In today’s gospel reading from Luke 18:35-43, Jesus tells the beggar who was healed from his blindness, “...your faith has saved you.”(vs 42). Faith, not belief! So what is the difference?
Essentially, Faith is total acceptance of, and obedience to, what God has revealed to us through Jesus Christ. Although there is a personal choice of whether or not to embrace this, the package is not negotiable.
The obedience of faith implies acceptance of the truth of Christ’s revelation, guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself: Faith is, first of all, a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed. Pope Benedict XVI, Dominus Iesus, 7
Belief, on the other hand, allows us to pick and choose what suits us. This is what distinguishes Catholicism from most other Christian denominations. Whereas the numerous Christian churches each have their own slant or direction based primarily on bible teaching, the Catholic Church embraces all of the teachings and traditions of Christianity from the time of Christ until now.
Sadly, some practising Catholics do not see the distinction. They might say, “I am a Catholic but I don’t accept some of its teachings.” That is belief, not faith. We can rationalise belief but Faith sometimes exceeds our understanding. Nevertheless, greater knowledge, which is often lacking, will only enhance the growth of actual faith.
In closing, it has often been said that even the devil believes in God. He just doesn’t love him! We need to always enrich our faith and love of God. The other alternative is just too horrible to contemplate.
God bless and please stay safe.
Dc Mike & the team.
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