Saturday, September 18, 2010
Faith Relies On the Authority of God Who Reveals
...Not on Purely Subjective Considerations. St. Thomas and all Catholic theology shows that fideism is not the way; We believe in God Who alone makes sense of creation for us, because He is demonstrable from reason and creation itself. But doctrine, which never contradicts reason but sometimes transcends it, rests for us on the authority of God revealing.
"Faith is certain because it relies on the word of God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived; in this sense we can say that faith is clear, "free from errors" (J.C. SC 12, 3), admitting no doubt, since no one can [legitimately] doubt God's word."
Vatican I: "Every man is bound by the natural law to seek the true religion, embrace it when found, and conform his life to its principles and precepts. And it is a dogma of the Church defined by the Vatican Council that man is able by the natural light of reason to arrive at the certain knowledge of the existence of the one true God, our Creator and Lord... it is an act of the intellect commanded by the will, and ... it is a supernatural act. The act of faith then is an act of the understanding, whereby we firmly hold as true whatever God has revealed, not because of its intrinsic truth perceived by the natural light of reason, but because God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived, has revealed it. It is in itself an act of the understanding, but it requires the influence of the will which moves the intellect to assent. For many of the truths of revelation, being mysteries, are to some extent obscure. Yet, it is not a blind act, since the fact that God has spoken is not merely probable but certain. The evidences for the fact of revelation are not, however, the motive of faith; they are the grounds which render revelation credible, that is to say, they make it certain that God has spoken. And since faith is necessary for salvation, that we may comply with the duty of embracing the true Faith and persevering in it, God by His only-begotten Son has instituted the Church and has adorned it with obvious marks so that it may be known by all men as the guardian and teacher of revealed truth..." (see Conc. Vatic., De Fide, cap. 3)...
Note: That God the Creator should reveal Himself to His own creation does not overly surprise the believer, since He is the Personal God, not a mere blind force that is less personal than the crown of his creation, man. He is, rather, infinitely more personal than any creature, including man; He is supra personal. St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that God as self-subsistent existence (The "One Who Is," whose Name is "I AM," Exo 3:14; Jn 8:58) contains the full perfection and unity of existence in Himself, the first cause of all that is, except for evil which is "the absence of the Good". The Holy Trinity is the supra-personal Heart of the universe. All other religions, besides Christianity--- even Judaism and Islam which rejected the messianic Word made Flesh (Jn 1:14)--- make God into a mere force or energy, or else make Him a solitary remote god (Judaism, Islam) who stays in His High heaven while evil and suffering is born of freedom here below. But in the Cross of Jesus Christ, God, the Messiah (Isa 9:6), has come----and borne our suffering, and judged all evil as the cursed intrusion it is in a creation made "Good" (Gen 1-3). We have only now to receive this Good News of God's coming and nearness to us through His mystical body, and to re-proclaim Him to the world in a fallen time .
"God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish [on account of sin] but have everlasting Life" (Jn 3:16) All of this alone is the ontological ground of every salvific work of mercy and act and urgency of true social justice.