A God-shaped vacuum in our hearts… which can only be completely filled by God.
Trust in something or someone that goes beyond the immediate evidence of our senses. It is true of my faith that at some time in the future England will win the World Cup.
Thomas Aquinas’ argument from contingency. We come finally to some reality that exists of itself, something whose very nature it is to be. Moses and God “I am who I am” I am the one whose very nature it is to be. God is not a reality among many, not a being, but as being itself. Si comprehendis non est Deus. The Father Spitzer videos from the Magis Centre of Reason and Faith We have all experienced God - numinous momentsGod is a person and God has decided to make himself known to us. Faith is that moment of trust I accept the truth of the God who speaks. There is no other way to know a person. You make the person and object of your investigation. If God is a person he invites faith, just as another person invites you to have faith. Faith is the act of saying God I accept I trust what you reveal to me. Faith is not opposed to reason, faith goes beyond reason. Trust in a person is not irrational but it does go beyond reason.
It’s like driving at night. The headlights will only show you a short distance ahead of the car. But as you keep moving ahead the headlights will continue to show you the short distance ahead until eventually you reach your destination. You don’t insist on seeing the whole road before you move. God sees the whole road. And he wants you to trust Him to show it to you even if it is a short distance at a time. God can be seen but indirectly.
“It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” St Paul in Galatians 2:20 The value of our faith is its object: It’s not about how much faith you have, it’s about who you place it in, and our faith is in Christ Jesus.
Superstition: an ignorant and irrational belief, a deep-rooted but unfounded belief, in supernatural agency, omens, sorcery etc. Idolatory: transfer of the notion of God to anything other than God. Divination: the act or the practice of seeking to know the future or hidden things usually by magical means of prediction or conjecture. Authentic faith never involves a Sacrificium intellectus – a sacrifice of the intellect – in the Catholic tradition if you are sacrificing your intellect in any way you are not dealing with authentic faith.
Personal: A personal intimate relationship with God sustained by prayer. Communal: We are called to share our faith. To love one another. To come together as a community to worship God every Sunday. To avoid anything that would harm others. To care for the least in our society. Institutional: We belong to an organization that has existed for more than 2000 years. It is not just beautiful buildings. It was founded by Jesus Christ. He remains its head, and we it’s body. The head of the Church on earth is the Holy Father Pope Francis.
Mark 16:15 “And he said to them, “Go out into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved but the one who does not believe will be condemned.” Acts 2:38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Believing is a human act. It is conscious, free, corresponding to the dignity of the human person. Believing is an ecclesial act. Gk. Ekklesia in the NT translated as Church The Church’s faith precedes, engenders, supports and nourishes our faith. “No one can have God as father who does not have the Church as mother.” St. Cyprian. We believe all that which is contained in the word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church proposes for belief as Divinely Revealed.
2015 Faith Experience and Response - Marge Martinez (SFX-PJ-RCIA)
Last week ...
God created us to be happy with Him
forever, to share His own divine state.
Therefore He gave us a desire that draws
us to Himself, to know Him and love Him.
Only in Him will we find the truth and
happiness we are searching for.
We are called to share, by knowledge and
love, in God’s own life. It was for this end
that man was created and this is the basis
of every individual’s personal dignity.
Last week… (contd)
We have a single nature made up of body
An individual’s soul, the spiritual principle in
him, is created immortal by God not
biologically “produced” by the parents.
Of all visible creatures, only Man is made in
the image and likeness of God and is able
to know and love his Creator.
Every path to God is as unique as the
individual taking it.
FAITH: From the Greek word
“pistis”; Latin “fides”
Usually translated as “belief” or
to be of well-founded conviction; to agree with an
authority; to trust something on the basis of
probability; complete confidence in a person or
This is the meaning of faith in everyday life, usually
based on knowledge,
The absolute assent of a human being based
on inner certainty which is demonstrated in
belief and trust in and love of God as a
belief in the truth of a revealed religion.
In other words…
• Faith is knowledge and
trust …in God.
• A Christian’s faith is
relationship with God, a
faith in Christ;
• Knowing God through
• Trusting his call and his
• “Every since the
creation of the world
his eternal power
and divine nature,
invisible though they
are, have been
understood and seen
through the things he
From the Dictionary of Catholic
• The objective, revealed truth believed in (fides
The subjective, personal commitment to God
• Faith is made possible through the Holy Spirit.
• Faith is a free, reasonable and total response
through which we confess the truth about the
divine self-disclosure definitively made in Christ
(Jn. 20:31; Rom. 10:9),obediently commit
ourselves (Rom. 1:5; 16:26) and entrust our
future to God (Rom. 6:8; Heb. 11:1).
In other words,
Faith is a supernatural gift from God.
It joins the whole person to God and involves the
assent of the intellect and will.
To say “I believe” therefore has a two-fold
reference – to the person and to the truth.
To obey in faith is to submit to God and His Word.
From Sacred Scripture:
•“Faith is the
Hebrews 11 : 1
In other words…
Faith is real and substantive.
Faith is knowing that God is real and you can trust
in God’s promises. You cannot trust someone
who isn’t real, nor rely on someone whose
promises are not reliable.
This is why faith is talked about as the assurance
of things hoped for and as the conviction of
things not seen. Both words carry with them a
sense of certainty, the use of our reason and
Jesus Heals the Paralytic
• Mark 2: 1 – 12
Jesus saw their faith
and he said to the
paralytic, “Son, your
sins are forgiven.”
Jesus calms the storm
Mark 4:35 – 41
And he said to them,
“Why are you afraid?
Have you still no
Faith in our world today…
• In Jesus’ teaching
faith is necessary
for Him to be alive
in the world today.
• “God desires and
wants all men to
be saved and
come to the
knowledge of the
truth” (St Paul in
What faith is not…
Faith is not wishful thinking.
Faith is not irrational
Faith is not a leap in the dark.
It is a response to the one, real God
who has made Himself known to us and called
us into the light. “For faith comes from what is
heard, and what is heard comes through the Word
of God.” Romans 10:17
Faith is not impersonal.
Faith is not a thing that you must muster up.
Faith is a personal trust relationship with another
The Faith of a Christian
• A response in trust, hope and obedience to God’s
• Faith is a concept which makes sense of the
relationship between God and human beings on the
basis of God’s saving activity through Jesus Christ.
• Indeed, faith is not just an intellectual affirmation of
truths; faith is a verb. Faith is a graced response to
our self-revealing God.
• This goes for the faith of the church as well as for the
faith of the individual who is trying to discern a path
• Faith calls for a response.
• Faith is necessary for our salvation.
How does faith work in us?
• Faith is transformative; it
must radically affect us,
effecting changes in our
• By faith, we believe in
God and all that God has
revealed to us in Sacred
Scripture and through
the teaching and
Apostolic Tradition of the
• It is a belief in God so
deep that many have
given their lives for it.
My Lord and my God,
Take from me everything that distances me from
My Lord and my God,
Give me everything that brings me closer to you.
My Lord and my God,
May my mind know you,
My will serve you,
And my heart love you,
Sharing: Facilitators and
Sponsors share about their
• Their journey to faith.
• How their faith is growing.
• The challenges to their faith.
• Try and describe in writing what it is that you
are sure of:
• My faith in myself …………….
• My faith in others ………………..
• My faith in God ………………
Father Robert Barron
•What Christians mean by God
•On atheists and philosophy
•On what faith is and what faith isn’t
•Stephen Fry, Job and suffering
Peter Kreeft Praeger University
•On God and Suffering