The start of the Creed we profess at Mass is not simply the expression of my “I,” but rather it is the “I” of the Church. To proclaim the Creed is to say “I hold to the faith that Christ has given to his Church.” This statement of belief becomes personal that expresses I hold to something greater than myself … “I hold to the deposit of faith Jesus has given to the whole Church.”
To believe is not simply to hold to something irrationally, but it is to exclaim that I hold to a truth that is reasonable, though not knowable to reason alone. To make the faith of the Church our own, we are saying, “This is the deepest reality, the deepest truth of my life. It is not something I simply say at Mass, it is the cornerstone of my very existence.”
The first object of our faith, the deepest ground of our existence, is stated first in the Creed: that we “believe in One God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.” The Creed doesn’t simply stop at “one God” but already begins its reflection that God is a Trinity. The maker of heaven and earth is not some impersonal force, but rather a Person — a Father who creates out of tender love and care. The Father, then, is someone who enters into relationship with every aspect of our being. As creator, every moment is upheld by him, and we are always one small act away from entering into a relationship with him, borne out of thanksgiving for the goodness of his creation.
To believe is to act on the deepest and most important fact of our lives: that we are in relationship with the God who loves and cares for us in the totality of our existence.
Father Harrison Ayre is a priest of the Diocese of Victoria, British Columbia. Follow him on Twitter at @FrHarrison.