I have been high-liting important passages in each paragraph and then paraphrasing them to present the “gist” of each paragraph. Now, Lumen Fidei is getting so filled with hi-lites that to reduce each paragraph to a few salient points is getting harder. I will probably be quoting more from the encyclical in some places and suggesting that you read certain paragraphs for yourself in other. I really can do no better than Papa Francis’ * own words.
Faith and Truth
“Unless you believe, you will no understand. (cf Is 7:9)”
23. The Greek version of the Hebrew Bible translated in Alexandria is “If you will not believe, you shall not be established.” Terrified by the might of his enemies, King Ahaz wants to form an alliance with the great Assyrian empire because of the security that he believes that the empire can offer him. “The prophet tells him instead to trust completely in the solid and steadfast rock which is the God of Israel. Because God is trustworthy, it is reasonable to have faith in Him, to stand fast on His word.” The prophet challenges the king and us. He wants us to see God’s faithfulness; that God’s plan is best if we but have faith. We must understand with St. Augustine the Truth of God. He is a God that we can rely in order to be “established” in that Truth and to understand how trustworthy God is.
24. Isaiah leads us to one conclusion: faith without Truth can not save! If faith is just a beautiful story with which we can deceive ourselves or a lofty sentiment that is incapable of sustaining us through life, the we, like King Ahaz, would be foolish to stake our lives or security on such a feeling or story.
25. Relativism: The denial of universal Truth and ultimately the denial of God’s existence. “Today, more than ever, we need to be reminded of this bond between faith and truth, given the crisis of truth in our age.” At this point, the encyclical speaks beautifully of contemporary culture and its consideration of truth. I suggest that you read all of paragraph 25 for yourself. It is a priceless description of our culture. Truth (with a capital “T”) is the origin of all. In the light of Truth, we can glimp0se the goal and meaning of mankind’s common path. It can “succeed in uniting us in a way that transcends our petty and limited individual consciousness.”
*Some of Lumen Fidei was written by our beloved Benedict XVI.