Light of Faith (Lumen Fidei)
In The Light of Faith Pope Francis takes up the question: What difference does faith make? He invites the reader to think anew about faith. The Pope speaks of faith as a light, but still, "Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey." By faith we can know God, but we can't fully understand him. So areas of darkness remain. That is why we have to believe first in order to understand, as Francis stresses. Ultimately, faith is transformed by love. When we love, faith can fully transform us.
From the Encyclical:
"Faith does not merely gaze at Jesus, but sees things as Jesus himself sees them, with his own eyes: it is a participation in his way of seeing. In many areas in our lives we trust others who know more than we do. We trust the architect who builds our home, the pharmacist who gives us medicine for healing, the lawyer who defends us in court. We also need someone trustworthy and knowledgeable where God is concerned. Jesus, the Son of God, is the one who makes God known to us (cf. Jn 1:18). Christ's life, his way of knowing the Father and living in complete and constant relationship with him, opens up new and inviting vistas for human experience" (no. 18).
This first encyclical of our new Pope is essential reading for every Catholic.