Conversion and Faith

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In the biblical sense, faith involves an entrusting of oneself to God. Christian faith specifically involves a handing-over of oneself to the Person of Jesus Christ who is God the Son. The General Directory for Catechesis (n. 53) states:

The Christian faith is, above all, conversion to Jesus Christ,1  full and sincere adherence to his person and the decision to walk in his footsteps.2  Faith is a personal encounter with Jesus Christ making, of oneself a disciple of him. This demands a permanent commitment to think like him, to judge like him and to live as he lived.3  In this way the believer unites himself to the community of disciples and appropriates the faith of the Church.4

Christian faith involves a conversion – or a metanoia – of the whole person to Jesus Christ as the General Directory for Catechesis (n. 55) states:

Faith involves a change of life, a “metanoia”,5 that is a profound transformation of mind and heart; it causes the believer to live that conversion.6  This transformation of life manifests itself at all levels of the Christian's existence: in his interior life of adoration and acceptance of the divine will, in his action, participation in the mission of the Church, in his married and family life; in his professional life; in fulfilling economic and social responsibilities. Faith and conversion arise from the “heart”, that is, they arise from the depth of the human person and they involve all that he is. By meeting Jesus Christ and by adhering to him the human being sees all of his deepest aspirations completely fulfilled. He finds what he had always been seeking and he finds it superabundantly.7


(1) Cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church: Ad gentes, n. 13a.
(2) Cf. Pope John Paul II, On Catechesis in Our Time: Catechesi tradendae, n. 5b.
(3) Cf. Catechesi Tradendae, n. 20b.
(4) Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 166-167.
(5) Cf. Pope Paul VI, On Evangelisation in the Modern World: Evangelii nuntiandi, n. 10; Ad gentes, n. 13b; Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 1430-1431.
(6) Evangelii nuntiandi, n. 23.
(7) Cf. Ad gentes, n. 13.