Mere intellectual reason is not enough to accept and believe in the truth revealed by God. The virtue of Faith is essentially required to accept the revelations. What is, then, the virtue of faith?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that faith is the adequate response to the revelations of God. It is through faith, that one can completely submit his/her intellect and will to God (CCC 142 & 143). The virtue of faith enables a person to assent resolutely to the revelations, because the authority of the revelations is God Himself. Faith enables a person to have a personal adherence to God: “Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed. As personal adherence to God and assent to his truth, Christian faith differs from our faith in any human person” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 150; also Cf.160).
Faith is necessary for our salvation (Catechism 161). We learn from the Bible that the just man lives by faith (Cf. Romans1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). Thus, our life must be enlightened by faith, in order that we may be able to remain close to God and foster personal relationship with Him and finally to attain salvation. Hence, we must persevere in the faith until the end of our life by nourishing it through the Word of God, the Sacraments and the Teachings of the Church.
Faith is necessary for our salvation. However, those who through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel but still seek God with a sincere heart and try to do His will as per their conscience, would also receive salvation (Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 16).
“You are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
May our light shine
Fr. Arul Joseph V.