FaithCatholics are encouraged
I have always felt that faith is an over-rated word. Sometimes I even wondered about the way the Pope spoke about faith, as if it were on the same plain as, for example, knowledge; as if it were something separate altogether.
It seemed to me that what The Universal Church taught was plain common sense. Everything fits into place; everything is just so right about what She teaches. Everything She teaches is so clear and simple.
So what is this need for faith?
I know that The Church teaches Truth!
So who needs faith when you simply know these Truths?
Well, I think the penny has finally dropped and I just might have come to realise that faith is indeed something special; separate.
So, now, when the Pope writes about Faith and Reason, I just might have got the light! Faith is definitely a separate thing from reason!
Many people can reason, and do so with an intellect that surpasses mine, but for some strange reason, they just do not have faith in God!
We only have to look at what is happening in The Church, where great numbers are following reasonable suggestions like that of going straight to Jesus. Why go through Mary?
to make up their own conscience
and decide their own state of grace or otherwise!
They are NOT encouraged to form their conscience on the Precepts of The Church! I have no alternative
So very many fall for this gross, evil deception. Their false reasoning affects whatever faith they might have had! Once they have succumbed to this reasoning - even if it is false reasoning, it is still reasoning - it is so very easy to base other decisions concerning matters of faith on this basis. Thus, day by day, they wander further from The Faith.
It is like verging off the northern route, going nor'-nor'-west. At first, it seems virtually the same direction but the further along the route one travels, the further away from the desired destination one goes.
Clearly, there is a difference here, in faith and reason.
Talking to a Protestant makes this very clear for his reason tells him that he is smart in going straight to Jesus, while we Catholics, strange creatures, waste our time becoming acquainted with Mary, giving her honour that could have gone to Jesus Christ!
This reasoning, sensible as it may at first appear, leads him away from the true, full Christian Faith that is only found in Catholicism!
But while faith can not be detached from faithful and true reasoning, it is more then reasoning - it is more then knowledge.
It is even a thing apart from Truth - or perhaps a companion to Truth? And I write this last sentence with some trepidation for I am one who holds Truth in adoration, for Truth is God; Truth is Christ The Lord.
This I believe. This is part of my faith.
I only say that because I, even though I be a child of Mary and a child of The Eternal Father, am so extraordinarily limited in my intellectual and reasoning power.
We are told the Truth that in the one God there are three really distinct Persons equal in all things, having only one and the same divine Nature, (Penny Catechism 18) and we clearly perceive that this is something great and that it explains how The Eternal-son became Man and still prayed to His Father in Heaven. We clearly perceive that Jesus can speak of sending The Holy Spirit upon mankind.
We can then understand why we are baptised in the Name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.
But in fact, while these seem reasonable, sensible and even common-sensical, we do not comprehend AT ALL, the complete Truth of One God and Three Persons.
We do not even BEGIN to grasp the fullness of this astonishing Truth. Not only that, but even in Heaven we will not grasp this fullness of the absolute Truth. When it comes to the final analysis, this is only possible to God Himself.
Thus I began to perceive the wondrous nature of faith, as apart from reasoning but as a divine companion to reason.
Thus do we perceive the Mystery of The Holy Trinity, and we somehow know this to be Truth even though we only glimpse the Fullness of this - and so, we arrive at faith - or faith arrives at us.
This 'somehow know' is what faith really is. And the 'somehow' is a work of God in us.
However, and I say however with some concern, because even though I be Catholic and even though I have the great Gift of Faith, I remain a pathetic creature, prey to every temptation and subservient to an inadequate intellect and false reasoning.
And yet once more - again - and not for the last time - my faith tells me in powerful terms you can not rely on your own reasoning. If you follow your conscience, created in your own inadequate likeness, you will fall in a rotting heap - even finish in hell! My faith tells me, as a simple follow-up to that simple fact, that
you can ONLY rely on your holy Mother, The Church.
I say who or what else?
This is SO simple to me, but I have come to realise that this is only a gift of faith.
It boils down to some simple things:
my own capacity to know Truth is so inadequate
as to be pathetic;
I can not turn to another individual
to discover Truth
for he is just as inadequate as I am;
then to seek Truth
in an institution
set up by God Himself.
Yes, I am able to receive Truth direct from God but again, my inadequate capacity can and will bring forth imperfect interpretations from facts revealed to me! How often has the world observed individuals who have claimed direct access to God and led people astray?
Indeed, how seldom has the world observed such a one who has NOT led people astray?
How truly sensible it is then, to look at institutions that have long existed successfully. Over many centuries, such institutions has been tried and tested daily, and their fruits have been proven digestible, and even delicious and healthy - or else they have failed. Their followers have proven, again and again, decade after decade, day after day, that