42 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed
religion for the stability of society and the moral order. In fact, they
expected that faith would affect the social order.
Despite some major problems that the Church faced in this coun-
try, the Catholic faith grew and prospered here. But the early influence
of the Enlightenment in this country’s origins continues in unexpected
ways and presents troubling issues for faith. The country’s foundational
principle of religious freedom, originally meant simply to preserve the
1. Why do we say faith is both personal and communal?
Faith is a personal act—the free response of the human
person to the initiative of God who reveals himself. But
faith is not an isolated act. No one can believe alone just
as no one can live alone. You have not given yourself the
faith as you have not given yourself life. The believer has
received faith from others and should hand it on to others.
(CCC, no. 166)
2. What should we recall about the
of faith such as
those found in the creeds?
We do not believe in formulas, but in those realities they
express, which faith allows us to touch. . . . All the same
we do approach these realities with the help of formula-
tions of the faith which permit us to express the faith and
hand it on, to celebrate it in community, to assimilate and
live on it more and more. (CCC, no. 170)
3. What role does the Church play in handing on the faith?
The Church, “the pillar and [foundation] of truth,” faith-
fully guards “the faith which was once for all delivered to
the saints.” She guards the memory of Christ’s words; it
is she who from generation to generation hands on the
apostles’ confession of faith. (CCC, no. 171, citing 1 Tm
3:15; Jude 3)
FROM THE CATECHISM