Critical need by 8/31:   $10,000 to fund a serious immediate need.   $8,336 to go.   Please help now!
Click here to advertise on

Pope explores three paths to renewed faith

Catholic World News - November 14, 2012

The absence of an active faith in God “reduces man to a single horizontal dimension,” Pope Benedict XVI told his weekly public audience on November 14.

“This reduction,” the Pontiff continued, “was one of the fundamental causes of the totalitarian systems which had such tragic consequences last century, and of the crisis of values we are currently witnessing.”

The Pope remarked that in the Western world, in past years, “the faith was the environment in which people moved.” But in our own times, he said, a sort of practical atheism has become common, “in which the truths of faith and religious ritual are not denied but are simply held to be irrelevant to daily existence.”

God respects man’s freedom, and does not compel anyone to believe, the Pope told the crowd in the Paul VI auditorium, and believers should show the same respect for others while testifying to the faith. He suggested three paths to faith:

First, the world offers opportunities for belief, to men who “contemplate the creation, its beauty and structure.” The Pope quoted Albert Einstein’s statement that the work of natures points toward “an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.”

Second, man himself shows a predisposition toward faith, an innate drive toward the infinite, and a persistent desire to ask questions that reach beyond ordinary life.

Third, the life of faith itself points toward the existence of God. The Pope reminded his audience that a believing Christian “becomes a witness not of himself but of the Risen Christ,” and his faith becomes a challenge and invitation to the world.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($18,885 to go):
$35,000.00 $16,115.18
54% 46%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: frjpharrington3912 - Nov. 16, 2012 12:30 AM ET USA

    Faith is the power to enter into a life transforming relationship with God who gives his grace as gift which empowers us to be open to see in creation signs of his intelligent handiwork. As God's creatures made in his image and likeness, man and woman also reflect God's handiwork which lead us to contemplate this great mystery. Faith,as it were, are the wings that raise us up from a merely material horizontal existence to a vertical supernatural life filled with hope and charity.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

Just as you suspected, most polls are useless. 22 hours ago
Intrinsic evil can't be evaluated on a case-by-case basis 22 hours ago
'Catholicism by osmosis is dead'—Weigel hits the nail on the head 23 hours ago
Human Life is Family Life August 25
The confusion, complexities and dangers of marriage annulments: A call to order August 25

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: welcome with compassion those who have remarried outside the Church CWN - August 5