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Pope Benedict XVI speaks about… FAITH

(CATECHESIS, WEDNESDAY GENERAL AUDIENCE, OCTOBER 2012—FEBRUARY 2013.)
THE YEAR OF FAITH: THE REASONABLENESS OF FAITH (1)
NOVEMBER 21, 2012

Let us proceed in this Year of Faith bearing in our hearts the hope of finding all the joy there is in believing and of rediscovering the enthusiasm of communicating the truths of the faith to all. These truths are not a simple message about God… They express the event of God’s encounter with human beings… Faith leads to the discovery that the meeting with God enhances, perfects and exalts all that is true, good and beautiful that exists in man.

Faith makes possible authentic knowledge about God which involves the whole human person… Faith is expressed in the gift of self for others, in brotherhood which creates solidarity, the ability to love, overcoming the loneliness that brings sadness. Thus this knowledge of God through faith is not only intellectual but also vital.

I would like to reflect on the reasonableness of faith in God. The Catholic Tradition, from the outset, rejected the so-called “fideism”, which is the desire to believe against reason. Credo quia absurdum (I believe because it is absurd) is not a formula that interprets the Catholic faith. Indeed God is not absurd, if anything he is a mystery. The mystery, in its turn, is not irrational but is a superabundance of sense, of meaning, of truth.

If, looking at the mystery, reason sees darkness, it is not because there is no light in the mystery, but rather because there is too much of it. Just as when humans raise their eyes to look at the sun, they are blinded; but who would say that the sun is not bright or, indeed, the fount of light? Faith permits us to look at the “sun”, God, because it is the acceptance of his revelation in history and, so to speak, the true reception of God’s mystery… At the same time, God, with his grace, illuminates reason, unfolds new horizons before it, boundless and infinite. For this reason faith is an incentive to seek always, never to stop and never to be content in the inexhaustible search for truth and reality.