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Anchor Concept: Faith (PDF File)

FAITH

Faith is a divinely bestowed gift that enables human persons to respond to God reaching out to us in love. And so, faith is primarily about relationship and trust. Faith enables us to cry out to God in our trials and to give God thanks for life's blessings. Christian faith is built on relationship with Jesus, the human face of God, who seeks us out and invites us to share in the divine life. Joined in faith to the crucified and risen Jesus through Baptism, we enter into a relationship of divine sonship and daughterhood with the Father and his gift of the Holy Spirit. This relationship with the Father in the Spirit through Christ binds the Christian community into one mystical body, -the body of Christ- which is the Church.

From an intellectual standpoint, Christian faith is a reasoned "yes" to God's revealed truth, fully expressed in the person and preaching of Jesus Christ. Christian faith provides our powers of reason with divine illumination to see life's ultimate meaning through our relationship with God in Christ. Our Catholic Christian faith is thus nurtured and strengthened as we encounter Christ in prayer, in God's word, in one another, and most effectively, in the sacraments, especially Eucharist - source and summit of our Christian life.

From its earliest times, koinonía (communion/community), marturía (witness), and diakonía (service) and have been the three hallmarks of Christian faith. The Christian community's communion in the Spirit (koinonía) witnesses (marturía) to God's love for humankind in Christ. This witness is made complete in loving service (diakonía), especially to the poor, hungry, sick, imprisoned, grieving, homeless or lonely, in whom it recognizes Christ's presence. In so doing, the Christian community of faith participates in God's work of reconciling the world to God in Christ.

Christian faith recognizes the Gospel call to love of God and neighbour as the path to a fully human existence. The gift of faith received at Baptism enables us to understand our origin and destiny: created in love to share in the divine life. Our faith is witnessed through communion in the one Spirit, expressed by reaching out in service, reconciling the world to God in Christ. Faith gives meaning to all aspects of human life; it an orientation of the heart, the soul and mind, shedding light on the true significance of every human life and undertaking.

Related Concepts:

REVELATION
SACRED SCRIPTURE/ TRUTH
SACRAMENT
TRINITY
INCARNATION
CREATION
CONVERSION
VIRTUE
SPIRITUALITY
WORSHIP
SALVATION
EDUCATION / CATECHESIS
HERITAGE / TRADITION
LIFE JOURNEY
MYSTERY, WONDER AND AWE
CHURCH
COMMUNION
COMMUNITY
WITNESS
SERVICE
RELATIONSHIP
DIVINE SONSHIP / DAUGHTERHOOD

Corresponding Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations:
 

CGE1a Illustrates a basic understanding of the saving story of our Christian faith

CGE1b Participates in the sacramental life of the church and demonstrates an understanding of the centrality of the Eucharist to our Catholic story
CGE1c Actively reflects on God's Word as communicated through the Hebrew and Christian scriptures
CGE1d Develops attitudes and values founded on Catholic social teaching and acts to promote social responsibility, human solidarity and the common good
CGE1e Speaks the language of life... "recognizing that life is an unearned gift and that a person entrusted with life does not own it but that one is called to protect and cherish it." (Witnesses to Faith)
CGE1f Seeks intimacy with God and celebrates communion with God, others and creation through prayer and worship
CGE1g Understands that one's purpose or call in life comes from God and strives to discern and live out this call throughout life's journey
CGE1h Respects the faith traditions, world religions and the life-journeys of all people of good will
CGE1i Integrates faith with life
CGE1j Recognizes that "sin, human weakness, conflict and forgiveness are part of the human journey" and that the cross, the ultimate sign of forgiveness is at the heart of redemption (Witnesses to Faith)
CGE2e Uses and integrates the Catholic faith tradition, in the critical analysis of the arts, media, technology and information systems to enhance the quality of life
CGE7a Acts morally and legally as a person formed in Catholic traditions
CGE7d Promotes the sacredness of life
CGE7e Witnesses Catholic social teaching by promoting equality, democracy, and solidarity for a just, peaceful and compassionate society