A Catholic Monthly Magazine

I believe …

By Bridget Taumoepeau

For me, one of the most moving moments at Mass is hearing my neighbour in the pews recite the Creed. Whether or not this is someone that I know personally, it is always a very emotional moment. We are all publicly proclaiming our faith – something that we do not often do in other circumstances. We would rarely ask each other, “What do you believe?”, and the convention that we should not discuss politics, money or religion in social conversation usually seems to apply.

The Creed offers us a unique moment to connect with God. As well as a statement of faith, it is a message of love for our God and thanks for all that he has done and is doing for us. Bishop Gumbleton from Michigan, USA, spoke on this topic on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. He pointed out that it is easy to say, “I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God”, but do we act on that belief by trying to follow faithfully what he teaches?

What are the consequences of acknowledging our faith – are they just empty words, or do they translate into action? When we say “I believe”, is that just an academic or theoretical statement of fact, akin to believing in a scientific theory, or is it life changing? If a stranger asks you, “What does it mean to believe in God? How are you different from unbelievers?”, what would your answer be?

St Ignatius teaches that “love ought to manifest itself more by deeds than words”. If we translated our belief into actions there would probably be no need for anyone to ask us about what our belief means. It would become an unwritten form of evangelisation. Pope Francis often says that we will draw people to God, not by proselytising, but by attraction. He, himself, is an excellent example of this – a man who, in his actions and attitudes to people, demonstrates his belief in, and love of our God, and draws people to him, and thus to the merciful and forgiving God who loves us all unconditionally.

Next time I say the creed, I will try to reflect on how I am demonstrating that faith in my daily life.

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