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NECESSARY FAITH

The irreducible minimum that everyone must believe as a condition for salvation. Also called the "necessity of means" to be saved, it applies to those who have reached the age of reason. It certainly includes belief that God exists and that he rewards the good and punishes the wicked: "It is impossible to please God without faith, since anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who try to find Him" (Vulgate: "who seek Him") (Hebrews 11:6). Probably one must also know and believe, at least implicitly, in the Blessed Trinity and the Incarnation.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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