Lesson IX – The Faith of the Roman Catholic
Q. What do the words “I believe” mean?
A. They mean that I hold to be true that which another tells me.
Q. What must we know of a person to believe firmly all his words?
A. That he is truthful and knows well the things which he tells us.
Q. Is God truthful?
A. “He is Truth itself.” Rom. iii. 4.
Q. Does God know all things well?
A. “He knows all things as they are.” 1 John iii. 20.
Q. Why, then, must we firmly believe all that God has made known?
A. Because He can neither deceive nor be deceived. “God is not as a man, that he should lie.” Numb. xxiii. 19.
Q. What is to believe God?
A. It is to believe, without doubting, that whatever God has said is infallibly true.
Q. Can we of ourselves have this firm faith?
A. No; it is a particular gift and light of God. “By grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God.” Eph. ii. 8.
Q. What does this gift bring about in the soul?
A. It enlightens the understanding, and moves the will of man to believe without doubting all that God has made known. “Faith is the evidence of things that appear not.” Heb. xi. 1.
Q. To whom did God make known all that we must believe and do?
A. Only to the Roman Catholic Church.
Q. From whom, then, must all men learn that they must believe and do?
A. From the Roman Catholic Church, because she alone was appointed by God to teach the truths of salvation to all nations.
Q. Is to believe what the Roman Catholic Church teaches not the same as to believe God Himself? A. It is, indeed.
A. Because Jesus Christ has said to the pastors of the Church: “He who heareth you heareth me, and he who despiseth you despiseth me.”
Q. What, then, is the faith of the Roman Catholic?
A. It is a grace and light of the Holy Ghost, which enables him to believe most firmly all that God teaches him by His Church.
Q. Is this faith of the Roman Catholic a divine or human faith?
A. It is divine faith.
Q. Why is it divine?
A. Because, by the light of grace, the Catholic knows for certain that the pastors of the Church are commissioned by God Himself to teach all men, in His name, authoritatively and infallibly, all the sacred and immutable truths of salvation, and, therefore, he feels himself bound in conscience to believe them without hesitation.
Q. Is this divine faith absolutely necessary for salvation?
A. Yes; because it is only by divine faith that we can please God.
Q. Who assures us of this?
A. Jesus Christ Himself.
Q. What are His words?
A. “Go and teach all nations.–He that believeth not shall be condemned.” Mark xvi.
Q. What does St. Paul say of those who do not believe God, when He speaks to them through those whom He appointed to teach men?
A. That “it is impossible to please God without faith.” Heb. xi.
Q. What, then, is the rule of faith which Jesus Christ gave to all men?
A. To listen to His living voice, speaking through the pastors of His Church, and to believe them.
Q. Can men possibly have divine faith out of the Catholic Church?
A. Out of the Catholic Church there can be none but human faith.
Q. What do you mean by human faith?
A. To believe a man on his own authority.
Q. Do those who are out of the Church, and teach and preach to the people, teach and preach on their own authority?
A. They do; because they are not sent by God, nor have they received any mission from His Church.
Q.What follows from this?
A. That those who believe them do not believe God, but man, and, therefore, their faith is only human, which availeth them nothing unto salvation.