A Word in Season
Faith's Eyes See True Reality: Reflections from Chapter One of Lumen Fidei
Seeing as Jesus sees is the faith in the Spirit that empowers Christians to loving action.
The self-awareness of the believer now expands because of the presence of another; it now lives in this other and thus, in love, life takes on a whole new breadth. Here we see the Holy Spirit at work. The Christian can see with the eyes of Jesus and share in his mind, his filial disposition, because he or she shares in his love, which is the Spirit. In the love of Jesus, we receive in a certain way his vision. Without being conformed to him in love, without the presence of the Spirit, it is impossible to confess him as Lord (cf. 1 Cor. 12:3). (LG 21)
The Ecclesial Form of Faith
Finally, chapter one concludes with the beginnings of a counter argument to those who claim they want to be spiritual, not religious, or belonging to a church. Yet, their faith in Jesus necessitates being made part of His Body, the Church, and they are called to an ecclesial existence.
. . . just as Christ gathers to himself all those who believe and makes them his body, so the Christian comes to see himself as a member of this body, in an essential relationship with all other believers. . .
Faith is necessarily ecclesial; it is professed from within the body of Christ as a concrete communion of believers. . .
Faith is not a private matter, a completely individualistic notion or a personal opinion. . .
Faith becomes operative in the Christian on the basis of the gift received, the love which attracts our hearts to Christ (cf. Gal. 5:6), and enables us to become part of the Church's great pilgrimage through history until the end of the world. For those who have been transformed in this way, a new way of seeing opens up, faith becomes light for their eyes. (LF 22)
The Church, with one voice, echoes what its members have found: "We know and believe the love God has for us" (cf. 1 Jn. 4:16).
Pat Gohn is a Catholic writer, speaker, and the host of the Among Women Podcast and blog. Her book Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood is published by Ave Maria Press. Subscribe to “A Word in Season” via email or RSS.