A Pilgrim's Catechism

The Occasional Thoughts of a 21st-Century Roman Catholic on Journey

Towards the Reign of God 

 Caspar Luiken:  The Faith of the Centurion


Is faith to be found outside the Church?

Faith is saying “yes” to the gift of divine life that God offers to us. It is a matter of placing trust and confidence in the promise made through the Word. For those who recognize the fullness of God’s presence and revelation in Jesus Christ, it is acceptance of him that unites believers into a community of faith, the Church.

But surely faith extends beyond the confines of the Church. Indeed the divine invitation goes out to all of humanity. All who say “yes” to God, with whatever understanding, live in faith and partake of divine life. In fact, it is the very acceptance of that divine life within one’s mother’s womb, made possible by the power of the Spirit, that makes one to be a human being.  God is Love, and whoever manifests love is by that very act a sharer in divine life. Wherever love abounds, divinity is also present filling the lives of those who serve one another.

Faith is often identified with the acceptance of certain truths concerning God but there are those who truly live in faith who are not sure about the existence of God and who even deny it. Their puzzlement and even their seeming rejection of God is sometimes a matter of being confused by the distortions of God that explicit believers present to them. If love is the manifestation of the divine presence, the agnostic and the atheist are often the very ones, prompted by a true faith that goes unrecognized, who show the better way and challenge explicit believers to abandon the hypocrisy that frequently tinges their lives.




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What is a human being?

A creature composed of body and soul?

Made in the image and likeness of God?

When does human life begin?

When is there a human person?

What is the fundamental human experience?

What does it mean for human beings to be responsible?

Can a human being interact with God?

Who is called?

Who is sent?

All are called but does not each individual have a special vocation?

Is faith to be found outside the Church?

Is true freedom “from” or “for?”

What does it mean, “to follow one’s conscience?”