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48

Part One

IN BRIEF

176

Faith is a personal adherence of the whole man to God

who reveals himself. It involves an assent of the intel-

lect and will to the self-revelation God has made

through his deeds and words.

177

“To believe” has thus a twofold reference: to the per-

son and to the truth: to the truth, by trust in the person

who bears witness to it.

178

We must believe in no one but God: the Father, the

Son, and the Holy Spirit.

179

Faith is a supernatural gift from God. In order to

believe, man needs the interior helps of the Holy Spirit.

180

“Believing” is a human act, conscious and free, corre-

sponding to the dignity of the human person.

181

“Believing” is an ecclesial act. The Church’s faith pre-

cedes, engenders, supports, and nourishes our faith.

The Church is the mother of all believers. “No one can

have God as Father who does not have the Church as

Mother” (St. Cyprian,

De unit.

6: PL 4, 519).

182

We believe all “that which is contained in the word of

God, written or handed down, and which the Church

proposes for belief as divinely revealed” (Paul VI,

CPG,

§ 20).

183

Faith is necessary for salvation. The Lord himself af-

firms: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved;

but he who does not believe will be condemned” (

Mk

16:16).

184

“Faith is a foretaste of the knowledge that will make

us blessed in the life to come” (St. Thomas Aquinas,

Comp. theol.

1, 2).