and also because God, even up to the present day, has confirmed the truth of the teaching of the Catholic Church by miracles.
He who willfully disbelieves a single doctrine of the Catholic Church has no true faith, for he who receives some of the words of Christ and rejects others, does not really believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He guides the Catholic Church. [I almost hate to say this, but to how many bishops and priests could this statement apply?]
A faith which does not comprise all the Doctrines of the Catholic Church is no faith at all. It is like a house with no foundation. A man who believes all other Catholic Doctrines, but rejects the sinfulness of contraception, has no true faith. What insolence on the part of men to treat God like a dishonest dealer, some of whose goods they accept and others reject!……..He who willfully rejects a single Dogma sins against the whole body of doctrine of the Catholic Church and the guilt of sin is mortal. Hence no heretic, if he is so through his own fault, can make an act of faith, even in the existence of God or the divinity of Jesus Christ. [Think of how many false oaths are offered up weekly if not daily in so many parishes when the Nicene Creed is falsely recited, even by priests themselves]
God bestows the knowledge of the truth and the gift of faith chiefly on those who 1) strive after it with earnestness and perseverance, 2) live a God-fearing life, 3) pray that they may find the truth.
Many men fail to attain to the Christian Faith through pride, self-will, and an unwillingness to give up the indulgence of their passions. [I think the latter is the primary root of every heresy, especially the modern groinal ones, combined with pride]
……in the present day, God allows His Church to be oppressed and persecuted and looked down upon. Hence there is no miracle at which the proud will not scoff. God hides the secrets of His Providence from the proud, and more than this, He positively resists them (I Pet v:5).
Without faith, we can do no good works pleasing to God, or which will merit for us a reward in Heaven. Acts of kindness, etc., done from a natural motive earn a reward in this life, but not in the next. [Contra Pope Francis’ claims that works pleasing to God can emanate from those in other religions]
Faith alone is not sufficient for salvation.
It must be a living faith, that is, we must add to ti good works and must be ready to confess it openly.
A living faith is one which produces works pleasing to God. Our Lord says: “Not every one who saith to Me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doth the will of my Father Who is in Heaven” (Matt vii:21). He who has done no works of mercy will be condemned at the judgment (Matt xxv:41). Such a one is like the devils, who believe and disobey (Jas ii:19)……..Good works such as are necessary for salvation, can only be performed by one who is in possession of sanctifying grace, and loves God in his heart. Hence St. Paul says, “If I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains and have not charity, I am nothing” (I Cor xiii:2). We must also be ready to confess our faith……..Man consists of body and soul, and therefore must honor God, not only inwardly, but also outwardly. Christ promises the Kingdom of Heaven only to those who confess Him before men (Matt x:32).
And thus we see the calamity that faces us in this Christ- and Truth-hating culture. We are positively commanded to witness to all the Truth Christ has revealed before men. We simply MUST confess Him. And yet the leftist cabal demands that we NOT do so. Thus the inevitable conflict that looms ahead.
We have the blessed assurance of knowing, however, that no matter how bleak things may look at this or any other time, so long as we remain faithful to Our Lord’s commands we know how our personal stories will work out in the end. The victory has already been won for us, we simply have to persevere to insure we can share in it.
Sorry if the above is too basic, I thought it might be helpful to put some elementary Doctrine all together in one place because so many people have forgotten (or never learned) even these fundamental beliefs.