Pope Benedict XVI: 'Faith is Believing in God's Unfailing Love'

Pontiff Continues Catechesis on Faith during General Audience

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By Junno Arocho 

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 25, 2012 (Zenit.org).- In his General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the nature of faith to the thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square. The Pope's words are part of a new series of catechesis delivered during the Year of Faith.

Stating that a new education in the faith is necessary, the Holy Father emphasized that the knowledge of the truths of faith should come from above all from a true encounter with God in Jesus Christ. "Today, along with so many signs of goodness, a kind of spiritual desert is also widening around us. Sometimes we get the feeling from certain events we hear about each day that the world is not moving towards the building up of a more fraternal and peaceful community," the Pope said.

"Despite the grandeur of scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs, men today do not seem to have become freer and more humane; so many forms of exploitation, manipulation, violence, oppression and injustice still remain."

Calling to mind questions regarding the meaning of life that man has, the Holy Father said that despite advances in scientific knowledge to answer these questions, it is not enough. A firm foundation, he continued, was needed to give life a real meaning. "This is precisely what faith gives us: it is a confident entrusting of oneself to a “Thou” who is God; it provides a kind of certainty different from but no less sure than what comes to us from exact calculation or science," he said.

"Faith is not simply a matter of man’s intellectual assent to truths about God; it is an act whereby I freely entrust myself to a God who is a Father and who loves me; it means clinging to a “Thou” who gives me hope and confidence. To be sure, this adherence to God is not devoid of content: it enables us to know that God himself revealed himself to us in Christ."

The 85 year old Pontiff underlined the meaning of faith, which he described as "believing in God's unfailing love" which lasts beyond the sins of man. Pope Benedict also compared this love trust of a child to their mother.

Addressing the English speaking pilgrims present at the General Audience, the Holy Father briefly summarized his catechesis on faith, saying that through faith, "the deepest meaning and truth of our human existence" is revealed.

"Faith offers us sure hope and direction amid the spiritual confusion of our times. Before all else, faith is a divine gift which enables us to open our hearts and minds to God’s word and, through Baptism, to share in his divine life within the community of the Church. Yet faith is also a profoundly human act, engaging our intelligence and freedom," he said.

Pope Benedict XVI concluded his General Audience announcing joyfully the upcoming consistory in November where he will appoint six new members to the College of Cardinals. "The new Cardinals - as you have heard - exercise their ministry in the service of the Holy See or as Fathers and Shepherds of particular Churches in various parts of the world. I invite everyone to pray for the newly elected, asking the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that they may always love Christ and his Church with courage and devotion," the Holy Father said.