3. The act of faith and the object of faith
What do we mean by “faith”?
We must distinguish the human act of faith from the divine object of faith, our faith from The Faith, the act of believing from the truth believed.
The act of faith is ours. It is our choice to believe or not to believe.
To believe what? What God has revealed, divine revelation.That is the object of faith.
The act of faith is relative to its object.We don’t “just believe,” we believe God. And we don’t just believe any god, we believe the true God, the Father of Jesus Christ, as revealed to us by the Church, her creeds, and her Bible.
The Catechism describes the act of faith this way: “Faith is a personal act – the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals himself” (C 166). Faith is a response to data, to what has been given (data means “things given”) to us by God – that is, a response to divine revelation. Faith is not some feeling we work up within ourselves. Faith has data just as much as science does. But the data of faith are not the kind of thing the scientific method can discover, or prove, or comprehend. God does not fit into a test tube. He is not visible to the eye,only to the mind (when it is wise) and to the heart (when it is holy).