The following is an appeal to those of strong Faith.
I’d like to precede this appeal by first stating that I go to Mass, at a minimum of every Sunday. Sometimes more. I, on occasion, recite the Rosary. I attempt to make time to go to a nearby church and pray during the day. I have read a number of books;
Story of a Soul, Imitation of Christ, most of C.S. Lewis, some of G.K. Chesterton, some of Scott Hahn, Confessions of St. Augustine, Bible, many more. I deeply want a strong Faith in Christ.
However; I am in a constant struggle with my Faith. We are bombared from all sides by artillary that contradicts our Faith.
For every apologetic argument that is in favor of Faith there is an intelligent counter argument to refute it. My intellectual integrity refuses to allow me to dismiss the many arguments that go counter to my belief in God and our Savior Jesus Christs divinity.
I am called to believe but:
How do I discern the difference between my belief and my desire to believe?
How do I know that as I grow in Faith, and in my prayer life, I am not simply progressing in my self-brainwashing or self-convincing what I want to believe is Truth?
When we use the canned answer, “it is a mystery”, to questions we cannot answer, how do I know it is not an intellectual cop-out?
How can I deny 1 Billion intelligent people (Muslims) who devoutly believe a totally different story?
I could go on an on…DaVinci Code, Atheism, Evolution etc etc etc. on and on and on…
I’m not looking for answers to these spefic questions. I’ve come to the realization that I will never be able to answer them definitively. I, for one, cannot look a devout Jew or a devout Muslim who has dedicated thier lifes to understanding thier respective Faiths in the eye and say, “I am right and you are wrong”. It holds no intellectual integrity to take that stand.
One must be honest enough with himself to admit it is one mans opinion against anothers and statistically speaking one must be correct and the other incorrect. I guess what I am looking for is an understanding of how one has struggled with these same thoughts and yet still maintains a deeply rooted belief that what they believe is in fact Truth. Even in the light of someone who believes otherwise and has studied more and who may be intellectually superior, or better informed.
I often wonder if I am among the non-elect. If Faith is Grace, God has decided to not share this Grace with me. Therefore I am cast into a life long battle of desiring Faith and doubting it every step of the way. I ask myself if I am just pig-headed and should resist my intellects intrusion on my belief. But this is simply not possible. I liken it to telling someone not think of the color red. You simply cannot do it.
These forums suggest (via the Threads) people of a powerful Faith. I desire to be amongst that group, yet struggle constantly.
Is there anyone out there who has fought this battle and “won”?