Section VII. The Faith of St. Joseph.
“Faith,” says St. Paul, “is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not” (Heb. xi. 1). Faith is the foundation of our salvation: it is the groundwork of our supernatural life. Faith is the first great theological and divine virtue, for it has God and the truths of God as its immediate object.
Faith is absolutely essential for the salvation of every adult that has come to the use of reason. “Now, this is eternal life; that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent” (John, xvii. 3).
“Go ye into the whole world,” said our Blessed Redeemer, “and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved: but he that believeth not, shall be condemned” (Mark, xvi. 16).
“Without faith,” says St. Paul, “it is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him” (Heb. xi. 6).
“Man,” writes the Apostle, “is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; we also believe in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” (Gal. ii. 16).
And “Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost,” preached of Jesus: “Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts, iv. 12).
“Faith,” says the Council of Trent, “is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification; without which it is impossible to please God, and to come into the fellowship of His sons.” (Sess. VI. o. viii.)
The grounds or authority of our faith is no other than the authority of God Himself. God cannot deceive or be deceived. God has deigned to reveal or make known to man His Divine truths or mysteries of religion; upon God’s unerring word, upon God’s infallible authority, we believe the doctrines of faith, which our minds cannot understand.
Faith is most pleasing to God; because, by faith, proud man bends his intellect and will, so to speak, to believe what he can neither see or understand.
Faith gives great glory to the Almighty; because, by faith, man submits and gives up captive to God his proud intellect and stubborn will. Faith pays supreme homage to God; because, by faith, we acknowledge God’s unerring truth; on God’s authority, we adore and believe what we cannot comprehend.