My Highlights and Notes from Lumen Fidei (Part 2)

I’d like to continue my notes from reading Lumen Fidei.  There are so many good nuggets of wisdom.  This is Part 2; I posted my first set yesterday.  My goal is to jot them down here and then review them more in depth in the future.  Again, as with the first, my notes are in [bold & italics]:

This love, which did not recoil before death in order to show its depth, is something I can believe in; Christ’s total self-gift overcomes every suspicion and enables me to entrust myself to him completely.  (LF 16)

Had the Father’s love not caused Jesus to rise from the dead, had it not been able to restore his body to life, then it would not be a completely reliable love, capable of illuminating also the gloom of death.  (LF 17)  [If it wasn’t for Christ’s horrible death and glorious resurrection, His saving message wouldn’t have lasted so long.  His self-sacrifice is so compelling.]

Faith does not merely gaze at Jesus, but sees things as Jesus himself sees them, with his own eyes: it is a participation in his way of seeing.  (LF 18)  [It is so weird to think that when we are in communion with Christ, that we are His eyes and ears.  We are His hands and feet.]

We trust the architect who builds our home, the pharmacist who gives us medicine for healing, the lawyer who defends us in court.  We also need someone trustworthy and knowledgeable where God is concerned.  (LF 18)  [This is why we ultimately need the Magisterium to help interpret Scripture and define core doctrine.  It’s easy for Christ’s sheep, out of misguided sense of justice to redefine right/wrong to fit with the times.]

To enable us to know, accept and follow him, the Son of God took on our flesh.  In this way he also saw the Father humanly, within the setting of a journey unfolding in time.  Christian faith is faith in the incarnation of the Word and his bodily resurrection; it is faith in a God who is so close to us that he entered our human history.  Far from divorcing us from reality, our faith in the Son of God made man in Jesus of Nazareth enables us to grasp reality’s deepest meaning and to see how much God loves this world and is constantly guiding it towards himself.  This leads us, as Christians, to live our lives in this world with ever greater commitment and intensity.  (LF 18)

In accepting the gift of faith, believers become a new creation; they receive a new being; as God’s children, they are now “sons in the Son”.  The phrase “Abba, Father”, so characteristic of Jesus’ own experience, now becomes the core of the Christian experience (cf. Rom 8:15).  (LF 19)

Paul rejects the attitude of those who would consider themselves justified before God on the basis of their own works.  (LF 19)

The beginning of salvation is openness to something prior to ourselves, to a primordial gift that affirms life and sustains it in being.  (LF 19)

The image of a body does not imply that the believer is simply one part of an anonymous whole, a mere cog in the great machine; rather it brings out the vital union of Christ with believers, and of believers among themselves (cf. Rom 12:4-5).  Christians are “one” (cf. Gal 3:28), yet in a way which does not make them lose their individuality; in service to others, they come into their own in the highest degree.  (LF 22)

Faith is necessarily ecclesial; it is professed from within the body of Christ as a concrete communion of believers.  (LF 22)

In contemporary culture, we often tend to consider the only real truth to be that of technology: truth is what we succeed in building and measuring by our scientific know-how, truth is what works and what makes life easier and more comfortable….  Yet, at the other end of the scale we are willing to allow for subjective truths of the individual, which consist in fidelity to his or her deepest convictions, yet these are truths valid only for that individual and not capable of being proposed to others in an effort to serve the common good.  But Truth itself, the truth which would comprehensively explain our life as individuals and in society, is regarded with suspicion.  (LF 25)  [Again, a great summary of our current spiritual condition.]

[Paragraphs 26-28 talks about how faith can lead to knowledge about truth and love.  Popes Francis and Benedict compare faith-knowledge to the limits of scientific knowledge.]

Faith-knowledge sheds light not only on the destiny of one particular people, but the entire history of the created world, from its origins to its consummation.  (LF 28)

By his taking flesh and coming among us, Jesus has touched us, and through the sacraments he continues to touch us even today… (LF 31)

One who believes may not be presumptuous; on the contrary, truth leads to humility, since believers know that, rather than ourselves possessing truth, it is truth which embraces and possesses us.  (LF 34)

The gaze of science thus benefits from faith:  faith encourages the scientist to remain constantly open to reality in all its inexhaustible richness.  (LF 34)

Anyone who sets off on the path of doing good to others is already drawing near to God… (LF 35)

Faith is passed on, we might say, by contact, from one person to another, just as one candle is lighted from another.  (LF 37)

It is through an unbroken chain of witnesses that we come to see the face of Jesus.  (LF 38)

We come from others, we belong to others, and our lives are enlarged by our encounter with others.  Even our own knowledge and self-awareness are relational; they are linked to others who have gone before us: in the first place, our parents, who gave us our life and our name.  Language itself, the words by which we make sense of our lives and the world around us, comes to us from others, preserved in the living memory of others.  Self-knowledge is only possible when we share in a greater memory.  The same thing holds true for faith, which brings human understanding to its fullness.  Faith’s past, that act of Jesus’ love which brought new life to the world, comes down to us through the memory of others — witnesses — and is kept alive in that one remembering subject which is the Church.  The Church is a Mother who teaches us to speak the language of faith.  (LF 38)

It is impossible to believe on our own.  (LF 39)

The Church, like every family, passes on to her children the whole store of her memories….  The sacraments communicate an incarnate memory, linked to the times and places of our lives, linked to all our senses; in them the whole person is engaged as a member of a living subject and part of a network of communitarian relationships.  (LF 40)

The Eucharist is a precious nourishment for faith:  an encounter with Christ truly present in the supreme act of his love, the life-giving gift of himself.  In the Eucharist we find the intersection of faith’s two dimensions.  (LF 44)  [The two dimensions being “history” and the “supernatural.”]

… the four elements which comprise the storehouse of memory which the Church hands down: the profession of faith, the celebration of the sacraments, the path of the ten commandments, and prayer.  (LF 46)

Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity.  Precisely because all the articles of faith are interconnected, to deny one of them, even of those that seem least important, is tantamount to distorting the whole… hence the need for vigilance in ensuring that the deposit of faith is passed on in its entirety (cf. 1 Tim 6:20) and that all aspects of the profession of faith are duly emphasized.  (LF 48)  [Another reason for the Magisterium (cf. Acts 20:27).]

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