Faith is the feeling of certainty or trust, a loyalty to a belief or idea. Faith can also signal conviction. Faith can mean a strong belief in God or another religious belief, or it can mean any strongly held belief or conviction. In medieval usages faith could refer to making a pledge or taking an oath. The root word is related to trusting. You can have faith in a person when you trust that they’ll be reliable, or you can have faith in a heavenly reward for living a good life.
The problem to be faced is: how to combine loyalty to one’s own tradition with reverence for different traditions.
Faith is a state of openness or trust. To have faith is like when you trust yourself to the water. You don’t grab
hold of the water when you swim, because if you do you will become stiff and tight in the water, and sink. You
have to relax, and the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging and holding on. In other words, a person
who is fanatic in matters of religion and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe
becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go and
become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.
To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.
Whatever there is of God in the universe, it must work itself out and express itself through us.
In faith and hope the world will disagree,
but all mankind’s concern is charity.
This is a call to the living,
To those who refuse to make peace with evil,
With the suffering and the waste of the world. This is a call to the human, not the perfect,
To those who know their own prejudices,
Who have no intention of becoming prisoners of their own limitations. This is a call to those who remember the dreams of their youth,
Who know what it means to share food and shelter,
The care of children and those who are troubled,
To reach beyond barriers of the past
Bringing people to communion. This is a call to the never ending spirit
Of the common man, his essential decency and integrity,
His unending capacity to suffer and endure,
To face death and destruction and to rise again
And build from the ruins of life. This is the greatest call of all
The call to a faith in people.
There is always light.
Only if we are brave enough to be it.
When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.
Have Faith! Have faith in the Eternal Goodness. Believe that the core of the Universe is sound and sweet.
I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me — that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.
Among us, on the other hand, ‘the righteous man lives by faith.’ Now, if you take away positive affirmation, you take away faith, for without positive affirmation nothing is believed. And there are truths about things unseen, and unless they are believed, we cannot attain to the happy life, which is nothing less than life eternal.
Our faith in each other, our love for each other, our love for country, our common creed that cuts across whatever superficial differences there may be—that is our power. That’s our strength.
As men’s habits of mind differ, so that some more readily embrace one form of faith, some another, for what moves one to pray may move another to scoff, I conclude … that everyone should be free to choose for himself the foundations of his creed, and that faith should be judged only by its fruits.
Faith minus vulnerability and mystery equals extremism. If you’ve got all the answers, then don’t call what you do ‘faith.’
Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.
I am not a quitter. I will fight until I drop. It is just a matter of having some faith in the fact that as long as you are able to draw breath in the universe, you have a chance.
It is virtue, virtue, which both creates and preserves friendship. On it depends harmony of interest, permanence, fidelity.
I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope.
This is what I believe:
That I am I.
That my soul is a dark forest.
That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest.
That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back.
That I must have the courage to let them come and go.
That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women.
There is my creed.
Skepticism has never founded empires, established principles, or changed the world’s heart. The great doers in history have always been people of faith.
The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.
Religion is not necessarily allied with dogma, a new kind of faith is possible, based not upon legend and tradition, not upon the authority of any book, but upon the moral nature of man.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy
I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
Faith is homesickness. Faith is a lump in the throat. Faith is less a position on than a movement toward.
People who have given us their complete confidence believe that they have a right to ours. The inference is false, a gift confers no rights.
Faith: not wanting to know what is true.
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.
Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.
Faith is a commitment to live as if certain things are true, and thereby help to make them so. Faith is a commitment to live as if life is a wondrous mystery, as if life is good, as if love is divine, as if we are responsible for the well-being of those around us.
It is easy — terribly easy — to shake a man’s faith in himself. To take advantage of that, to break a man’s spirit, is devil’s work.
Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.
The faith of free persons must tangibly make them free in a community of human dignity and equal justice.
Above all is the centrality of love at the heart of vulnerable faith. Vulnerability will thrive only where love abounds—a love that is generous, gracious, patient, compassionate, humble, curious, joyful, and full of hope. In the absence of fear and the bondage it inflicts on us, love will put down roots, grow, and extend its reach far beyond our expectations or natural capacity. Love we once reserved only for those closest to us can be offered even to those who would persecute us. Enemies are transformed into sisters and brothers and friends.
We slowly learn that life consists of processes as well as results, and that failure may come quite as easily from ignoring the adequacy of one’s method as from selfish or ignoble aims. We are thus brought to a conception of Democracy not merely as a sentiment which desires the well-being of all [people], nor yet as a creed which believes in the essential dignity and equality of all [people], but as that which affords a rule for living as well as a test of faith.
I have one life and one chance to make it count for something … My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.
Unthinking faith is a curious offering to be made to the creator of the human mind.
You must never, ever give out. We must keep the faith because we are one people. We are brothers and sisters. We all live in the same house: The American house.
If fear is cultivated it will become stronger, if faith is cultivated it will achieve mastery.
To be an atheist requires an indefinitely greater measure of faith than to receive all the great truths which atheism would deny.
Faith in God means believing absolutely in something with no proof whatsoever. Faith in humanity means believing absolutely in something with a huge amount of proof to the contrary. We are the true believers.
The Hebrew word for faith in the Old Testament is emoonah. What makes that word interesting is that it’s the
sound that a baby donkey makes when it is calling for its mother. To appreciate that, you have to say emoonah
so it sounds like that. If you want to hear the meaning of emoonah, you need to say it like braying. I sometimes
think to myself, if you say it soft, it’s almost like braying. The point being that faith in the Hebrew Bible is like a
baby donkey calling out or crying for its mother. There’s something kind of wonderful about that. There is an
element…I don’t know if you want to say of desperation in it or not, but there certainly is an element of
confidence also that the cry will be heard.
Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be. Because of all I may become, I will close my eyes and leap.
Faith in oneself is the best and safest course.
The spiritual treasure is already there, with you, in your heart. But often you have to go somewhere else, to another teacher outside your tradition, to find the answer. To find yourself, you sometimes must go to a stranger.
Skepticism is the beginning of Faith.
The deeper our faith, the more doubt we must endure; the deeper our hope, the more prone we are to despair; the deeper our love, the more pain its loss will bring: these are a few of the paradoxes we must hold as human beings. If we refuse to hold them in the hopes of living without doubt, despair, and pain, we also find ourselves living without faith, hope, and love.
Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance and have faith that in this love there is a
strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.