4. Is the light of reason alone sufficient to know the mystery of God?

In coming to a knowledge of God by the light of reason alone man experiences many difficulties. Indeed, on his own he is unable to enter into the intimacy of the divine mystery. This is why he stands in need of being enlightened by God’s revelation, not only about those things that exceed his understanding, but also about those religious and moral truths which of themselves are not beyond the grasp of human reason, so that even in the present condition of the human race, they can be known by all with ease, with firm certainty and with no admixture of error.


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Paragraph 37

37. In the historical conditions in which he finds himself, however, man experiences many difficulties in coming to know God by the light of reason alone:

Though human reason is, strictly speaking, truly capable by its own natural power and light of attaining to a true and certain knowledge of the one personal God, who watches over and controls the world by his providence, and of the natural law written in our hearts by the Creator; yet there are many obstacles which prevent reason from the effective and fruitful use of this inborn faculty. For the truths that concern the relations between God and man wholly transcend the visible order of things, and, if they are translated into human action and influence it, they call for self-surrender and abnegation. the human mind, in its turn, is hampered in the attaining of such truths, not only by the impact of the senses and the imagination, but also by disordered appetites which are the consequences of original sin. So it happens that men in such matters easily persuade themselves that what they would not like to be true is false or at least doubtful.

Paragraph 38

38. This is why man stands in need of being enlightened by God's revelation, not only about those things that exceed his understanding, but also "about those religious and moral truths which of themselves are not beyond the grasp of human reason, so that even in the present condition of the human race, they can be known by all men with ease, with firm certainty and with no admixture of error".


Acesse nossos estudos biblicos:

What is the story of Uzziah and how was he punished for disobeying God?

God’s Covenant with David: An Eternal Commitment (2 Samuel 7)

God’s Law and Justice: Exploring Their Relationship (Deuteronomy 16:18-20)

What do Daniel’s visions of the ram and the goat in Daniel 8 mean?

What is the importance of gratitude and recognition according to the book of Proverbs?

What is the power of gratitude and how can we practice it in our daily lives, according to Psalm 100?

What is the role of divine providence in the lives of the faithful? Can we find examples of this in the book of Tobias?

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