Faith as God’s Gift and Our Response

Summary of Catechism paragraphs 142-165:

  • God’s Revelation, through Sacred Scripture and Tradition, does not stop there, but invites us into dialogue and evokes a response from us.
  • This response is what we call faith — a personal adherence to God, a free assent to divine Revelation, because of our trust in Him.
  • Our listening to God, our submitting to His Word, is described as the obedience of faith, a term derived from the Latin ob-audire (“to hear” or “listen to”).
  • God acts first to draw us to Himself, and offers us the gift of faith.
  •  But we have the free will to accept God’s gift of faith, or to let it slip away through negligence, or even reject it.
  •  That is why freedom of conscience is of the highest importance: God wants us to choose Him of our own accord, without compulsion.
  • Thus faith is neither a mindless acquiescence, nor an attitude in conflict with human reason.
  • Rather, faith seeks understanding, and the exercise of our intellectual gifts to explore, wrestle, and grapple with it.
  •  Our decision has eternal consequences: if we reject faith, and persist in turning away from God’s gift, we are in danger of separating ourselves from God forever.
  • At the same time, faith demands more than lip service: we must do our part to nourish our faith in a lifelong relationship with God.

Live Your Faith

This Year of Faith offers us an opportunity to re-engage with what we mean by faith. Are we subconsciously acting according to our own fuzzy idea of faith? Do we view it as merely a set of dry formulas to be memorized by rote?

Or do we truly realize that faith is a relationship of trust, wherein we believe all that God has revealed because we know Him and love Him personally? Faith is not supposed to be static, but dynamic, while informing every single aspect of our lives.