Pope Benedict XVI used this week's Angelus to return to one of his favorite topics: the relation of Faith and Reason. Citing the example of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose feast day was Sunday, Benedict urged the faithful to remember that faith and reason are not exclusionary principles.
"When man limits his thoughts to only material objects . . . he closes himself to the great questions about life, himself and God," the Holy Father said. While modern science has granted mankind numerous benefits, he explained, it has also led many to believe that the only real things are those which can be experimented with.”
According to Benedict, man must "rediscover human rationality in a new way, open to the light of the divine Logos and His perfect revelation that is Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man."
Authentic Christian faith does not limit human liberty and reason, he said. Instead, "faith supports reason and perfection; and reason, illuminated by faith, finds strength to raise itself to the knowledge of God."
Calling to mind the Saint of the day the Holy Father remarked at St. Thomas Aquinas’s success in offering a valid model of the harmony between faith and reason, “dimensions of the human spirit, which can be fully realized in the encounter and dialogue between them.”
St. Thomas Aquinas was able to bring Arab and Jewish thought together in a very fruitful way, the Pope continued, and he presents us with a synthesis of faith and reason that serves as a model of inter-cultural dialogue between the East and the West.
The Pope concluded the Angelus with a prayer for all Christians, especially those "working in academic and cultural spheres," so that they may express the reasonableness of their faith and give witness to it in dialogue inspired by love.