Pope Benedict said last Wednesday: “For this reason Luther’s phrase: ‘faith alone’ is true, if it is not opposed to faith in charity, in love. Faith is looking at Christ, entrusting oneself to Christ, being united to Christ, conformed to Christ, to his life. And the form, the life of Christ, is love; hence to believe is to conform to Christ and to enter into his love. So it is that in the letter to the Galatians in which he primarily developed his teaching on justification St. Paul speaks of faith that works through love (cf. Galatians 5: 14)…thus in communion with Christ, in a faith that creates charity, the entire law is fulfilled.” (Benedict, 19Nov08)
To believe is to conform to Christ, to entrust oneself to Christ, to be united to Christ and enter into his love. Faith then is more than assent of mind and will. It is relational. It is baptismal, given Benedict’s description, for in baptism we put on Christ, and we enter into his love by the power of the Holy Spirit. Faith flows out into charity, into works of all kinds, just as our lives flow from our baptismal profession.