I’m not a theologian so forgive me if there are any mistakes in the following. This is a short post on the first theological Virtue, that of Faith.
Faith is the belief in the unseen, the divine, for the supernatural is invisible to us. We cannot see God, except in the Blessed Sacrament, for if we saw Him in all His glory, we would die, as the Scriptures say. What then, is divine faith? It is a supernatural virtue, whereby we assent with our intellect to the truths revealed by God, only on His authority. We accept with our minds and wills what God has revealed in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, because God has revealed them, who cannot deceive. Faith is the foundation of Christianity. Without Faith, there would be no basis for belief in the Resurrection of Our Lord, for example. We believe in an unseen event. We have faith that the eyewitnesses saw what they claimed, though we were not there ourselves to witness the truth of Christ’s Resurrection. We walk by Faith, not by sight. Remember that we do have blind faith but rather it is confirmed by miracles and prophecies, which are divine acts of God.
From the Baltimore Catechism, #3:
Q. 465. What is Faith?
A. Faith is a Divine virtue by which we firmly believe the truths which God has revealed.
We can know things through our natural reason, but supernatural things we know with our supernatural reason, through Divine Revelation. This virtue of Faith allows us to believe in the supernatural which cannot be arrived at through the natural reason alone.
Vatican I states, “The Catholic Church has always held that there is a twofold order of knowledge, and that these two orders are distinguished from one another not only in their principle but in their object; in one we know by natural reason, in the other by Divine faith; the object of the one is truth attainable by natural reason, the object of the other is mysteries hidden in God, but which we have to believe and which can only be known to us by Divine revelation.”
Some others quotes on Faith:
To be sure, life built on faith should be the fruit of religions formation. Faith, however, is not a matter of imagination or pious emotion; but, on the contrary, it is an intellectual recognition (of not a rational permeation) and a voluntary acceptance by the will; a complete development of faith is one of the most profound acts of the individual, one in which all his powers become acute.” ~St. Edith Stein
“Reason is one thing, and faith is another, and reason can as little be made a substitute for faith, as faith can be made a substitute for reason.” ~Cardinal Newman
“There is nothing more certain than our faith, nothing safer, nothing more holy, nothing that rests on firmer principles.” ~Pope Pius IX
“The beginning of a good life, to which also life eternal is owed, is correct faith. Faith, however, is believing what you do not yet see; to which faith is the reward is seeing what you believe. Let us not fail in the time for faith, therefore, as in a time for sowing, and let us not fail even to the end; but let us persevere, until we can reap what we have sown.” ~St. Augustine
“We must have this firm faith not only in some but in all the truths which God has made known, although they may be altogether incomprehensive to us. Faith will not allow of the rejection of even one; and he who should voluntarily entertain a doubt of one single article – one single point of faith – could not be said to have faith at all. We believe everything that God has revealed, precisely for this reason: that God has said it.” ~Fr. Michael Muller
“If anyone says that the assent to Christian faith is not free, but is necessarily produced by arguments of human reason; or that the grace of God is necessary only for living faith which works by charity: let him be anathema.” ~First Vatican Council
“Faith is the first link that unites us to God; for, as the apostles says, he that cometh to God, must believe (Heb. xi. 6). It brings us to God, and keeps us there. Our Savior here tells us that he who believeth is not judged: and the reason is, that he, whose faith is what our Gospel implies it to be, does not only assent to a doctrine, but he embraces it with his whole heart and mind; he believes it, because he wishes to love what he believes. Faith works, and is perfected by charity; but it is itself a foretaste of charity. Therefore does our Lord promise salvation to him that believeth. This faith meets with obstacles, because of our fallen nature. As we have just been told, light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light. In this our age, darkness is prevalent. Even false lights are seen to rise up, and mislead thousands. We repeat it: faith – that faith which brings us to God and saves us from His judgments – is now rare.” ~Fr. Gueranger
Faith is evidence of the unseen, as Scripture so clearly states: “Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.” ~Hebrews 11:1
If we have faith, we must have works as well. Works are evidence of our faith. What better work is there than to help a soul come to Faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ and naturally, His Church?
Today’s crisis in the Catholic Church has tested the faith of many. Can an institution survive attack on all sides and still stand? Yes, a divine institution can; the Catholic Church has indeed survived and continues to survive the greatest crisis in her history because the Church is of supernatural origin, guided and thriving by and through supernatural Faith that She gives to her children in this vale of tears, so that they can reach heaven, guided by belief in the unseen, Faith, to ultimately attain the fulfillment of Faith, belief in the seen, the Beatific Vision of God, where he will be seen as he is, face to face.
~Damsel of the Faith