What is the theological virtue of faith?

Mission Lab

The Theological Virtue of faith is the supernatural virtue by which we firmly believe in our hearts all the truths God has revealed.

The virtue of faith enables us to accept as true and choose to live by the body of truths that are found in the Creeds and in the teachings of the Church, for these are based upon divine Revelation, which includes both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. The power of faith is essentially the power to believe in God’s revelation of Himself and His will for us and to obey that revelation and will.

An act of supernatural faith is thus the assent of the mind to what God has revealed. Such an act requires divine grace, either actual or sanctifying or both. The mind needs the light of Christ’s knowledge before it can give this assent. This is made available to it by the Holy Spirit’s gift of knowledge.

When made in the state of grace, an act of faith is meritorious before God. A simple act of faith is, “My God, I believe in You and all that Your Church teaches, because You have said it, and Your word is true.”

The virtue or capacity of faith is infused into our souls, along with sanctifying grace, when the Sacrament of Baptism is received. Even the baptized infant possesses this virtue, although he will not be able to exercise it fully until he reaches the age of reason.

The effect of faith is something called justification. This means that faith perfected by the Theological Virtue of charity brings man from a stage of separation from God into communion with Him and with his fellow men in God.

Faith is the permanent capacity to share in the power of Jesus’ obedience to the Truth revealed by God, and to use this power to develop habits of supernatural faith. These habits enable us to live our lives in God’s Truth and to adhere to His plan and New Covenant for our Salvation.