VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Here at a glance are the main points of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”), released July 5.
- Christian faith is the guiding light of a “successful and fruitful life,” illuminating “every aspect of human existence.”
- The opposite of faith is idolatry, according to which man worships the “multiplicity of his desires.”
- Salvation is impossible through our own good works but requires faith, as acknowledgement of the “primacy of God’s gift.”
- By virtue of his humanity, Jesus Christ is not only the object of faith but the ultimate model and mediator for all believers, and faith is a “participation in (Jesus’) way of seeing.”
- Faith is not individualistic but by its very nature takes place within the communion of the church.
- The unity and continuity of the faith are ensured by the apostolic succession, hence the pope and the bishops in communion with him stand as its authoritative teachers.
- The fullness of faith is transmitted above all through the sacraments, which “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.”
- Faith offers access to truth through love, since love is a “form of shared knowledge, vision through the eyes of another and a shared vision of all that exists.”
- Faith dispels philosophical relativism and encourages scientific research by affirming the “inherent order” and harmony of the material world, and “stimulating wonder before the profound mystery of creation.”
- Faith is essential to the promotion of “justice, law and peace” because it reveals the true basis of men’s brotherhood as children of God.
— By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service