Fr. Paul promised that he would share some notes from the assembly he attended June 27-30, 2016. Here is the first installment.
TOPIC: FAITH AND DOUBT
Many people feel guilty when they have doubts about their faith, believing that a doubt means there is no faith or that faith is weak. But the opposite of faith is certainty, NOT doubt. It is an oxymoron to say “the certainties of faith.” “Faith” means there is no certainty.
Part of the problem is that we use the words faith and belief interchangeably. BELIEF is an intellectual assent to a statement. FAITH is fundamentally relational, it is TRUST. Jesus says many times to those who approach him “your faith has saved you.” These people were not giving intellectual assent to dogma; they were trusting in Jesus and his willingness and power to save them.
Vatican II calls us to move past intellectual assent to dogma to recover a personal, relational dimension of faith.
Message to those giving homilies: people can understand what a doctrine is about and believe it. Your task is to help them understand how it affects their personal relationship with God.
Fr. Paul James Portland, SDS