Faith, Reason, Belief And Action Essay

2001 words - 8 pages

“The three center-points of a Christian theology are beyond doubt the doctrine of a triune God, of God the Word made manifest in the flesh of Christ, and of God the Spirit who expounds the revelation of love in the Church and in her members.”1 While the first of these three, the triune God, begs no question from the church, the latter two seem to transcend the minds of the Catholic clergy. “God the Word” signifies that both belief and faith are pillars of understanding in the Catholic tradition. In the current church, belief and faith, without reason, have a much lesser impact than when reason is involved. Society outside of the Church links itself to fact and science, so without a logical sense of reason, the faith and belief remain stagnant in the minds of the inhabitants. When Von Balthasar describes “God the Spirit[,]” as “...expound[ing] the revelation of love...,” the terminology is one more of action than contemplation.2 To expound is a word of action and movement, and the Spirit calls for the church to act in order to multiply the numbers of the saved. In John McGreevy’s Parish Boundaries, the role of the Catholic Church is examined through the de-segregation efforts of major urban areas in the early to mid-twentieth century. In the Catholic Church, a balance between faith, reason, belief and action is a connection that, while its significance has been diminished in the past two millennia, continues to be at the core of the Catholic tradition.
To become a true representation of what St. Peter’s original church called for, a balance must be achieved, holding the values of belief, action, faith and reason as equal and necessary measures of the manifestation of Jesus’ message. When the early church is considered, both the theology behind the founding members of the church and their existence, by the means of their actions and beliefs, must be examined. A combination of the ideology and the actions of the early Catholic Church should be a beacon to the current leadership of the church to decrease the possibility of deterioration of one of the oldest organized religions.3
To combat the uncertainty threaded in the Catholic Church regarding the inability for the church to effectively function, the Second Vatican Council was called by Pope Paul. The twentieth century church was dealing with a definite juxtaposition in regards to belief and action through many issues, many which were addressed during this four year council. In his opening, Pope Paul emphasized separate purposes for the council, which were to define and renew the nature of the church, to restore an oneness within the Catholic Church, and to reach out to the secular, contemporary world.4 The time in which the council was held, from 1962 until 1965, was in the center of the race issue in America, and with the updated stance on ideas such as Ecumenism and religious freedom, a new stance on race largely followed suit.5 After Vatican II, however, not all Catholics adopted the new...

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