As we continue our look into what Catholic-Christians believe and state in the Creed, it is important to address what it means “to believe” in the context of our profession of faith.
When we state The Nicene Creed at Mass or when someone asks us what we believe in as Christians, we are making a declaration. We are not only reciting facts, we are declaring that we believe in those facts and are willing to stand up for them. It is our personal proclamation of belief!
Let us examine different ways to believe in something:
“I believe that Australia is a continent.” Whether or not you have been to Australia, you can agree with this fact. It is just a fact. Australia can be seen on any map, people live there, and it has been designated as a continent. These are facts. There is nothing to be done about this and no action is required on our part for Australia to remain a continent.
In the United States of America, we have stop lights. In order for stop lights to be effective in the purpose that they were designed for, people have to not only believe that they exist, but they have to understand and obey them. When a stop light changes from yellow to red, cars must stop at the designated line. This is belief that requires to action for it to work. The stop lights will still exist if people disobey them, but they will not exist for the purpose that they were designed for to keep the flow of traffic moving smoothly.
We now come to the faith that we discuss in The Nicene Creed. When Christians proclaim The Nicene Creed, we are stating that we not only believe the statements in the Creed to be true facts, but that we will also live by them—our lives will be lived in such a way that all who see us will know that we are believers!
Another way to explain this level of belief is by looking at love. Many of us have probably heard the expression: I love that person, but I am not “in love” with that person. This is often used to share that while we have deep feelings for a person, we are not romantically in love with him/her.
For a Christian, when we proclaim The Nicene Creed, we are stating that we believe in God—we do not just believe that there is a God; we are declaring that there is a God and we trust in Him and will live according to His will.