Picking up with the second section of Chapter 2….
Chapter two of the encyclical is divided into six sections.
- Faith and Truth (23-25)
- Knowledge of the truth and love (26-28)
- Faith as hearing and sight (29-31)
- The dialogue of faith and reason (32-34)
- Faith and the search for God (35)
- Faith and theology (36)
Knowledge of the truth and love (26-28)
Faith and knowledge of the truth are linked through the heart. “One believes with the heart” (Rom. 10:10).
the heart is the core of the human person, where all his or her different dimensions intersect: body and spirit, interiority and openness to the world and to others, intellect, will and affectivity (26).
It is faith’s connection to love that opens it to truth.
Faith knows because it is tied to love, because love itself brings enlightenment. Faith’s understanding is born when we receive the immense love of God which transforms us inwardly and enables us to see reality with new eyes (26).
This love is more than emotion. It is a love that “aims at union with the beloved” (27). Therefore it is a love grounded in truth. We can only attain union with the beloved when we know the beloved.
Because it is born of love, the knowledge of faith is primarily relational.
It is a relational way of viewing the world, which then becomes a form of shared knowledge, vision through the eyes of another and a shared vision of all that exists (27).
Faith-knowledge is rooted in God’s covenant with his people. It is born from a trust in God’s fidelity. God has been faithful in the past. He will be faithful now and in the future.
Faith-knowledge, because it is born of God’s covenantal love, is knowledge which lights up a path in history… the true God is the God of fidelity who keeps his promises and makes possible, in time, a deeper understanding of his plan (28).
Because, in faith, we are aware of God’s love for us, his plan becomes clearer and clarifies all of history.
Faith-knowledge sheds light [on] …the entire history of the created world, from its origins to its consummation (28).
To think about…
- How is love more than an emotion? What examples can you give?
- How is knowing someone related to loving them? Is it true that the more we love someone the better we come to know them?
- How does faith in God’s covenant promises make sense out of life?