Sunday, February 11, 2007

Augustine's Handbook of Catholic Faith 3

Augustine's handbook on Faith, Hope, and Love--the Enchiridion--is ostensibly written in response to the inquiry of one Laurentius. At first glance it's not exactly clear how Augustine's equation

Wisdom = Worship = Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love (see last post)

addresses Laurentius' hodge podge of questions:

"IV. The Questions Propounded by Laurentius"
1. What ought to be man's chief end in life.
2. What ought we chiefly to avoid in view of the various heresies.
3. To what extent is religion supported by reason.
4. What there is in reason that lends no support to faith when faith stands alone. [This is a very strangely worded question!]
5. What is the starting point and what is the goal of religion.
6. What is the sum of the whole body of doctrine.
7. What is the sure and proper foundation of the Catholic Faith.

I can just imagine Augustine getting this letter and saying "Oh, that's all!" We'll go into the details subsequently but I think it's worth a full post just to contemplate the bare fact that Augustine's Equation is intended to address all these questions. So if Augustine is correct in his approach, it seems that there is no aspect of the Catholic Faith which cannot be addressed through Faith, Hope, and Love. That fact alone is worthy of much reflection and practice.

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