Category Archives: St. Augustine

The Dialogue Between Faith and Reason

32.  Blessed John Paul II in Fides et Ratio showed us how faith and reason strengthen each other.  When we discover the light of Christ’s love, we realize that every time we have loved, that instance contained a ray of Christ’s light.  This leads us to see how all love is meant to share in the self-gift of Jesus.  “In this circular movement, the light of faith illumines all our human relationships, which can then be lived in union with the gentle love of Christ.”

33.  St. Augustine studies Greek philosophy and accepted its insistence that being “in the light” demanded sight but not hearing.  Augustine came to appreciate that God is light and this was the beginning of his turning away from his sinfulness.  But the personal God of the bible who is able to speak to us appeared to Augustine as he read the 13th chapter of Romans.  However, St. Augustine did not refect light and sight, but integrated hearing with sight.  He spoke of “the word which shines forth within.”   “Yet, our longing for the vision of the whole, and not merely of fragments of history, remains and will be fulfilled in the end, when, as St. Augustine says, we will see and we will love.  Not because we will be able to possess all the light, which will always be inexhaustible, but because we will enter wholly into that light.”

34.  (This is well worth reading the whole thing for yourself.)  However to points from this paragraph:  1.  “Faith is not intransigent, but grows in respectful coexistence with others.  One who believes may not be presumptuous, on the contrary, truth leads to humility. . . Far from making us inflexible, the security of faith sets us on a journey; it enables witness and dialogue with all.”   2.  “By stimulating wonder before the profound mystery of  creation, faith broadens the horizons of reason to shed greater light on the world which discloses itself to scientific investigation.”

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