Friday, July 23, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Faith, Reason, and Love...

Faith and reason complement each other. Faith enlightens reason, and reason helps us to explain and understand Faith. A secularist will see the two as opposed to each other. This is a misunderstanding. The Church has always used man's intellectual gifts to help us know the Faith that God has given us. Divine love is an intrinsic part of this. The knowledge and acceptance of the Faith leads to love.

On July 1, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian bishops' conference, in his homily on Blessed Antonio Rosmini (1797-1855) made a number of interesting points. He said that faith, reason, and love are the way to converse with the world today. They help to work through the difficulties that a Godless environment creates.

He said that Faith "does not take away responsibility, weights or crosses, but illumines everything with meaning and saves with mercy and with love," the prelate added.

He continued: "No one is alone anymore. God takes care of us. Every situation becomes a place of encounter and grace, is charged with eternity and the infinite, of redemption for oneself and for the world... The present takes on the hue of the future and looks at the earth with the eyes of Christ; it is filled with hope... man discovers himself not condemned to death but destined to life, not a vagabond going toward nothing but a pilgrim going toward the whole of love and happiness."

Essentially, this means that God gives meaning to life and to all that we encounter in life, even the obstacles. In denying God, the world falls into darkness and calls true what is actually false. No matter what you label error, it can never answer our questions. Only the truth can satisfy man's longings to know. An openness to the Faith brings us to a desire to understand God and Revelation and to know His love. Even in adverse situations, such as illness and pain, we have peace; we know that God loves and cares for us.

Two things are especially helpful in understanding this: prayer and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Through these means we will have an increasing appreciation of our Faith and a deeper love for God.

Fr. Stanley