I am a convert of several years now, and as a result have studied theology and philosophy for a while. I have what I would call natural faith - faith through arguments, logic, reasoning etc. However I’ve been discerning monastic life and there are sins I continuously fall into because I can just rationalise my way into them, I have no supernatural faith- I am doing my best to pray for these things each day, is it simply a case of praying for this grace?
(God has infinite reasoning capacity) ^ (¬(You≡God)) → (Trust what he said all the time)
God has infinite reasoning capacity and you are not logically equivalent to God, thus trust what he said all the time.
@joshringsell , God bless you on your faith journey . I have been a member of the Church for over 72 years and believe me the faith journey never ends . How could it ? God is infinite .
Be open in prayer to the Holy Spirit . The Spirit is The Enlightener.
.Below is some teaching from the Catechism of the Catholic Church .
I can only suggest that you ponder it and pray about it - - - - - - - - -
When St. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus declared to him that this revelation did not come “from flesh and blood”, but from “my Father who is in heaven”. Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him . “Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and ‘makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth.’”
Believing is possible only by grace and the interior helps of the Holy Spirit. But it is no less true that believing is an authentically human act. Trusting in God and cleaving to the truths he has revealed is contrary neither to human freedom nor to human reason. Even in human relations it is not contrary to our dignity to believe what other persons tell us about themselves and their intentions, or to trust their promises (for example, when a man and a woman marry) to share a communion of life with one another. If this is so, still less is it contrary to our dignity to “yield by faith the full submission of. . . intellect and will to God who reveals”, and to share in an interior communion with him.
- In faith, the human intellect and will cooperate with divine grace: “Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace.”
I think it is, past a certain point, better to put one’s effort more in loving God than to strive to believe and understand, i.e. have faith in, God. You see, the thing about knowing anything is that we “pull to our level” anything that we understand. We elevate our minds everytime we understand something new, but if we encounter anything that is past our current level of knowing, then we try to conceptualize it in terms that we know or invent. Yet God simply cannot be brought to our level totally, even though He has given help to us in doing this by sending His Son to us. But loving has no boundaries, no limit.
Let me give an analogy. A dog has, compared to our own, a very poor understanding of who and what its master is. And yet this limitation of understanding has no impact on the dog’s efforts to love and serve its master. And so it is with us and God: We could never understand fully and believe in the nature of God, no matter how much grace He pours into us. But this can never diminish how much we can love Him: it is actually limitless.
EDIT: And oh yes, I forgot something. Once you learn how to love God, then everything else follows, including hope and faith: Love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:7)
Faith can only come from the source of faith, Jesus Christ
Prayer and surrender of your will to His, is the only way of receiving His transforming gace.
Remember, salvation is mystical, not about who had the most will power until they died.
God understands our struggles and failures. He doesn’t hold them against us, if we turn to Him with sincere contrite hearts.
Have you read Fr. R. Garrigou-Lagrange’s book, Christian Perfection and Contemplation? Much of the beginning of that book is devoted to clarifying the difference between natural and supernatural faith, the crucial importance of the infused virtues and gifts given at Baptism, and the way to grow in the interior life toward and into what is the title of the book.
‘Faith is required of you, and a sincere life, not a lofty intellect nor a delving into the mysteries
of God. If you neither know nor understand things beneath you, how can you comprehend what is
above you? Submit yourself to God and humble reason to faith, and the light of understanding will
be given you so far as it is good and necessary for you.’ - The Imitation of Christ
I haven’t, thank you for the recommendation
Here’s an essay in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, on this very matter! This will give an intro and may be helpful for you: Natural and Supernatural Faith, by R. Thomas Richard.
Let me know what you think, please…
Faith is a gift from God. As a Saint once said, we can come to know about God in books, we can come to know God in prayer. I would highly recommend Eucharistic Adoration if one wants to advance in faith and in the spiritual life more generally. Being in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord is truly a superhighway to getting to know the Lord Jesus. Spend time with Him. After all, when one wants to get to know someone, spending time with that person is the best way to get to know them. Allow the Lord Himself to teach you by sitting at His feet. God bless you.
Well, arguments, logic, and reasoning, will not allow you to understand the supernatural. You and I don’t have the intelligence to do so.
Once you accept that, Faith alone ( without demanding proof or evidence ) is all you need to embrace.
So does this mean, you should not try and understand, just believe and he will guide you. As we all know the seven deadly sins. Then after belief comes that higher supernatural dimension with God.
Pray and Meditation, seeking peace is this what you mean.
Per St. Thomas Aquinas, the act of faith has external and internal causes. The external can be seeing a miracle or persuasion and the internal cause is charity, which is the form of faith. He distinguished between revealed, dogmatic, theology and rational, philosophical, theology, concluding that the very same truth cannot be believed by faith and know by rational demonstration since that would make one or the other kind of knowledge superfluous.
By cooperation with grace (which is supernatural) one can subdue pride and increase faith.
Faith does not replace understanding! “Faith seeks understanding.”
“Faith seeks understanding. I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand.” - St. Anselm of Canterbury.
And the more one discovers understanding, in the light of faith, the more faith grows, and thus the desire for more understanding grows.
But this is important: " I do not seek to understand that I may believe…" Natural understanding cannot give birth to the kind of faith that really counts. Natural understanding can yield natural faith - but natural faith (Like, “I’m safe enough in a jet plane, these days.” - or, like “Of course I believe in God! It makes perfect sense, and most people do, you know.”) is not saving faith - it is not salvific. Saving faith is a gift, in grace, from God. As St. Paul wrote:
Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—
Eph 2:9 not because of works, lest any man should boast.