In this year of Faith, it is a good idea to take a new look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church to renew and deepen our understanding of the truths we live by.
In the very first paragraph of Part One of Section One the Catechism poses a leading challenge: "we must first ask what ‘to believe’ means." This can lead to days and weeks of musing on the topic.
We believe that the red stop light will turn green when it will be safe to go forward. I don’t understand how it works, but I know that it does work.
We believe in electricity. I don’t understand how or why, but when I plug in a lamp I know it is going to light. I depend on it to the extent that I don’t carry a candle to light the room "just in case".
I believe my doctor when he tells me that a certain medication or treatment will cure my illness. But the only thing I can base that belief on is the certificate hanging on his wall.
Little children believe their parents in everything they don’t understand - just because "Daddy or Mommy said so".
I accept much of what I read, but with a reservation concerning things I have previously learned. In this area I don’t believe everything I read.
I believe IN God because He has given me the gift of Faith and He shows Himself in so many ways in nature, and in the circumstances of daily life.
I believe God when He speaks in Scripture and in the Church because there He reveals Himself through the gift of Faith.
To believe is to be as sure as if I could prove it myself; to act with complete confidence, sure that this is the right thing to do; to have peace in doing it even if results are not what I had hoped.
When I believe IN God, I trust all He has revealed, simply because He is all truth and cannot deceive.
Our dear friend, Fr. Miguel Marie Soeherman, MFVA of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word has graciously created two reading lists with selections from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Vatican II documents to help us Christians renew and strengthen our faith. We encourage you to check them out! http://www.franciscanmissionaries.com/current-event/year-of-faith-reading-list/