Faith is the question which is much emphasized in the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI. Faith is what leads every Christian to God. Without faith we are deprived of the sense of life. According to Benedict XVI, faith is what determines the unity of an individual with the Triune God. The belief in the existence of one God in three Persons is one of the most mysterious aspects of the Christian doctrine. To accept it, one has to mature within the Church, which is a natural environment and the source of faith. Faith is initiated by God's grace, however, it is necessary for an individual to cooperate with it. Faith means to become close to God and acknowledge the truth revealed by Him. The full maturity and internal stability of a person is based on his relationship with God, which establishes itself in the encounter with Jesus and which is being strengthened by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Benedict XVI emphasizes the need to combine faith with reason. Faith and reason support each other. Faith is deepened and becomes better justii ed in the process of reasoning. The open dialogue between faith and reason helps a person to see the rationality of belief in God. Faith is a common act and the credo of the Church. What the Church needs today is the young with their faith and idealism. The Church needs them to show the world Jesus Christ, who becomes visible in the Christian community. That is why the dialogue with the young is so important. The young should be seen not only as an object of pastoral work, but also an active element of the Church's mission. The Pope's teaching also stresses the role of the Church as the natural environment of faith and warns people against juxtaposing Christ and the Church. Faith is connected with hope and love. The three virtues depend one on another, strengthen, complete and impact mutually. Faith is also manifested bythe attempts made by a person to deepen it. It shows an individual a perspective of the reality which is everlasting, eschatological and which is identii ed with heaven.
A. Proniewski, The Chair of Catholic Theology, University of Bialystok, ul. Warszawska 50, 15-077 Bialystok
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