What is belief?
1. It is accepting something is true on the authority of someone else.
2. Belief is not the same as understanding. We might not understand how electricity works but we believe that if we toggle the light switch, the light will come on.
3. Belief is a free act of the will. It has a basis in trust. Can we trust God? He is the author of Truth. He cannot deceive.
4. It is reasonable to believe. Faith without reason is superstition.
5. It is for everybody. You don't have to be educated or smart to have it. It is free.
6. You'll never understand everything. There is a supernatural mystery.
Paganism is trying to reach God through imagination. In Catholicism, God unveils Himself. He opens Himself to us. Jesus Christ comes down to us, becoming completely vulnerable. He suffers and dies to save us. We are fallen creatures, redeemed.
St. Augustine said, "I believe, that I might understand."
I believe in God...
We can believe in the Creator by looking at creation. It is reasonable.
Here I must recommend an amazing book by Fr. Thomas Dubay: The Evidential Power of Beauty.
Goodness points to God, the fact that we have a sense of right and wrong.
Philosophical pride--the temptation to put God into a science box.
Obstacles to faith: our own sin and that of others, that which causes scandal (ex. clergy sex abuse).
Tell me about the God you do not believe in.--when our spiritual fathers fail us.
Evelyn Waugh used to very caustic in his remarks. People asked, "How can you be Catholic?" And he'd reply, "I'd be so much worse if I weren't." That always makes me smile because whenever anybody grumbled about me, I'd say, "I could be much worse." As a recent convert, I can assure you I really was much, much worse.
Today, many have no interest in religion at all. We are surrounded by Unbelief.
Atheism on the rise. No reference to God at all. When asked, "What religion do you practice?" the answer is often, "None." Unbelief grows as more and more people are born into it. Yet, young people are hungry for what's missing and religion is being restored into their lives. And if they don't fill that hole in their heart with God, they'll fill it with something else.
It's as Augustine says, "My heart is restless until it rests in You, O Lord."
We can counter unbelief if we meditate upon the mystery of our own existence.
What does it mean to be born, to live and to die as a human being?
I love our church so much. Even the architecture points to God. Michael and I love to make a date for nocturnal Adoration. It is a peaceful and beautiful time, two hearts to Heart.
Let me close with Missa Brevis in F--I hope we get to sing it again. This is often called the Credo Mass for the many times we sing Credo Credo Credo during the Credo. I believe! I believe! I believe! Lord, help my unbelief.