My faith is a collection of ideas, beliefs, and even sentiments that I believe but don’t know for sure. In fact I can’t know it for sure. That’s why it’s called “faith” and not “knowledge”. I can “know” what the tenets of a faith are, like tenets of Judaism or Christianity, but I can’t really believe them until I come to them, myself, in my practices of faith; that is, in living life and bringing my faith practice into my life.
Here’s what I mean. I might learn from the tenets of “The Church” but my faith comes about by bringing beliefs into my life and seeing 1, what’s true and brings solace, and 2, what further questions come up, and then repeating the process. I end up encountering questions and looking for the answers that still have everything else make sense. That’s a human habit really, and it’s a lifelong process. Inevitably, I come to problems in my life, like koans, that stump me for a long time. And when the answers do come, they’re not often light-bulbs or latches undone, as much as a the smooth and slow growth of life that fills in the cracks.
Everyone has a faith. Everyone has a set of ideas that they hold true based on what they’ve learned and what has happened to themselves and others. As a “Catholic” I have learned a Catholic Christian framework in which I live my life. As I’m living it though, my faith is not a Vatican Christianity, it’s an Andre Christianity.
If and when you choose to believe something, and it is a choice, that belief will either bring more solace and further questions, or it’s likely to bring you certitude and fear. Hopefully you’ll end up with solace. As for that second part, if you’re experiencing more certitude or fear then you may not actually be carrying faith, because by definition faith isn’t certain, nor anxious. If you’re certain, then it’s knowledge. If you’re anxious, then there’s something else you may not really believe.
If you’d like to talk to me more about how your faith helps you with your struggles in life, or if you’d like to talk to someone about how your faith is a struggle in your life, please contact me us at [email protected]