I can’t do it. I want to do things, to study my way to faith, to work my way to understanding and this whole silence and solitude thing is for the birds, and actually it’s not even for them. The contemplatives talk about faith a lot, they are completely disinterred in studying their way into faith, they won’t even engage in logical discussions around the probability of our religion’s truth because they understand something I don’t. I have realized that I was insistent upon cracking open the mystery of faith with logic and proof, and then, and only then, could I really believe. But isn’t that the antithesis of faith? I assumed those who just had faith either were simple minded believers, or had more knowledge than I did which is what allowed them to believe. The truth is, it’s actually just faith, you know that whole believing without seeing thing? I will never prove it, no one ever has, and I think we did ourselves a huge disservice as a religious institution when we try to say we can, because when we can’t faith looks like a cop-out.
In evangelical Christian communities we talk about faith and salvation like it was logic and fact, a provable reality. I think it’s in an effort to display and convince ourselves of our very strong faith, but I believe this leads us to think that if we struggle to believe, more logic is the solution, when that’s a profound misunderstanding of faith. It sends the seeker on a rampage for answers that could lead to despair once one realizes there is no magic solution to replace faith and that there are actually very few answers. The people who claim all the answers are very bold, because even the greatest Christian minds had times of doubt through their entire virtuous lives. There wasn’t an ‘aha’ moment that clicked everything into place, they continued humbly believing as best they could without ever seeing.
That makes sense to me, these heroes of the faith still fighting to believe and living their life as if it were all true. If you try to tell me you can prove the Christian religion to me, that you know without a doubt that everything is as you think it is, that you never question salvation or the inherency of scripture, that this is so obviously the only option possible, that doesn’t make sense to me. No one can prove that to me, the only thing we can prove is in the mystery we believe and that has made us different. It seems faith might be less about scrutinizing and figuring out God, and more about realizing how small and dependent we are on this Divine being.
I read this quote the other day and it says everything. I want it tattooed on my corneas.
“Therefore abandoning the search she recognizes him who she desires by the very fact that his knowledge is beyond understanding. Thus she says, ‘Having left behind all created things and abandoned the aid of understanding, by faith alone I have found my beloved.’ “