You Are Not Going to Believe This!

The word “belief” gets tossed around a lot these days. Sometimes we talk about it as if it’s just an opinion—like preferring chocolate ice cream over vanilla. But when it comes to faith, particularly Catholic faith, belief means a whole lot more. It is about accepting God’s truths and the teachings of the Church, and letting them guide our lives.

What Does it Mean to Believe?

Believing isn’t just about agreeing with something in your head; it’s about a deep-rooted sense of trust and commitment. When we say in the Creed, “I believe in one God,” it’s not just an intellectual agreement. We are proclaiming that we put our trust, love, and entire lives into the hands of God.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states, “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” (CCC 26). Notice how the Catechism doesn’t say faith is merely an idea or a feeling—it’s a response to God.

The Role of Scripture in Belief

The Bible isn’t just a storybook; it’s the inspired Word of God. St. Paul says, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Scripture gives us the foundational stories and teachings that form the basis of our beliefs. For a Catholic, reading the Bible isn’t an optional hobby but an essential part of building and maintaining belief.

The Church as the Pillar of Truth

But we don’t just have the Bible. We have the Church as the custodian of truth. The Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, interprets Scripture and Tradition. It’s not just anybody’s interpretation of the Bible we follow, but the Church’s. St. Paul refers to the Church as “the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).

The Catechism reinforces this by stating, “The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him” (CCC 100). In other words, the Church holds the authoritative role in teaching what is true and guiding how we should live according to that truth.

What We Believe: Core Teachings

There are certain core teachings every Catholic must believe. The Creed sums it up well: belief in the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation of Jesus, His Passion, Death, and Resurrection, and the life of grace given to us through the sacraments. These are non-negotiables. You can’t be Catholic and say, “Well, I don’t really believe Jesus rose from the dead.” That’s a deal-breaker.

Jesus Himself emphasizes the importance of belief when He says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live” (John 11:25).

Moral Teachings: Right and Wrong

Believing in the Church also means accepting her moral teachings, including those on social justice, sexuality, and the sanctity of life. The Catechism declares, “The moral law is the work of divine Wisdom” (CCC 1951). It’s not something the Church made up. It’s how God designed us to live, guided by our innate understanding of what is right and wrong, and refined by the Church’s teachings.

Room for Personal Reflection and Understanding

However, not everything is set in stone. There are theological opinions—like how exactly angels operate, or specific ideas about the end times—that are open for discussion. These are not central to the faith and are areas where good Catholics can disagree. These opinions should be formed, however, with a sense of fidelity to the Church’s teachings and an understanding of the wider tradition.

The Beauty of Belief: Transforming Lives

Belief isn’t just about ticking off boxes. It’s transformative. When you truly believe, it changes how you live, think, and interact with others. St. Paul captures this beautifully when he says, “The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).


Belief in the Catholic context is not a trivial matter. It’s not about picking and choosing what feels good. It’s a full commitment to trust in God and adhere to the teachings of the Church He established. This doesn’t mean turning off your brain; rather, it’s about orienting your whole self—mind, body, and soul—towards the ultimate Truth. And when you do, the words of Jesus promise a transformative power: “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32).

Belief, according to Catholic teaching, is a liberating and life-altering gift. It’s a response to God’s love, guided by the Church, and anchored in Scripture and Tradition. It’s not something to be taken lightly, and it’s not something to keep to yourself. It’s the cornerstone of a life well-lived, in the footsteps of Christ.

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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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