FIDES ET RATIO- FAITH AND REASON
Inspired by Pope John Paul II with his Encyclical Letter, Fides Et Ratio , we found it appropriate to make this “Faith and Reason” our Motto .
Why “Faith and Reason”?
On one hand, it is Faith in God that helps us to understand who we are, where we are, what do we hope for and how to get to that hope. It is the same faith that helps us to understand the situations, elements, systems, ideologies and cultures that try to deform our humanity and everything that
tries to prevent us from becoming humans; and it is faith that helps us to know the authentic means of dealing with those things that prevent us from becoming humans.
On the other hand, it is Reason that helps us to understand that faith is not simply statements of beliefs but a concrete expression of rational religious insights or religious wisdom intended to help people live in a loving and authentic relationship.Christian faith has an essentially rational and intellectual dimension. Seeking to know the truth about our faith and learning to defend what we believe and express it rationally, isessential part of Seminary studies andtraining.It is Reason that will help us to ensure unity between faith and its implications within the present day conditions or concrete lived reality and to address pastoral issues within the realm of experience. It is Reason that will enable constant conversation and interaction between our Christian faith and non-Christian faiths as dialogue partners so that from their variant and shared wisdom, a meaningful response evolves for communal growth. It is Reason that will help us make sound judgment. It is Reason that will helpus not to impose faith but to propose it, for through Reason we understand that Faith should never be imposed but proposed. It is Reason that will help us ensure authentic proclamation.
Reason without faith or Uninformed Reasoncan lead us to human intellectual pride and arrogance attitude that results from erroneous thinking which persuades us to argue that reason is enough for salvation, - a heretic stance which eventually makes us reject God and make ourselves masters of our life and destiny.
Faith without Reason will make us fail to connect that faith with concrete human life, hence failing to show implication of our faith in daily to daily people’s life.Faith without Reason will lead us to erroneous interpretation of the “Holy Books” or taking religious statements literally without critical analysis, hence failing to give rational explanation of what we believe, - a dangerous stance that can further lead to violence in fostering faith. Faith without reason makes us think that we are the owners, and not the servants, of the truth, hence harshly imposing our faith on others without any dialogue or conversation. Faith without Reason makes us seek self-justification that leads to all kinds of aberration. Faith without Reason results into ideological violence which leads to the rejection of other people’s faiths and distortion of other people’s culture,- a major source of continuous religious conflicts and misunderstanding. Therefore, our Seminarians, as future pastors and agents of Evangelization, they ought to know thatFaith and Reason are never mutually exclusive!