Choose a topic from Part 2B:

1. The Object of Faith

1. The faith of which we speak here is not the mere human faith by which we accept the testimony of men, but the faith by which we accept the revealed word of God. The object of this faith is truth about God and the things that pertain to God.

2. To human understanding, the truth about God and divine things is not simple, but complex. For though God is infinite simplicity, the finite human mind cannot grasp his being, and truths related to his being, with simplicity. The finite mind does the best it can, in its limited way, with the infinite. Therefore, the truths which constitute the object of faith are involved, for the human understanding, in some complexity.

3. Since faith has for its object the truth about God, nothing false can enter into its content.

4. The object of faith is not something seen or sensed; nor, in itself, is this object grasped by the intellect. Faith, says St. Paul (Heb. 11:1), "is the evidence of things that appear not."

5. The object of faith cannot be, at the same time, the object of scientific knowledge. St. Gregory says (Hom, xxiin Ev.): "When a thing is manifest, it is the object, not of faith, but of perceiving."

6. It is a convenient and useful practice, in studying the object of faith, to arrange its truths as logically connected heads or topics. These heads or topics are then called the articles of faith.

7. The articles of faith are never increased in their substantial content, as time goes on. But, since the study of anything tends to reveal in detail what is implicitly contained in it, the study of the object of faith may result in an increased number of articles inasmuch as these are explicit statements of what is implicitly contained in the original articles.

8. The articles of faith are adequately expressed in the Apostles' Creed.

9. A creed or symbolum is a compact statement, or series of formulas which express the articles of faith. There are several of such creeds or symbola in general use in the Church: the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed. Such creeds differ only as to fullness of expression; all are identical in substance. A creed is useful, both as an approved expression of the whole object of faith, and as a means of instruction and guidance for the faithful.

10. It is essential that a creed have the approval of the sovereign pontiff to whom is committed the infallible teaching office in what pertains to the whole Church.

"Those who love God are always happy, because their whole happiness is to fulfill, even in adversity, the will of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"God has no need of men."
St Philip Neri

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"A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of mind in this life."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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