Faith as Hearing and Sight

29.  St. Paul used the formula fides ex auditu (faith comes from hearing.)  He acknowledges that faith, linked to a word, is always personal.  Personal knowledge of the truth leads to “the obedience of faith.”  The Greeks, at that time, linked knowledge to sight and this would seem to be antithetical to the biblical understanding of faith-knowledge as coming from hearing the word.  However, the Old Testament combined both kinds of knowledge.  When we heard God’s word, we longed to see His Face!  It seems that God’s overall plan for salvation by faith includes both hearing and sight.

30.  (This paragraph is so rich that I really suggest that you read the whole thing from Lumen Fidei for yourself.)  Here are some quotes to wet your appetite for doing so:  “Faith’s hearing emerges as a form of knowing proper to love:  it is a personal hearing, one which recognizes the voice of the Good Shepherd.”  “But faith is also tied to sight.  Seeing the signs which Jesus worked leads at times to faith, as in the case of the Jews who, following the raising of Lazarus, ‘having seen what He did, believed in Him.'”  “If you believe, you will see the Glory of God.”  (Jn 11:40)

Christ is the Word made flesh Whose glory we have seen.  Our encounter with Christ is the perfect blending of faith by hearing and by sight.  Truth is disclosed by our contemplation of our Risen Lord’s life and our awareness of His Real presence in our lives.

31.  Jesus shared our humanity and brought to fruition a faith that comes from love for us.  St. John in his First Letter also speaks of faith as touch.  “What we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life.”  By taking flesh and dwelling among us, Jesus touched us.  Not just during His life on earth but also through His life given to us in the Sacraments.  So, in faith, like the woman with the hemorrhage, we can touch Him and be cured.  As St. Augustine said, “To touch Him with our hearts: that is what it means to believe.”

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Filed under Catholic, Faith, Gospel, Lumen Fidei, Old Testament

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