26 We begin our profession of faith by saying: ‘I believe’ or ‘We believe’. Before expounding the Church’s faith, as confessed in the Creed, celebrated in the liturgy and lived in observance of God’s commandments and in prayer, we must first ask what ‘to believe’ means. Faith is man’s response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself to man, at the same time bringing man a superabundant light as he searches for the ultimate meaning of his life. Thus we shall consider first that search (Chapter One), then the divine Revelation by which God comes to meet man (Chapter Two), and finally the response of faith (Chapter Three).

Chapter One

I. The Desire For God
27 The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man
355, 1701
is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man
to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he
1718 never stops searching for:
The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has
created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely
acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.’

28 In many ways, throughout history down to the present day,
843, 2566 men have given expression to their quest for God in their religious
beliefs and behaviour: in their prayers, sacrifices, rituals, medita
tions, and so forth. These forms of religious expression, despite the ambiguities they often bring with them, are so universal that one may well call man a religious being:
From one ancestor [God] made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘in him we live and move and have our being.’2