FAITH “Believing in God.”CHRISTIAN “Believing in the God revealed by Jesus Christ.”FAITH “Believing that Christ revealsCATHOLIC God to us in and through theCHRISTIAN Catholic Church, the body of Christ, united in the Holy Spirit.”FAITHFaith is our personal response as “disciples of Christ”of accepting him “as Lord and Savior.” “It is our‘Please come in!’ to Christ who stands at the door andknocks (Rv 3:20)” (PCP II 64).
FAITH IN HUMAN RELATIONS:•We show our faith when we accept the wordsof others. (PANINIWALA)•We show faith when we readily obey thedirections of those over us. (PAGSUNOD)•We show our faith when we entrust our welfareto others, even to strangers . (PAGTITIWALA)It is impossible to live without faith!Faith, as a human reality, is central toour lives.
FAITH IN GOD:•As our total response to God’s revelation:“It is to know, to love, to follow Christ in theChurch he founded” (PCP II 36)•As a Theological virtue: Faith is ourpersonal knowledge of God in Christ,expressed in particular beliefs in specifictruths by which we adhere to Christ.FAITH IS PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OFCHRIST, WHO IS OUR TRUTH.FAITH IS OUR WHOLE LIFE IN CHRIST.
TOTAL AND ABSOLUTEAlready the Old Testament contrasted faith“in man in whom there is no salvation” withfaith in “the Lord who made heaven andearth . . . who shall reign forever” (cf. Ps146:3,5-6,10; Jer 17:5-8). Only Faith in Godcalls for a total and absolute adherence (cf.CCC 150). Christ himself provides,especially in his Passion, Death andResurrection, the best example of this totaland absolute commitment to God.
TRINITARIANFor us Christians, Faith is our adherence to theTriune God revealed through Jesus Christ ourLord. It is our friendship with Christ and throughChrist with the Father, in their Holy Spirit. ThroughChrist’s witness to his Father in his teaching,preaching, miracles, and especially in his Passion,Death and Resurrection, we come to believe inChrist our Savior, in the Father, and in the HolySpirit sent into our hearts. Our Faith as Catholics,then, consists in our personal conviction and beliefin God our Father, revealed by Jesus Christ, Hisown divine Son-made-man, and their presence tous through the Holy Spirit, in the Church (cf. PCP II64; CCC 151-52).
LOVING, MATURING, AND MISSIONARYOur Christian Faith is truly life-giving and mature onlythrough love, for “the man without love has knownnothing of God, for God is love” (1 Jn 4:8). And to beChristian, this love must be inseparably love of Godand love of neighbor, like Christ’s. It thus impels us tomission, to evangelize, by bringing others the GoodNews (cf. 1 Cor 9:16). Such a missionary spirit is thetest of authentic Faith because it is unthinkable that aperson should believe in Christ’s Word and Kingdomwithout bearing witness and proclaiming it in his turn(cf. EN 24; PCP II 67-71, 402). This means we are allcalled to share in Christ’s own three-fold mission aspriest, prophet and king (cf. PCP II 116-21; LG 10-13).
INFORMED AND COMMUNITARIANPCP II insists that Catholic Faith must be“informed,” that is “believing Jesus’ words,and accepting his teachings, trusting that hehas “the words of eternal life” (cf. Jn 6:68;NCDP 147). It must be “communitarian” sinceit is the Church that transmits to us Christ’srevelation through Sacred Scripture and itsliving Tradition, and alone makes possible forus an adequate faith-response (cf. PCP II 65).
INCULTURATEDThis Catholic faith in God and in Jesus Christis never separated from the typical Filipinofaith in family and friends. On the one hand,we live out our faith in God precisely in ourdaily relationships with family, friends, fellowworkers, etc. On the other hand, each of theseis radically affected by our Catholic Faith inGod our Father, in Jesus Christ His onlybegotten Son, our Savior, and in their HolySpirit dwelling within us in grace. “This is howall will know you for my disciples: your lovefor one another” (Jn 13:35; cf. PCP II 72-73,162, 202-11).
We can know God as Our Father and Christ as Our Lord. “Know that we belong to God . . .MIND that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to recognize the One who is true”What can I know? (1 Jn 5:19-20). Pagkilala sa Ama, sa Anak at sa Espiritu Santo. DOCTRINE “Keep His commandments” (1 Jn 2:3), whichWILL means to “love in deed and truth and notWhat should I do? merely talk about it” (1 Jn 3:18). This demands acting on the credibility of God’s teachings in Christ as true and dependable. MORALS “Neither death nor life, neither angels norHEART principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor powers; neither height nor depthWhat can I hope for? nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God that comes WORSHIP to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39)
Faith is knowing, but not mere “head knowledge” of some abstracttruths. It is like the deep knowledge we have of our parents, or ofanyone we love dearly. Christian Faith, then, is personal knowledge ofJesus Christ as “my Lord and my God” (Jn 20:28). Christ solemnlyassures each of us: “Here I stand knocking at the door. If anyonehears me calling and opens the door, I will enter his house, and havesupper with him, and he with me” (Rv 3:20).Faith is a commitment to follow (obey) God’s will for us. This wesee exemplified in Mary’s “I am the servant of the Lord. Let it bedone to me as you say” (Lk 1:38). PCP II brings out this “doing”dimension of faith as “witnessing” through “loving service” of ourneedy neighbors. In our concrete situation, particularly urgent isthe call for: 1) deeds of justice and love; and 2) for protecting andcaring for our endangered earth’s environment (cf. PCP II 78-80).Faith is from the heart __ the loving, trusting, and hoping in the Lord thatcomes from God’s own love flooding our hearts. This trusting Faith “livesand grows through prayer and worship” __ personal heartfelt conversationwith God that is the opposite of mindless, mechanical repetition ofmemorized formulas. Genuine personal prayer and group prayer find boththeir inspirational source and summit of perfection in the Liturgy, theCatholic community’s official public Trinitarian worship of the Father,through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the Holy Spirit (cf. PCP II 74-77).
•certain enough to die for, yet a “mystery” because like love, there is always more to understand;•a free personal response to God, yet morally binding in conscience;•reasonable, yet beyond our natural ways of knowing;•an individual act of our graced reason, yet also a life-long process;•a gift of God through both Revelation and interior inspiration, yet something we do nobody can “believe” for us;•a personal individual response, yet only possible as a member of the Christian community, the Church.
Faith in Jesus Christ: • helps us to grow into adult persons who can relate to others responsibly and maturely; • liberates us from being enslaved by sin; and • opens us to deep joy and happiness in the Lord.Faith is something like the loving knowledgewe have of our family and friends. We are“sure” of their love and we try to respond tothem. Likewise, through God’s Revelation inChrist, we are absolutely sure of His love forus, and try to respond through the gift of faith.
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES ECCCE CHAPTER 3 OUR RESPONSE: WE BELIEVE
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