Believing in God, Believing God, Believing unto God

05-02-2021Weekly Reflection

St. Thomas Aquinas distinguished three dimensions in the act of faith: “It is one thing to say: ‘I believe in God’ (credo Deum), for this indicates the object. It is another thing to say: ‘I believe God’ (credo Deo), for this indicates the One who testifies. And it is yet another thing to say: ‘I believe unto God’ (credo in Deum), for this indicates the end or goal of faith.

Thus, God can be regarded as the object of faith, as the one who testifies, and as the goal of faith, but while the object of faith and the one who testifies can be a creature, only God can be the goal of faith, for our mind is directed to God alone as its goal” (St. Thomas Aquinas, In Ioannem, c. 6, lectio 3).

Believing unto God (credere in Deum) is essential to the dynamism of faith. By adhering with personal faith to the Word of God, the believer consents to the supreme attraction exerted by the full and absolute Good that is the Blessed Trinity. It is the desire for happiness, deeply rooted in every human heart, which drives the spirit and leads the human being to fulfillment in confident surrender to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this sense, faith – and theology as the science of faith and wisdom – offers to all “lovers of spiritual beauty” (St. Augustine, Regula ad servis Dei, 8,1) a full-flavored foretaste of eternal joy.