The Light of Faith
 

Faith, humanity require the love of mother, father

August 17, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Faith has a bad name in our secularized culture. Too often, it is seen as a private choice, and if it is allowed to enter the public realm, it is interpreted as an imposition, a restraint on human freedom. Certainly, ecclesial authority can be and has been abused, not only in the distant past, but even today. All authority inevitably brings with it a measure of worldly power, and such power tends over time to corrupt.

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In Baptism, we share in God's nature

July 27, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

From the beginning of his encyclical The Light of Faith, Pope Francis emphasized that faith is more than an intellectual act; it is an encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. That encounter, we learned, is a journey in which we grow, not only in knowledge, but in union with Christ. Moreover, it is a communal journey, not simply our own private trip. We journey in the Church.

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Faith takes one into relationship with God, others

July 13, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

My own faith began to spring to life when I studied St. Augustine's Confessions when I was 23 years old. I took a course on Augustine from a prof named Leo Ferrari to give a different dimension to my graduate program in philosophy which was limping badly. But then, it was more than just me and a book. Leo was a wild man with wild hair and beard who had an overwhelming sense of the mystery of life and the mystery of God.

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Faith comes from sight, but also from touch and hearing

June 29, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Pope Francis' encyclical The Light of Faith (LF) obviously presents faith as a light which illuminates realities, enabling the believer to see and understand them. This light, the pope says, "is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence" (LF4). It is a light that does not come from ourselves because it is a light that shows us reality, not some figment of our own imagination.

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Faith can be lived in an uncertain world

June 15, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

One of the most brilliant mathematicians of the late 19th century was the Englishman William Kingdon Clifford. Clifford also dabbled in philosophy and was noted for expounding this principle: "It is wrong always, everywhere and for anyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence." That is, you should never believe something merely because you think it is true or on the basis of evidence that is anything less than indubitable. Applying Clifford's principle would lead one into a most humourless existence with one ever seeking to find sufficient evidence for the truth of even our most mundane beliefs.

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Idolatry has many sides, but no true face

June 1, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

In the previous article in this series on Pope Francis' encyclical The Light of Faith, I considered the role of mediation in faith. Faith always arises through a mediator - the Church, the wider society, one's family, a loved one. The problem is that when one's chief mediator loses faith or mistreats us, our faith is apt to crumble. In this article, I will look at Pope Francis' reflection on idolatry. Mediation is something outside oneself, but idolatry is a failing on the part of the person who could have faith.

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It takes a cloud of witnesses to mediate faith

May 18, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

How marvellous it would be if we all could have a vision of Jesus with the same power as that experienced by St. Paul on the road to Damascus. A light from heaven flashed around him and Jesus spoke: "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting" (Acts 9.5). After that, how could there be any doubt? There would no longer be any need to question whether there is a God, whether Jesus is God become human. It would all have been revealed with greater power than any Hollywood special effects team could muster.

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Faith gives new eyes to help us see

May 4, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

From a Christian perspective, the most striking development of the last 50 years in the Western world is the declining practice of faith. Where, not that long ago, Christian belief was part of the DNA of most Europeans and North Americans, it is now the preserve of a minority. The vast majority of Canadians say they believe in God, but it is hard to discern what that actually means. Is that belief the last tidbit of something inherited from their grandparents, or is it a seed that will grow into something glorious with proper watering? What is faith anyway? Is it a firm adherence to the Church's dogmatic and moral tenets? Is it a general adherence of the heart and mind to a mysterious Supreme Being who transcends the physical?

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