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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)