People often accuse the Catholic Church of requiring the faithful to be mindless drones and not think for themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Luther however, called reason "the devil's whore." And why wouldn't he? After all, if someone takes the time to think about Sola Fide (and I mean really think about it), they will have no choice but to declare it an heretical doctrine!
Just listening to the things he says are enough to prove his heresy. For example, in one of Luther's sermons, he said that he could commit adultery 1oo times in one day and still be justified!
Hmm...you might want to check with God on that one, buddy!
He also called the Letter of James (which is the inspired word of God) an epistle of straw. He even wanted to take it out of his version of the Bible, until some of his friends convinced him that it wasn't a good idea to do so. Why did Luther have such a hatred of the Letter of James? Because it is the only place in the Bible where the words "Faith" and "Alone" are next to each other and James says that indeed we are NOT saved by "Faith Alone." Makes his theology un-biblical doesn't it? No wonder he didn't want it in the Bible. However, if you reject the Letter of James (which I remind you is the word of God), what's to stop you from throwing out other books of the Bible. Go ahead. Pick and choose to fit your theology and water down and destroy the word of God. Thomas Jefferson did. No doubt he was probably influenced by Luther.
In fact, people who believe in Sola Fide in such a way that they say you have to have faith before regeneration and justification are semi-Pelagians!
For they believe that they came to faith on their own, not through the grace of God working in them.
The irony is that these same people accuse Catholics of Pelagianism (I guess they don't know that the Catholic Church condemned Pelagianism at the Council of Orange). What they don't realize is that Catholics believe that we are regenerated in Baptism which makes us supernatural sons and daughters of God and it is through God's grace working in us that we have faith in God and the works we do are also because of God's grace working in us, thus the works are crowned by God!
Catholics believe in Sola Gratia. We can do nothing on our own, but only through the grace of God. Baptism is what brings us into the family of God, when at our baptism we are justified and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, leaving the natural birth of our parents and entering into a supernatural birth as children of God. Do you realize what that means? We become a part of God's family! All this is possible because of the obedience of the Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who by His death and resurrection (whereby in baptism we also die and are raised with Christ) allows us to enter into the eternal family of the Trinity!
God truly becomes our Father. Christ dwells within us (not just covering us as Luther said, but actually living in us, transforming us from the inside out), and we can truly call out with Christ, "Abba! Father!" And everytime we take part in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, Christ works in us making God's grace grow ever greater, whereby we mature in divine sonship!
This my friends, is the Gospel. This is what the Catholic Church affirms! This is what Luther rejected.