WHO CREATED THE WORLD?
God alone, who is beyond time and space, created the world out of nothing and called all things into being.Everything that exists depends on God and continues in being only because God wills it to be.
“Who would fail to be led by observation and thoughtful familiarity with the magnificent order of the cosmic system, which is derived from divine wisdom, to marvel at the Almighty Architect!” (Nicholas Copernicus)
WHO IS GOD?
God is the perfect being, without beginning or end, the origin of all that is, was and ever shall be. God is perfect love.
“With God, everything is; without God, nothing is.”
WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity. He has the same divine majesty as the Father and the Son. He proceeds from the love of the Father for the Son. He is known as the “Sanctifyer” because he is behind all that is holy in our lives. In the Holy Spirit a Christian finds profound joy, inner peace, freedom and holiness.
“Wherever there is love, there is a trinity: a lover, a beloved, and a fountain of love.” St. Augustine.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SAY THAT GOD IS LOVE?
It means that God pours himself out to form a unity of persons. God also invites each of us to enter that union and acquire that spirit which gives totally of itself. That God is love was proved by Jesus by his incarnation and by his dying on the cross for us.
“True love hurts. It always must hurt. It has to be painful to love someone.” Bl. Teresa of Calcutta.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SAY THAT GOD IS TRUTH?
It means that God does not deceive, but reveals himself to us in his very essence. The truth of God is best seen in the created world, as well as in the human heart and in revelation. If God were not “true”, then faith and reason could not be in dialogue with each other.
“If God’s point of view does not exist, there is no truth beyond our subjective perspectives.” (Robert Spaemann)
WHY DO WE BELIEVE IN ONLY ONE GOD?
Because this is the testimony of Sacred Scripture (“I am God, and there is no other”). Also, because the laws of logic can admit of only one God (if there were two gods, the one god would be a limit on the other. Neither of the two would be infinite, neither of the two would be perfect, and so neither of the two could be God).
“The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord, your God…” (Mk 12:29)
WHAT DOES MY FAITH HAVE TO DO WITH THE CHURCH?
I receive the faith from the Church. It is the Church who has handed down the faith through the centuries, preserving it from falsifications and highlithing it in all its spendor. My faith is a participation in a common conviction, as well as in the very life of the Body of Christ, the Church.
“What we believe is important, but even more important is the One in whom we believe.” (Pope Benedict XVI)
IS THERE A CONTRADICTION BETWEEN FAITH AND SCIENCE?
There is no insoluble contradiction between faith and science, because there can not be two kinds of truth.There is only one truth, to which both faith and scientific reason refer: God. Faith exists so that we might know what is not apparent to reason.
“Mathematics is the alphabet with which God wrote the world.” (Galileo)
WHAT IS FAITH?
Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural power necessary for salvation. It requires free assent on the part of the individual, and it constantly seeks understanding. To be complete, faith needs to be expressed in acts of love, justice and mercy.
Faith means putting up with God’s incomprehensibility for a lifetime. (Karl Rahner)
WHAT ROLE DOES SACRED SCRIPTURE PLAY IN THE CHURCH?
The Church draws her life and strength from Sacred Scripture. Along with the Eucharist, there is nothing that the Church honors more reverently than Christ’s presence in Sacred Scripture.
“To read Sacred Scripture is to turn to Christ for advice.” (St. Francis of Assisi)
WHAT SIGNIFICANCE DO THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THE NEW TESTAMENT HAVE FOR CHRISTIANS?
Both testaments are God’s Word. In each of them God reveals something of himself. The Old Testament sees God as the creator and offers the hope for a future salvation. The New Testament brings the promises of the Old Testament to completion in Jesus.
“Sacred Scripture is not something of the past. The Lord speaks to us today, he enlightens us, he shows us the way through life, he gives us communion… today, not in the past.” (Pope Benedict 16)
WHAT IS THE CORRECT WAY TO READ THE BIBLE?
The Bible is a book of faith. It originated in the believing community for the sake of the same community. The Bible is like a long letter written by God to each one of us. It must be read prayerfully, with great love and reverence.
“There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ.” (Benedict XVI)
HOW CAN SACRED SCRIPTURE BE “TRUTH” IF NOT EVERYTHING IN IT IS RIGHT?
The Bible is a book of faith, not of science. It is not meant to convey precise historical information or scientific findings. Everything that we must know about God and that is necessary for our salvation is found with infallible certainty in Sacred Scripture.
“The bible is God’s love letter to us.” (Soren Kierkegaard)
IS SACRED SCRIPTURE TRUE?
The books of Scripture firmly, faithfully and without error teach the truth, all the truth, and only the truth that is necessary for our salvation. Written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their ultimate author.
Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are bound closely together and communicate one with the other. (II Vat. Council)
CAN THE CHURCH ERR IN MATTERS OF FAITH?
The faithful as a whole can not err in matters of faith, because Jesus promised his disciples that he would send them the Spirit of truth and keep them in the truth. Although individual members of the Church can err and even make serious mistakes, the Church as a whole can never fall away from God’s truth.
God desires that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim. 2:4)
HOW CAN WE TELL WHAT BELONGS TO THE TRUE FAITH?
We find the true faith contained in the Sacred Scriptures and in the living Tradition of the Church. Scripture and Tradition go hand in hand, for the handing on of the faith does not occur primarily through documents.
“Man’s unique grandeur is based on his capacity to know the truth.” (Pope Benedict XVI)
WHY DO WE HAND ON THE FAITH?
We hand down the faith because Jesus commands us:”Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:19)
“I have no imagination. I can not picture God the Father. All that I can see is Jesus in others.” (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta)
WITH THE COMING OF JESUS CHRIST, HAS THE REVELATION OF GOD BEEN MADE COMPLETE?
In Jesus Christ God himself came to earth. He is God’s last Word. By listening to this Word, all peoples of all times can know who God is and what is necessary for their salvation.
“Apart from Jesus Christ we do not know what God, life, death and we ourselves are.” (Blaise Pascal)
WHAT TYPE OF GOD O WE FIND IN THE NEW TESTAMENT?
In the New Testament God shows the full depth of his merciful love in the person of Jesus, his Son, who died to redeem us from our sins. Through Jesus the invisible God becomes visible. He became a human being like all of us.
“In Jesus Christ, God took on a human face and became our friend and brother.” (Pope Benedict 16)
WHAT TYPE OF GOD DO WE FIND IN HIS OLD TESTAMENT REVELATION OF HIMSELF?
In the Old Testament God shows himself as the God who created the world out of love and remains faithful to humankind even when it has fallen away from him into sin.
“All that is said about God presupposes something said by God”. (St. Edith Stein)
WHY DID GOD HAVE TO REVEAL HIMSELF IN ORDER FOR US TO BE ABLE TO KNOW WHAT HE IS LIKE?
We can know by reason that God exists, but not what God is really like. Because of this, and because God wants to be known by us, he has revealed himself to us.
“We can not talk about God, but woe to the one who remains silent about him”. (St. Augustine)
HOW CAN WE EVEN SPEAK OF GOD IF HE IS INFINITE, PERFECT, ALL-OTHER?
In order to express something about God, we use imperfect images and limited notions. Everything we say about God is subject to the reservation that our language is not equal to God’s greatness.
“Something incomprehensible is not for that reason less real”. (Blaise Pascal)
WHY DO PEOPLE DENY THAT GOD EXISTS, IF THEY CAN KNOW HIM BY REASON?
To know the invisible God is a great challenge for the human mind. Some are scared off by it. Some do not want to change their lives, as the knowledge of God would require. Some are simply fighting the idea of God’s existence because of their own pride: they refuse to acknowledge Someone greater than themselves.
CAN WE KNOW THE EXISTENCE OF GOD BY OUR REASON?
Yes, we can.The world can not explain itself, nor can it have its origin and its destination within itself. The order, the beauty and the development of the world point beyond themselves to a source outside themselves. We call this source God.
WHY DO WE SEEK GOD?
Because God has placed in our hearts a longing to seek and find him. All our striving for truth and happiness is ultimately a search for God. We are not completely ourselves until we find and accept God.
WHY DID GOD CREATE US?
God created us out of free and unselfish love. He wanted to share his super-abundant joy with us, who are the creatures of his love.
FOR WHAT PURPOSE ARE WE HERE ON EARTH?
We are here on earth in order to know and to love God, to do good according to his will, and to go someday to heaven.