Faith before Belief


Nothing of the faith depends on 'belief'. If a priest no longer believes that transubstantiation takes place when offering Mass, it makes no difference to the latter's occurrence. If he obeys the Church and sacrifices the Mass according to the mind of the church transubstantiation takes place full stop. This is how Faith works, single-mindedly'. Personal 'belief' has nothing to do with it.

Commandments are given to us to subjective mindsent comes into it. When obeyed consistently then, and only then, by the grace of God understanding may come. If it does not come then God is testing the soul's faith. Nothing that God does depends on man's belief. If and when understanding comes one tests whether it comes from God - or by the Deceiver's machinations. If it is in perfect conformity with His Commandments - the mind of the unchanging God who never contradicts Himself in the slightest degree - then it is confirmed and faith strengthened. The gift of Understanding confirms the priest's faithful obedience. We have to believe before we understand. This is true of all of God's perennial, unchanging commandments whether they apply to the Mass or other dogma.
Extract : St. Augustine


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