Dave Fleming, S.J, transposed St. Ignatius’ Principle and Foundation of the Spiritual Exercises into 21st century language. “The Goal of our life is to live with God forever. God, who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God’s life to flow into us without limit.”
Faith is a gift given us. Faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen” (Heb. 11:1). We believe that God became what we are so we can become what God is. That’s not some Jesuit’s wild twist on theology. That’s St. Athanasius in the third century (CCC #460).
So, the answer to the question rests on what “having faith” means. Faith is not a thing one has; faith is a relationship one lives. A relationship between a free person and a loving God mediated to us through the experiences and people in our lives. The church is the community that joins those who live these relationships based on, and energized by, faith.
Faith is ultimately the trust and hope that the God who loves us, the God who sustains our very existence every minute of our lives, will continue to cause us to exist when we die and move beyond this present life. I Tim 2:4 teaches that “God desires the universal salvation of all.” The promise is that we will be transformed in Christ and become able to live in and with God forever.