Book Access - "Faith" Ch. 9 of "Virtue Stands in the Middle" Dr. Gustafson
Chapter 9here. He has graciously offered to share parts of his upcoming book on virtue. The work not only delves in Catholic tradition and teaching on virtue and vice, but offers access to many images of the symbolism and iconographic tradition of the Seven Lady Virtues. Below is access to chapter nine.
"Faith is the first of three theological virtues. It is foundational for the life of grace – “For by grace you have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). The Christian life is non-existent without faith. Without faith in God, one can neither hope in God nor love God. Faith is the root virtue for the Christian life. In fact, two of the primary names for followers of Christ are “believers” and “the faithful.” The word belief is synonymous with faith. Also, confidence has the same root as faith (“fid”) and is similar to it. Faith is a confusing concept. It refers to both the virtue of faith as well as the content of what one believes. One could say: “I have faith (believe) in the Christian faith.” Here, we will focus primarily upon the former – the theological virtue by which we believe. Our starting definition of faith has two parts: 1.) believing in God and 2.) believing all that God has revealed to us. The person exercising the virtue of faith believes in both the Trinitarian God as well as all that God has revealed to His Church (divine revelation or the Word of God). One difficulty here is that the number of divine truths that God has revealed is great. As a result, the Church has composed symbols of faith (creeds) which succinctly express the central truths about the triune God and His plan for us. These creeds are certainly not comprehensive, but they provide a focus for the virtue of faith. If one examines them closely, all of the symbols of faith are structured around the Christian belief in the Blessed Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit."