“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to the mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Throughout human history God has revealed Himself so that we might see Him more clearly and exercise our freedom to choose good, to choose Him.
Faith is our response to God’s love. It is a personal act. God’s Revelation of Himself, particularly in the person of Jesus Christ, is His loving invitation to us to be in a relationship. We respond- God initiates the relationship. He loves us and gives us His love.
“We love because He first loved us”
It means believing in and being a part of the Church, which is the Body of Christ on earth.
Relationship with God and with community. (10 Commandments)
Faith = Trust + Love
(we show our love in trust and obedience)
Mary trusted God in her complete “yes” response. First disciple; model of faith. In the Gospel of Luke, Mary moved with haste upon answering yes to God, her faith is a model for us.
(she brings Christ to others)
CHARACTERISTICS OF FAITH
- Faith is a grace, a supernatural gift of God. We don’t initiate, God initiates. Through the Holy Spirit we recognize the invitation and respond.
- Faith is certain. We trust God, he is trustworthy and everything he reveals is trustworthy.
- Faith seeks understanding. True faith means having a passion for always wanting a deeper and clearer understanding. Ongoing process. The more we understand, the deeper our faith.
- Faith is not opposed to science. God created both physical reality and spiritual reality, and the two can never truly conflict. Humbly we seek to see the hand of God in science and religion.
- Faith is necessary for salvation. Salvation means having our relationship with God restored. Think of the beginning, before the fall. Dependent on a truly loving relationship with Him.
- Faith is the beginning of eternal life. Through faith we deepen our relationship with God. We experience the joy and love that comes with being part of a community of believers. A preview of what heaven is like.
The word “religion” comes from the Latin religio which means to bind oneself, to constrain, or to be tied to another. As such, the virtue of religion calls us to look outside of ourselves, both upward to God, and outward to the great accumulated wisdom of our revealed faith.
True religion is ultimately a communal summons by God for people to walk with Him, not just individuals living in separate stovepipes, but in communion with others. Religion, both the word and practice, is a magnificent description of what faith really is.
This is true faith (cannot have true faith without religion).
Our personal response to God’s loving invitation to believe in him. Faith means giving yourself completely — heart, mind, and will — to a loving relationship with God.
We accept the fullness of truth, even when it is difficult because we believe it is true, right, and just. It doesn’t mean picking and choosing the things we want to believe. We believe in everything God reveals.
The Catholic Church is the original church founded by Christ after His Resurrection, is the only church with an unbroken connection with the original Apostles, and is the only church which passes on God’s Revelation, complete and unchanging.
Ecumenism (eh- cue-men-ism) Evangelization, bringing unity as Christ wanted.
CREEDS ARE STATEMENTS OF FAITH
Creed, from the Latin, Credo, means “I believe.” A creed is a brief summary of the things you believe in. The creed retells that ancient story of His love for us. We see His presence in His work among us, we see salvation and life.
I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.
(Council of Nicea 325 AD, Nicea-Constantinople Creed 381 AD)
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he decended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.