Loading
Faith shines light on truth and reason, archbishop says
By Adelaide Mena
Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore speaks during the 2012 National Religious Freedom award dinner, May 24, 2012.
Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore speaks during the 2012 National Religious Freedom award dinner, May 24, 2012.

.- At a recent talk on Pope Francis' encyclical “Lumen Fidei,” Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore emphasized that faith is not opposed to reason, but rather is necessary for understanding truth.

“This encyclical letter…is a great gift – not only to the Church, but to all people of good will, to everybody seeking the truth,” Archbishop Lori said Sept. 17 at Washington D.C.'s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where he spoke as part of the Year of Faith lecture series.

“In a very skeptical world, it turns out that Faith believes in Reason. Faith believes in the capacity of reason for truth,” he reflected.

Archbishop Lori explained that the nature of faith is often misunderstood, seen as superstition rather than “a part of the search for knowledge.”

Faith is commonly considered to be “not a friend of reason, but its enemy; it's thought to be unreasonable, anti-rational.” Because of this misconception, the archbishop said, the Enlightenment placed misplaced trust in the absolute power of reason alone to discover the truth.

When this mindset was not able to withstand the tragedies and atrocities that have occurred in the 20th century, rationalism gave way to skepticism, “abandoning the search to make sense out of human nature and history.”

Without truth, Archbishop Lori said, reason came “to be thought as a dimmer light – something that can help us find our way moment by moment or trend by trend, but not something that can help us find our ultimate way.”

Therefore, the world “fell into confusion” about the nature of humanity, reality, and truth itself.

Faith, the archbishop said, is the “one thing capable of illuminating every aspect of our existence.”

Because of Christ's being both true God and true Man – his being both eternally transcendent and sharing our human nature – Archbishop Lori explained, “faith in Christ really does illuminate every aspect of our humanity, including our sufferings, including our tragedies.”

This link with Christ also “opens us to a love greater than ourselves, a love that can save us, a love that can transform us from within.”

“Through faith, we can love as Jesus loves,” the archbishop continued, and this love “opens our minds to the truth that is greater than ourselves, and our hearts to a love greater than ourselves.”

“Salvation has come to us because God has engaged us: he has engaged our history, he has engaged our humanity,” and thus faith in God “lights up our history, our human nature, body, mind and spirit.”

“'Lumen Fidei' offers a summary of salvation history” beginning with Abraham, and continuing through “the Church to the end of time,” Archbishop Lori observed.

He explained that the Pope “tells us that in accepting the gift of faith, we become God's children, and he says we abandon the effort to save ourselves by our own goodness and our own works,” opening man to “knowledge, and understanding of truth.”

The ability of faith to illumine truth gives light to the search for knowledge in all areas, the archbishop added.

“Faith helps us see that the things that we love in life contain a ray of understanding,” and that understanding can lead to God.

Unfortunately, Archbishop Lori cautioned, today truth is thought to be subjective, and because people misunderstand the nature of truth, many think that objective truth “would stifle creativity in thought.”

However, “faith doesn't lead to any object; faith leads to a truth, a love, which cannot be imposed, but only proposed,” he explained.

“Far from stifling the individual, faith opens the individual to a truth in love,” and this opening can enable all searching for knowledge to be open to the truth, he concluded.

“Faith is not divorced from the world, but rather penetrates the heart of earthly reality, to the heart of the human spirit.”

Tags: Faith, Reason, Lumen Fidei


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A Look at India from Rome
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
Jul
31

Liturgical Calendar

July 31, 2014

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Gospel
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 18: 1-6
Gospel:: Mt 13: 47-53

Saint of the Day

St. Ignatius of Loyola »

Saint
Date
07/28/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Homily
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: