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6 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed

their lives to become so cluttered, hectic, or busy that there is little room

for God.

Throughout history, people have yearned for God. Despite obstacles

and occasions of violent opposition to belief in God, millions of people

have continued to search for God. The spiritual dynamism of the human

heart, having its origin in God, endures in countless and inspiring ways.

Often just when the shadows of doubt and skepticism appear to have

laid the great search to rest, our yearning for God surges again to wit-

ness to the light of God’s inherent attractiveness in human life.


Religious seekers in the United States live within a culture that in some

important ways provides support for belief in God while at the same

time also discourages and corrodes the faith in practice. It is encourag-

ing that many are finding the move to secularism to be an unsatisfactory

approach and continue to search for a deeper meaning in life.

Particularly encouraging is that a number of young people, who had

once drifted away from faith, today are seeking a connection with a

church community. Among the many causes of this hunger for God, two

stand out: the experience of having children who need a proper educa-

tion and upbringing, and the experience of one’s own longing for direc-

tion, meaning, and hope.

Catholicism in the United States continues to attract thousands of

new members each year as the Holy Spirit works through the Church to

awaken a thirst for the Lord. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults,

the pastoral process for initiating new members into the Church, is

ministering to great numbers of seekers. The Church is leading them

to knowledge of the truths of faith, to the celebration of the Seven

Sacraments, to commitment to the moral life—including the forming of

a social conscience—and to the practice of prayer, and at the same time,

the Church responds to their desire for community.

The Church does more than welcome new members; she forms dis-

ciples. Seekers can begin to find in the Church fulfillment of their heart’s

desires. They are invited to undertake a spiritual journey that is focused