Faith is different from belief.
To quote Gustave Weigel, faith is ‘the Catholic’s response to an intellectual message communicated by God’. You know that your friend will catch you if you fall, but you’d rather not fall. In a way, it’s about trusting beyond empiricism. Many Christians possess the belief but they don’t put that faith into action. I believe that it’s that response to whatever we feel God is telling us to do that makes someone grab hold of faith. Conversely, faith is key to put our belief into actions, but God will help us all in every way for that to happen.
Recently, I have had to put a lot of trust in God. My closest friend abandoned me to work far away, just before this set of university applications, when I could do with his comforting words the most. He was an utter man of faith and, fairly, I guess I was using his faith to bolster my own, instead of building it up myself. Now he is gone, I require my own faith to grow out of belief.
How have I gone about doing this? Well, I find that prayer is a good way of connecting with God; I have been using prayer the most to cleanse my head of the manic thoughts that have possessed me recently. Reading the Bible is another way to bring one’s self closer to the Truth and its positive aspects.
In addition, being around others who believe is really refreshing, since a lot of my peer group are the typical teenagers who do not want to even consider the arguments that God exists. The Year of Faith started last week, and it is through this – and the community of Catholics I know if I spread my fingers wide enough – that I hope to back up my tired belief with some faith-in-action. I think that we truly experience God through what we do as a Christian to help others, be they spiritually-minded or not.
I am thankful for the people whom I meet in my everyday life. My Philosophy tutor, especially, has helped to reinforce what I know and love. Wherever I end up at University, it will be because God has placed me there for a reason, so that I might do his work. I know where I want to be, but I am putting my trust and faith into God. More recently, I have felt His warmth near me. In some ways, this could be counted as a religious experience. My religious experience.