By Junno Arocho
VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Continuing his catechesis series on faith, Pope Benedict XVI addressed thousands of faithful gathered in Paul VI Hall for his weekly General Audience on Wednesday, saying that through faith, “we come to learn the knowledge of God and ourselves.”
“Faith leads to discover that the encounter with God enhances, refines and elevates what is true, good and beautiful in man,” the Holy Father said.
“It thus happens that, while God reveals himself and lets himself be known, man comes to know who God is and, in knowing him, discovers himself, his origin, his destiny, the greatness and dignity of human life.”
The Holy Father focused his weekly audience on the reasonableness of faith in God. Rejecting the thought of fideism, which he asserted as “the will believe against reason”, Pope Benedict said that God was not an abstract being, but a mystery. “Mystery, in turn, is not irrational, but the overabundance of sense, of meaning, of truth. If, when looking at the Mystery, one’s reason sees darkness, it is not because there is no light in the mystery, but rather because there is too much of it,” he said.
“Just as when a man turns his eyes to look directly at the sun, he sees only darkness; but who would say that the sun is not bright? On the contrary, it is the source of light.”
Pope Benedict continued saying that faith allows to “look upon the ‘sun’ that is God and thus revealing the great miracle of God approaching man and making Himself known to man.
The 85 year old Pontiff also said that at the same time, the grace of God enlightens reason, saying that faith is a strong incentive in seeking the truth.
However, the prejudice of some modern thinkers, he warned, “is false according to which human reason would be as if blocked by the dogmas of faith.”
“Intellect and faith are not strangers or antagonists before divine Revelation; rather, both are conditions for understanding its meaning, to receive its authentic message, approaching the threshold of the mystery.” Citing the examples of St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and other Christian authors, the Holy Father stated their example and writings showed “how much new fruitful vitality comes to rational human thought from the ingrafting of the principles and truths of the Christian faith.”
Pope Benedict XVI concluded his address calling on the faithful to open themselves to faith and to also discover God’s plan of salvation in their own lives.
Let us pray, he said, “that all find in Christ the meaning of life and the foundation of true freedom: without God, in fact, man loses himself.”