Article 2


166 Faith is a personal act

— the free response of the human person

to the initiative of God who reveals himself. But faith is not an isolated act. No one can believe alone, just as no one can live alone.


You have not given yourself faith as you have not given yourself

life. The believer has received faith from others and should hand it on to others. Our love forJesus and for our neighbour impels us to speak to others about our faith. Each believer is thus a link in the great chain of believers. I cannot believe without being carried by the faith of others, and by my faith I help support others in the faith.


167 ‘I believe’ (Apostles’ Creed) is the faith of the Church professed

personally by each believer, principally during Baptism. ‘We believe’ (Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed) is the faith of the Church confessed by the bishops assembled in council or more generally by the liturgical assembly of believers. ‘I believe’ is also the


Church, our mother, responding to God by faith as she teaches us

to say both ‘I believe’ and ‘We believe’.


‘Lord, Look upon the Faith of Your Church’

i68 It is the Church that believes first, and so bears, nourishes and sustains my faith. Everywhere, it is the Church that first confesses the Lord: ‘Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you’, as we sing in the hymn Te Deum; with her and in her, we are won over and brought to confess: ‘I believe’, ‘We believe’. It is through the Church that we receive faith and new life in Christ by Baptism. In the Rituale Romanum, the minister of Baptism asks the


catechumen: ‘What do you ask of God’s Church?’ And the answer

is: ‘Faith.’ ‘What does faith offer you?’ ‘Eternal life.’54 169 Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: ‘We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if


she were the author of our salvation.’55 Because she is our mother,


she is also our teacher in the faith.


The Language of Faith

170 We do not believe in formulae, but in those realities they