In whom do you have faith?

5 Nov

Faith has kind of gone out of style lately. For many, belief in God is about the same as belief in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Prayers and devotionals seem to be nothing more than superstition. As for believing in an afterlife, it’s a nice way to help kids feel better about death, but not much more. For those who don’t believe, faith in a higher power could be seen as anything from a harmless personality trait to a naïve, unintelligent worldview to a dangerous ideology. Some might even be convinced it’s a sign of mental illness.

I pity those who think faith is in vain. Not because I think that their lives would be so much better if they believed in God (although I do think that). I pity them not because they do not have faith, but because they actually do have faith. However, they either don’t realize this and/or they simply think they are above such a thing as faith.

St Paul explains that faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” The Catholic Catechism, while explaining this statement, goes on to say that faith is an authentically human act, contrary neither to human freedom nor to human reason. In other words, someone would have a hard time doing anything human without faith.

Marriage, even love itself, is impossible without trusting the promises of the beloved. Promises which cannot be proven ahead of time. Promises that offer no tangible assurance of the thing hoped for, that is, lifelong love and fidelity. In fact, any human interaction whatsoever, from simple conversation to purchases to employment contracts require something called “good faith.” You trust what the person says or represents to be true, even if you can’t be totally sure. And if you can’t do that, well, then you can’t really function in the world as we know it.

There is another way “non-believers” share the experience of faith with those who actually do admit to a life of faith that’s much more profoundly comparable. And that’s the faith they put, not in their fellow man, but in themselves and their own ability to understand the world around them, indeed reality itself.

The Christian believes in God and a world created by Him, and seeks to live accordingly. The one who lives as if there is no God has to live according to his own, yes, beliefs, as well. And he is also left, again, to believe that both his beliefs correspond to reality and that those beliefs will end up making him happy and satisfied throughout his life. He has no guarantees of either.

So really, the choice is not whether to have faith or not, but in what (or whom) to believe: God or yourself, the Church or a secularist culture, etc. Faith in God, or in anything unseen or hoped for, but not obvious, doesn’t make you naïve, unintelligent, or dangerous. It just makes you human.

– Isaac Huss

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One Response to “In whom do you have faith?”

  1. savvylegacy November 6, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    A very universal approach to faith, even for the secular world. Applause, applause!

    I, similarly, am trying to extend my Catholic fingers through the hair of the secular scalp. I have just started a blog, and I would greatly appreciate your followship, as well as any advice or feedback you might have to my first post. Due to my efforts on Facebook to spread the word about my new blog, the first post was fairly successful, with roughly 50 visitors to my blog over a period of 3 days.

    I am a 22-year-old college student, and in this year of Faith, I would greatly appreciate your fellowship in the online quest for the salvation of souls.

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