How Do You Define Or Explain "faith"


When Edith Stein finished reading St Teresa of Avilas’ autobiography, she put it down and said, “This is the truth”, or something to that effect. Edith had recognized authenticity in the book and the integrity behind it-the genuineness of St Teresas’ account of her spiritual life- and she couldn’t deny it. I had a similar reaction to the book. I’ve also had that sense to varying degrees when listening to certain speakers or reading other books, such as the bible and catechisms and papal encyclicals, letters, bulls, concilliar documents, ecclesial histories, other books on the lives of saints, writings of ECFs, etc. Not all of these could be said to be equally inspired but there’s at least a common thread running through them and that thread has to do with a heart for- and communication of -Gods’ truths.

And what this leads me to think is that, in the end, our faith is completely dependent on us being sheep that can recognize the Shepherds voice. While our faith concerns truths that are supernatural while not unreasonable, they are nonetheless unprovable. In the final analysis, faith is no more or less than a divinely aided recognition of truths we already have at least a partial understanding of and internal template for. And the onus is on us, for the most part, to believe-we as individuals are called to a metanoia or conversion-where we come, by a process, to increasingly agree with the teachings of the Church, not just because she says they’re true but because a real change takes place inside of us which enables us to also see the truth for ourselves. This may be nothing new but does it go anywhere in explaining how others experience the phenomenon of faith? Or do you have anything to add/correct?


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