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Reflections: Feed Your Faith Section

Jesus with Eucharist

Feed Your Faith | Home | Daily Digest | Reflections: A-Z | Categorized

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 Feed Your Faith Section

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Believing in God vs. Believing in His Existence

Confessing Our Faith

Faith and Humility

Faith and Prayer

Faith and Reason

Faith and the Saints

Faith and Understanding

Faith and Works

Faith, Hope, and Love

Habitual vs. Active Faith

Necessity of Faith

Necessity of Faith and Works / Not Saved by Faith Alone

Not All That Come to the Faith are Saved

Nourishing / Protecting Faith

Obligation to Believe

Obtaining Faith

Perseverance in Unbelief

Test of Faith

What Faith Is

Willing Belief

Misc.

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Category
Quotation

Believing in God vs. Believing in His Existence

Also See: God (Topic Page)

"Make a note of the difference there is in believing in the existence of God and believing in him." (St. John Vianney)

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Confessing Our Faith

"[I]t is not necessary for salvation to confess one's faith at all times and in all places, but in certain places and at certain times, when, namely, by omitting to do so, we would deprive God of due honor, or our neighbor of a service that we ought to render him: for instance, if a man, on being asked about his faith, were to remain silent, so as to make people believe either that he is without faith, or that the faith is false, or so as to turn others away from the faith; for in such cases as these, confession of faith is necessary for salvation... The end of faith, even as of the other virtues, must be referred to the end of charity, which is the love of God and our neighbor. Consequently when God's honor and our neighbor's good demand, man should not be contented with being united by faith to God's truth, but ought to confess his faith outwardly... In cases of necessity where faith is in danger, every one is bound to proclaim his faith to others, either to give good example and encouragement to the rest of the faithful, or to check the attacks of unbelievers: but at other times it is not the duty of all the faithful to instruct others in the faith...There is nothing commendable in making a public confession of one's faith, if it causes a disturbance among unbelievers, without any profit either to the faith or to the faithful. Hence Our Lord said (Mt. 7:6): 'Give not that which is holy to dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine ... lest turning upon you, they tear you.' Yet, if there is hope of profit to the faith, or if there be urgency, a man should disregard the disturbance of unbelievers, and confess his faith in public. Hence it is written (Mt. 15:12) that when the disciples had said to Our Lord that 'the Pharisee, when they heard this word, were scandalized,' He answered: 'Let them alone, they are blind, and leaders of the blind.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

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Faith and Humility

"Whoever will proudly dispute and contradict will always stand outside the door. Christ, the master of humility, manifests His truth only to the humble and hides Himself from the proud." (St. Vincent Ferrer)

"[F]aith is not a gift of the proud but of the humble" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church) 

"...faith has no other obstacle than [pride]. If man were humble, he would have faith enough to move mountains." (Gueranger)

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Faith and Prayer 

Also See: Catholic Prayers (Topic Page)

"Faith furnishes prayer with wings, without which it cannot soar to heaven." (St. John Climacus)

"...when faith fails, prayer dies. In order to pray then, we must have faith, and that our faith fail not, we must pray. Faith pours forth prayer, and the pouring forth of the heart in prayer gives steadfastness to faith." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Prayers / Devotions (Reflections)

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Faith and Reason

"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)

"What is more against reason than to attempt, using reason, to transcend reason itself? And what is more against faith than to be unwilling to believe what reason cannot attain?" (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

"You must give up human understanding if you want to reach the goal, because the truth is known by not knowing." (Bl. Henry Suso)

"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)

"So, then, [the Church] goes forward to victory. 'First use your reason,' she cries to the world, 'to see whether I be not Divine! Then, impelled by Reason and aided by Grace, rise to Faith. Then once more call up your Reason, to verify and understand those mysteries which you accept as true. And so, little by little, vistas of truth will open about you and doctrines glows with an undreamed-of light. So Faith will be interpreted by Reason and Reason hold up the hands of Faith, until you come indeed to the unveiled vision of the Truth whose feet already you grasp in love and adoration; until you see, face to face in Heaven, Him Who is at once the giver of Reason and the Author of Faith'." (Benson)

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Faith and the Saints

Also See: Saints (Topic Page)

"If we possessed a real penetrating faith like the saints we should see our Lord like they did." (St. John Vianney)

Also See: Saints (Reflections)

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Faith and Understanding

"Faith opens the door to understanding, unbelief closes it." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"[St.] Augustine says (Tractatus 27 in Joannis) that by faith we arrive at knowledge, and not conversely." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[U]nderstanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou may understand." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"In many respects faith perceives the invisible things of God in a higher way than natural reason does in proceeding to God from His creatures. Hence it is written (Eccl. 3:23): 'Many things are shown to thee above the understandings of man.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

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Faith and Works

"[A] firm and living faith is one which, day by day, is expressed in acts of humility, prayer, and sacrifice." (Pope Pius XII)

"It belongs to faith not only that the heart should believe, but also that external words and deeds should bear witness to the inward faith, for confession is an act of faith." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"You do right when you offer faith to God; you do right when you offer works. But if you separate the two, then you do wrong. For faith without works is dead; and lack of charity in action murders faith, just as Cain murdered Abel, so that God cannot respect your offering." (St. Bernard)

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,' but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,' and he was called 'the friend of God.' See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." (St. James, Jms. 2:14-26)

Also See: Deeds / Works (Scripture) | Tough Love in the New Testament

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Faith, Hope, and Love

"There is no love without hope, no hope without love, and neither love nor hope without faith." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Faith is the basis and foundation of all the other virtues, but particularly of hope and of charity." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"My children, the three acts of faith, hope, and charity contain all the happiness of man upon earth." (St. John Vianney)

"Certainly there can be faith without love, but such faith can profit nothing." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"[T]he will cannot tend to God with perfect love, unless the intellect possesses right faith about Him." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[F]aith, hope, and love…everything else can be taken from you against your will by an enemy; but this cannot be taken from you unless you are willing. Everything else perishes, even against your will. You will to have gold; and gold perishes. You will to have a home; and your home perishes. But no one's faith perishes unless he spurns it." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"To be a foundation a thing requires not only to come first, but also to be connected with the other parts of the building: since the building would not be founded on it unless the other parts adhered to it. Now the connecting bond of the spiritual edifice is charity, according to Colossians 3:14: 'Above all... things have charity which is the bond of perfection.' Consequently faith without charity cannot be the foundation: and yet it does not follow that charity precedes faith." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Topical Scripture (Faith) | Topical Scripture (Hope) | Topical Scripture (Love)

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Habitual vs. Active Faith

"Many people have faith, but a faith which is habitual rather than active, like a sword buried in its scabbard." (Ven. Mary of Agreda)

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Necessity of Faith

"[W]e have need of faith, the mother of all good, the medicine of salvation, in order to obtain any real good. They who endeavor without it, are like men who venture on the sea without a boat, and, being able to swim only a little way, are drowned." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

Since, then, without faith it is impossible to please God and reach the fellowship of his sons and daughters, it follows that no one can ever achieve justification without it, neither can anyone attain eternal life unless he or she perseveres in it to the end." (First Vatican Council)

"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mk. 16:16)

Also See: Necessity of Being Catholic for Salvation (Reflections) | Tough Love in the New Testament | Necessity of Faith and Works / Not Saved by Faith Alone (Reflections) | Non-Catholics Section (apologetics)

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Necessity of Faith and Works / Not Saved by Faith Alone

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,' but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,' and he was called 'the friend of God.' See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." (St. James, Jms. 2:14-26)

"You do right when you offer faith to God; you do right when you offer works. But if you separate the two, then you do wrong. For faith without works is dead; and lack of charity in action murders faith, just as Cain murdered Abel, so that God cannot respect your offering." (St. Bernard)

"...though faith is the first essential of a Christian, yet without works it is a dead faith, and will not save us (Jms. 2:26)." (Gueranger)

Also See: Deeds / Works (Scripture) | Tough Love in the New Testament | Non-Catholics Section (apologetics)

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Not All That Come to the Faith are Saved 

Also See: Heaven / Salvation (Topic Page)

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 7:21)

"There be very many come to the faith, yet but few arrive at the heavenly kingdom; many follow God in words, but shun Him in their lives. Whereof spring two things to be thought upon. The first, that none should presume ought concerning himself; for though he be called to the faith, he knows not whether he shall be chosen to the kingdom. Secondly, that none should despair of his neighbor, even though he see him lying in vices; because he knows not the riches of the Divine mercy." (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Doctor of the Church) 

"How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 7:14) 

"Many are invited, but few are chosen." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 22:14)

Also See:  Tough Love in the New Testament | Catholic Basics

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Nourishing / Protecting Faith

"[N]othing is more fitted for the nourishment of divine faith than the pious habit of prayer" (Pope Leo XIII, "Exeunte Iam Anno", 1888)

"Do you know that often a root has split a rock when allowed to remain in it? Give no place to the seed of evil, seeing that it will break up your faith." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church)

"The mother of faith is hard work and an upright heart; the one builds belief, the other makes it endure." (St. John Climacus)

"When men are slow to do good, they fast lose both faith and grace." (St. Thomas More)

"The masters of the spiritual life state that the study of the sacred sciences, provided they be imparted in the right way and according to correct systems, is a most efficacious help in preserving and nourishing the spirit of faith, checking the passions, and maintaining the soul united to God." (Pope Pius XII, "Menti Nostrae", 1950)

"[M]en have become possessed with so arrogant a sense of their own powers as already to consider themselves able to banish from social life the authority and empire of God. Led away by this delusion, they make over to human nature the dominion of which they think God has been despoiled; from nature, they maintain, we must seek the principle and rule of all truth; from nature, they aver, alone spring, and to it should be referred, all the duties that religious feeling prompts. Hence, they deny all revelation from on high, and all fealty due to the Christian teaching of morals as well as all obedience to the Church, and they go so far as to deny her power of making laws and exercising every other kind of right, even disallowing the Church any place among the civil institutions of the commonweal... Under such evil circumstances therefore, each one is bound in conscience to watch over himself, taking all means possible to preserve the faith inviolate in the depths of his soul, avoiding all risks, and arming himself on all occasions, especially against the various specious sophisms rife among non-believers. In order to safeguard this virtue of faith in its integrity, We declare it to be very profitable and consistent with the requirements of the time, that each one, according to the measure of his capacity and intelligence, should make a deep study of Christian doctrine, and imbue his mind with as perfect a knowledge as may be of those matters that are interwoven with religion and lie within the range of reason. And as it is necessary that faith should not only abide untarnished in the soul, but should grow with ever painstaking increase, the suppliant and humble entreaty of the apostles ought constantly to be addressed to God: 'Increase our faith.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890)

Also See: Topical Scripture (Perseverance) | Catholic Basics | Prayers / Devotions Section

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Obligation to Believe

"Just as taking a vow is a matter of will, and keeping a vow, a matter of obligation, so acceptance of the faith is a matter of the will, whereas keeping the faith, when once one has received it, is a matter of obligation." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"After grace had been revealed, both learned and simple folk are bound to explicit faith in the mysteries of Christ, chiefly as regards those which are observed throughout the Church, and publicly proclaimed, such as the articles which refer to the Incarnation" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Therefore, as regards the primary points or articles of faith, man is bound to believe them, just as he is bound to have faith; but as to other points of faith, man is not bound to believe them explicitly, but only implicitly, or to be ready to believe them, in so far as he is prepared to believe whatever is contained in the Divine Scriptures. Then alone is he bound to believe such things explicitly, when it is clear to him that they are contained in the doctrine of faith." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Necessity of Faith (Reflections) | Necessity of Being Catholic for Salvation (Reflections) | Tough Love in the New Testament | Necessity of Faith and Works / Not Saved by Faith Alone (Reflections) | Non-Catholics Section (apologetics)

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Obtaining Faith

"If you set out to meet God, he will come to meet you." (St. John Vianney)

"Those who lack the faith are to recommended particularly to Mary as a means to finding Christ, the Son of God." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"It is faith we want. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart. If you say to our Lord sincerely, like the blind man in Jericho: 'O Lord, make me to see!', you will certainly obtain what you desire." (St. John Vianney)

"God always gives sufficient grace to whoever is willing to receive it. This is an established truth and all theologians are in agreement with it." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"If you wish to convert anyone to the fullness of the knowledge of Our Lord and of His Mystical Body, then teach him the Rosary. One of two things will happen. Either he will stop saying the Rosary - or he will get the gift of faith." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"[C]ertain virtues may be said to precede faith accidentally, in so far as they remove obstacles to belief. Thus fortitude removes the inordinate fear that hinders faith; humility removes pride, whereby a man refuses to submit himself to the truth of faith." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

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Perseverance in Unbelief

"Just as faith is the origin of the virtues, so the basis of the vices is to persevere in unbelief, as the Lord attests in a terrifying way when he says, 'But the one who does not believe is already judged, because he does not believe in the name of the only-begotten Son of God' (Jn. 3:18)." (St. Bede the Venerable, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Topical Scripture (Disbelief / Unbelief)

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Test of Faith

"Since gold and silver, which are only corruptible metals, are purified and tested by fire, it is but reasonable that our faith, which surpasses all the riches of the world, should be tried." (St. Peter Claver)

"[Faith] grows brighter and stronger under trial." (Liturgical Year)

"He is hidden from our eyes under the humility of his Sacrament, to try our faith" (St. John Vianney)

"We must neither doubt nor hesitate with respect to the words of the Lord; rather, we must be fully persuaded that every word of God is true and possible, even if our nature should rebel against the idea - for in this lies the test of faith." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

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What Faith Is

"Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not." (St. Paul, Heb. 11:1)

"[F]aith is a habit of the mind, whereby eternal life is begun in us, making the intellect assent to what is non-apparent." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[F]aith is a virtue whereby we believe what we do not see" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Faith is the first bond which unites us to God. It is faith that gives us to know Him, and reveals to us the object of our hope and of our love. Our faith should be dearer to us than our life, and we should be ever praying for its increase." (Liturgical Year)

"[F]aith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation, and the root of all Justification; without which it is impossible to please God, and to come unto the fellowship of His sons" (Council of Trent)

Also See: Catholic Basics

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Willing Belief

"A person can do other things against his will, but belief is possible only in one who is willing." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"You can force a man to enter a church, to approach the altar, to receive the Sacrament; but you cannot force him to believe." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

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Misc.

"[F]aith is the most precious possession of the just." (Liturgical Year)

"He that cometh to God, must believe that He is, and is a rewarder to them that seek Him." (St. Paul, Heb. 11:6)

"[I]f faith be lost, all is lost." (Liturgical Year)

"There is nothing more certain than our faith, nothing safer, nothing more holy, nothing that rests on firmer principles." (Pope Pius IX)

"Christians will learn...that they cannot grow in virtue without first increasing their faith and knowledge and of the mysteries of the Incarnate Word." (Gueranger)

"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, Doctor of the Church)

"We call firm faith: an absolute faith, without reservations or reticence, a faith which does not falter before the ultimate consequences of truth, which does not draw back from its most rigorous applications. Do not let yourselves be deceived, like so many others, after thousands of disastrous experiences, with the empty hope of winning over the adversary by walking in his wake and taking him as your model." (Pope Pius XII)

"I may love by halves, I may obey by halves; I cannot believe by halves: either I have faith, or I have it not." (Cardinal Newman)

"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." (Muller)

"No one is a martyr for a conclusion; no one is a martyr for an opinion; it is faith that makes martyrs." (Cardinal Newman)

"[T]o believe is meritorious." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"...there is no richer man than he who has the faith." (Liturgical Year)

"For we find far more men who would rather believe well than do well." (St. Thomas More)

"The believer has sufficient motive for believing, for he is moved by the authority of Divine teaching confirmed by miracles, and, what is more, by the inward instinct of the Divine invitation: hence he does not believe lightly." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"If anyone says that divine revelation cannot be made credible by external signs, and that therefore men and women ought to be moved to faith only by each one's internal experience or private inspiration: let him be anathema." (First Vatican Council)

"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)

"If anyone says that divine faith is not to be distinguished from natural knowledge about God and moral matters, and consequently that for divine faith it is not required that revealed truth should be believed because of the authority of God who reveals it: let him be anathema." (First Vatican Council)

"Faith, however, is increased and strengthened not only by making acts of faith, but particularly by praying for its increase and strength. Jesus Christ has promised every grace to prayer, and we give him the greatest pleasure when we ask of him the inestimable gift of a lively faith. We may rest assured that he will hear our prayer for the increase of faith, for he is more desirous to bestow this gift upon us than we are to receive it." (Muller)

"Whatever is in opposition to faith, whether it consist in a man's thoughts, or in outward persecution, increases the merit of faith, in so far as the will is shown to be more prompt and firm in believing. Hence the martyrs had more merit of faith, through not renouncing faith on account of persecution; and even the wise have greater merit of faith, through not renouncing their faith on account of the reasons brought forward by philosophers or heretics in opposition to faith. On the other hand things that are favorable to faith, do not always diminish the promptness of the will to believe, and therefore they do not always diminish the merit of faith." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Obedience is twofold: for sometimes it denotes the inclination of the will to fulfill God's commandments. In this way it is not a special virtue, but is a general condition of every virtue; since all acts of virtue come under the precepts of the Divine law...and thus it is requisite for faith. In another way, obedience denotes an inclination to fulfill the commandments considered as a duty. In this way it is a special virtue, and a part of justice: for a man does his duty by his superior when he obeys him: and thus obedience follows faith, whereby man knows that God is his superior, Whom he must obey." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[M]an's ultimate happiness consists in a supernatural vision of God: to which vision man cannot attain unless he be taught by God, according to John 6:45: 'Every one that hath heard of the Father and hath learned cometh to Me.' Now man acquires a share of this learning, not indeed all at once, but by little and little, according to the mode of his nature: and every one who learns thus must needs believe, in order that he may acquire science in a perfect degree; thus also the Philosopher remarks (De Sophisticis Elenchis i,2) that 'it behooves a learner to believe.' Hence in order that a man arrive at the perfect vision of heavenly happiness, he must first of all believe God, as a disciple believes the master who is teaching him." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Since human beings are totally dependent on God as their Creator and Lord, and created reason is completely subject to uncreated truth, we are obliged to yield to God the revealer full submission of intellect and will by faith. This faith, which is the beginning of human salvation, the Catholic Church professes to be a supernatural virtue, by means of which, with the grace of God inspiring and assisting us, we believe to be true what He has revealed, not because we perceive its intrinsic truth by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God himself, who makes the revelation and can neither deceive nor be deceived. Faith, declares the Apostle, is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Nevertheless, in order that the submission of our faith should be in accordance with reason, it was God's will that there should be linked to the internal assistance of the Holy Spirit external indications of his revelation, that is to say divine acts, and first and foremost miracles and prophecies, which clearly demonstrating as they do the omnipotence and infinite knowledge of God, are the most certain signs of revelation and are suited to the understanding of all. Hence Moses and the prophets, and especially Christ our Lord himself, worked many absolutely clear miracles and delivered prophecies; while of the apostles we read: And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Again it is written: We have the prophetic word made more sure; you will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place. Now, although the assent of faith is by no means a blind movement of the mind, yet no one can accept the gospel preaching in the way that is necessary for achieving salvation without the inspiration and illumination of the Holy Spirit, who gives to all facility in accepting and believing the truth. And so faith in itself, even though it may not work through charity, is a gift of God, and its operation is a work belonging to the order of salvation, in that a person yields true obedience to God himself when he accepts and collaborates with his grace which he could have rejected. Wherefore, by divine and Catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in scripture and tradition, and which are proposed by the Church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium. Since, then, without faith it is impossible to please God and reach the fellowship of his sons and daughters, it follows that no one can ever achieve justification without it, neither can anyone attain eternal life unless he or she perseveres in it to the end." (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." (Gueranger)

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