What does it mean to believe in God? This question still provokes a recalcitrant world. In spite of the apparent disinterest of our age, the religious question continues to task and to vex, sometimes quietly, sometimes dramatically. When religious divisions occasion civil strife, believers are faced with an even more radical inquiry. Wherein lies the real truth about Christian doctrine and its place in our lives? Can we appeal to any authority for belief? How do we escape the suspicions of a skeptical age?
In this book, Romanus Cessario explores these questions and suggests responses taken from the history of theology. He offers a readable account of the accumulated wisdom of the Christian tradition concerning the faith-question, citing as major authorities the saints, those who have realized the will of God throughout the ages. Faith supplies not only the assurance but also the substance of things hoped for. The experience of Israel teaches that "God has foreseen something better for us"; this "something better" resides in the Word of God that takes flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Because it keeps being born again in the heart of every believer, as St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us, it leads us to the blessedness of eternal life.
Since the end of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, authors have dealt mainly with the existential dimensions of Christian life. This volume, the fruit of more than two decades of contemplation on the virtues of Christian life, complements these as well as historical studies about faith. It presents a coherent meditation on faith's principal concerns: its acts of belief and confession, and its character as a virtue in the Christian life. Father Cessario explains how the mysteries of faith--what the Christian believer professes each Sunday in the Creed--transform our lives and make us living images of the Triune God. Consequently, this book will meet a wide range of needs by answering the questions of the informed reader, animating study groups and parish seminars, and stimulating the ordinary believer to appropriate "the depth of the riches and the wisdom and knowledge of God."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Romanus Cessario, O.P., is professor of systematic theology at St. John's Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts. Before assuming this post in the fall of 1995, Father Cessario taught at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. He served there as Academic Dean from 1979 to 1987. He is the author of numerous works, including The Moral Virtues and Theological Ethics, Le Virtu, and Perpetual Angelus: As the Saints Pray the Rosary, and presently serves on the editorial boards of The Thomist, the French journal Pierre d'Angle, and the National Catholic Register.