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CFC.chapter 03

CFC.chapter 03

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Published by: irish x on Feb 04, 2010
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CATECHISM FOR FILIPINO CATHOLICSChapter
3
Our Response: We Believe
Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, andconviction about things we do not see.
(Heb 11:1)
Faith is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord andSavior, and through him, with the Father, through the HolySpirit, a decision to commit oneself to Christ, follow him, striveto know and accept the truths he continues to teach through hisChurch.
(Cf. PCP II 64-65)
OPENING
114.
For most people,
faith
simply means “believing in God.”
Christian Faith
is believing inthe God revealed by Jesus Christ.
Catholic Christian Faith
means believing that Christreveals God to us in and through the Catholic Church, the body of Christ, united in the HolySpirit. “Believing” here means realizing that God is calling us to share His divine life
 __ 
that isHis
 pagpapakilala
to us. Faith is our personal response as “disciples of Christ” of accepting him “asLord and Savior.” “It is our ‘Please come in!’ to Christ who stands at the door and knocks
(Rv 3:20)
(PCP II 64).
But how do we come to know the way to respond to Him? What is thisresponse we call “faith”?
115.
We use “faith” today to mean different things. Sometimes it means our 
total response
to God’s revelation. “It is to know, to love, to follow Christ in the Church he founded”
(PCP II 36).
Or we can use “faith” to mean the
virtue
(believing) as distinct from hoping and loving.
Faith
in this sense means our 
 personal knowledge
of God in Christ, expressed in particular 
beliefs
in specific
truths
by which we adhere to Christ. In this chapter we take
faith
to mean
our whole life in Christ 
, but with primary focus on
 personally knowing 
Christ as our 
Truth
.The moral activity of 
love
will be the focus of Part II of this Catechism, Christ our 
Way
, whileour Christian
hope
will be developed especially in Part III, Christ our 
Life
.
CONTEXT
 
116.
The Philippines is noted for being the only Christian country in Asia. Christian Faith is one of thedistinguishing characteristics of our people. Yet today it is common to hear Filipino Catholics acknowledginghow little they know of their Christian Faith. Many admit they take their Christian Faith for granted. It enters their lives mostly through religious ceremonies attached to
family celebrations
such as baptisms, marriages,funerals, and house blessings. It is a faith of 
traditional pious practices
, and sometimes even of 
superstitions
,drawn from our Filipino social, religious, and cultural environment. Such a faith is dangerously open toproselytizing by other religious sects of all kinds, or corrupted by the attractions of worldly secularism
(cf. Mt 13:4-9, 18-23).
117.
PCP II 
describes this situation:
For most of our people today the faith is centered on the practice of rites of popular piety. Not onthe Word of God, doctrines, sacramental worship (beyond baptism and matrimony). Not oncommunity. Not on building up our world unto the image of the Kingdom. And we say it isbecause the ‘unchurched,the vast majority of our people, greatly lack knowledge of andformation in the faith
(PCP II 13).
 
Often this is called
“Folk Catholicism.” 
118.
Today many Filipino Catholics yearn for a more mature Catholic faith and prayer life.But certain divisive trends and attitudes are also widespread. Some preach Christiandoctrine in such a
fundamentalist 
way that they ignore the wider demands of Christiancharity and service. Others so stress active
ideological commitment 
to “justice and the poor”as to practically deny all value to prayer and worship. Finally, still others’ faith is marked by an
individualistic 
 
 piety 
, often accompanied by an exaggerated
bahala na
fatalism. Theseexcesses or distortions give a false picture of authentic Catholic Faith. They also show howimportant it is to understand what Catholic Faith really is, and how it should operate in our daily lives.
EXPOSITION
I. FAITH IN HUMAN RELATIONS
119.
Faith in its broadest sense is a central reality in Filipino life. It is an everyday “natural”factor in all our human relationships and daily actions. For example, in accepting the word of others, we already show our faith
(paniniwala)
in them. We readily obey the directions of those over us, at home, at work, in our communities
(pagsunod).
We even entrust ourselvesand our welfare to others: doctors, teachers, judges, civic leaders, not to mention cooks, jeepney drivers, etc. Without such basic
human
faith which includes believing acceptance,obedient action and personal entrusting, human life would be impossible.
Faith
as a humanreality, therefore,
is central to our daily lives.
120.
For Filipinos, this can be seen most clearly in our 
family life
and
friendships.
We growup, nurtured and supported by the trust, love and fidelity of our family. We mature through aprocess of forming personal friendships, first as children, then as teenagers, finally as adults.But in each case, there is a gradual revelation of our own inner self to our friend, and a freeacceptance of our friend’s self-revelation. If this friendship is to grow and mature, it mustinclude a “turning toward” the other, a conversion. We acknowledge our need and trust in theother’s friendship by listening to and identifying with our friend.
 
121.
Filipinos do all this spontaneously, naturally, but not without difficulty. Sometimes weturn away, or refuse to listen, or are rejected by the other. But genuine friendships create
mutual 
 
loving 
 
knowledge
of each other. In them we experience something that liberates usfrom our own narrowness, and opens us to fuller life and love. We realize that friendship
freely 
 
offered 
us by another, also demands our 
free
 
response.
It is a response that is never  just one act, but a long
 process
of growing intimacy with our friend. Inevitably, others amongour families and associates are eventually involved. Especially God.
II. FAITH IN GOD
122.
Faith in God is grounded in God’s own revelation through his words and deeds insalvation history. It is confirmed by the many reasons for believing that have been workedout throughout the centuries, responding to the biblical challenge: “Always be ready to givean explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope” (
1 Pt 3:15 
).
A.Characteristics of Christian Faith
Total and Absolute123.
 Already the Old Testament contrasted faith “in man in whom there is no salvationwith faithin “the Lord who made heaven and earth . . . who shall reign forever”
(cf. Ps 146:3,5-6,10; Jer 17:5-8)
. OnlyFaith in God calls for a
total 
and
absolute
adherence
(cf. CCC 150).
Christ himself provides,especially in his Passion, Death and Resurrection, the best example of this total andabsolute commitment to God.
Trinitarian124.
For us Christians,
Faith is our adherence to the Triune God revealed through JesusChrist our Lord.
It is our 
friendship with Christ and through Christ with the Father, intheir Holy Spirit.
Through Christ’s witness to his Father in his teaching, preaching, miracles,and especially in his Passion, Death and Resurrection, we come to believe in Christ our Savior, in the Father, and in the Holy Spirit sent into our hearts. Our Faith as Catholics, then,consists in our personal
conviction
 
and belief 
in God our Father, revealed by Jesus Christ,His own divine Son-made-man, and their presence to us through the Holy Spirit, in theChurch
(cf. PCP II 64; CCC 151-52).
Loving, Maturing and Missionary125.
Our Christian Faith is truly life-giving and mature only through love, for “the manwithout love has known nothing of God, for God is love”
(1 Jn 4:8).
And to be Christian,
thislove must be inseparably love of God and love of neighbor, like Christ’s.
It thus impelsus to mission, to evangelize, by bringing others the Good News
(cf. 1 Cor 9:16).
Such a
missionary spirit 
is the
test 
 
of authentic Faith
because it is unthinkable that a person shouldbelieve in Christ’s Word and Kingdom without bearing witness and proclaiming it in his turn
(cf. EN 24; PCP II 67-71, 402).
This means we are all called to share in Christ’s own three-fold mission as priest, prophet and king
(cf. PCP II 116-21; LG 10-13).
Informed and Communitarian126.
PCP II 
insists that Catholic Faith must be
“informed,” 
that is “believing Jesus’ words,and accepting his teachings, trusting that he has “the words of eternal life”
(cf. Jn 6:68;

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