Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jesuit On Belief

The difference between faith and reason in technical affairs is that we can accept the testimony of others that they know. We do not take our busted car to the beauty stylist. We do not go to the grocer in order to cut our hair. We go to those who know: the mechanic, the barber. In all crafts and professions, some are better than others. So we, in fact, live and act in a daily world of trust. We think nothing of it. Is religious faith, in principle, any different? Not really. This faith understands that something else that we do not see is true, because we accept the testimony of someone who saw. The only issue, then,  is whether the witness is telling us what he saw, however odd it might seem to those who did not see. If we thought for a moment that the witness was telling us something that was not as he said it was, we might still believe him, but we are deceived. This is why the credibility of the witness is such an issue.
The essence of the Christian faith — that is, what it attests — is that God, the Logos, became man in Jesus Christ, who was true man. This is how He described Himself. He said that He is sent by the Father, His Father. He tells this to a number of fishermen who seem by no means naïve. He does a number of things to confirm His divine power. They see what He does. These apostles and others surrounding Christ are told to make known this Good News, that He is
Why He did not do it Himself might be wondered about, but He is crucified in a public trial in Jerusalem under the authority of Rome. Since that time, right up to today, we have folks who live in the company of those who attest to these truths, the ones that have been handed down about this Man-God. But at the basis of all our ability to “believe” is not more belief, but finally seeing. The apostles saw what He did and told us. Christ on His part simply said, “I have seen the Father.” He did not say, “I believe in the Father.” The reason is that He did see. 
Link (here) to read the rest of the article Fr. James Schall, S.J. in Crisis Magazine

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