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Our readers asked:

What is the Best Way to Decide What Faith to Be?

Thomas Ryan, CSP Answers:

Q: What is the best way to decide what faith to be if you believe in different parts of all faiths?

A. Where do you find the most truth? I think that’s the question, because as you rightly observe, there is truth in all faiths. And we’re impelled by nature and bound by moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. Once we come to know it, we’re bound to adhere to it and direct our lives in accordance with its demands. We’re obliged to honor and bear witness to it

What’s the best way to decide where most truth is to be found? Study, dialogue, prayer, and discernment. The desire for God is written in the human heart, because we have been created by God for God, and God never ceases to draw us to God’s self. Created in God’s image and called to know and love God, the person who seeks God discovers certain ways of coming to know God. For example: Our openness to truth and beauty, our sense of moral goodness, our freedom and the voice of our conscience, our longings for the infinite and for happiness. Thus, in different ways, we come to know that there exists a reality called “God.”

Our faculties make us capable of coming to a knowledge of the existence of a personal God. But for us to enter into real intimacy with God, God chose to reveal God’s self to us and to give us the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith.

Revelation/Scripture reveals to us much more about what God is like. The Christian conviction is, as John says in his gospel, that Jesus came, “full of grace and truth” as “a light of the world” so that “whoever believes in me will not remain in darkness” (Jn 1:14, 8:12, 12:46). The disciple of Jesus continues in his teaching so as to “know the truth [that] will make you free” (Jn 8:32). To follow Jesus is to live “in the Spirit of truth” whom the Father sends in his name and who leads “into all the truth” (Jn 16:13).

The Author : Thomas Ryan, CSP
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP, directs the Paulist North American Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in Washington, D.C.
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