winter

There is no progress in prayer without progress in faith

There is no progress in prayer without progress in faith, a purification of faith. And this entails the removal of all the props which depend on human endeavor, human reasoning, signs and the rest. It is the naked faith which is a terrifying experience and yet is the meeting point ultimately between God and ourselves in the depth of our being. This experience of the purification of faith is not normally one which comes early in the spiritual life. We must learn to wait.

~ Basil Hume

Don't worry about what is reality

...don't worry about what is reality,
or what is plain, or what is mysterious.
If you were there, it was all those things.
If you can imagine it, it is all those things.
Eat, drink, be happy.
Accept the miracle.
Accept, too, each spoken word
spoken with love.

~ from "Logos" by Mary Oliver, in WHY I WAKE EARLY

The getting up and going

Sometimes I wondered if
I had any faith.
I sat down and thought about it.
And when I had had enough
of that I got up
and went on my way.
And that—the getting up
and going—was faith.

~ from YES, WORLD by Mary Jean Irion, as reprinted in AN ALMANAC FOR THE SOUL by Marv and Nancy Hiles

The faithful moments

There are mountaintop experiences for some, and thin places for very many. But underlying them—and making them possible—are the faithful moments, the faithful hours, and the faithful days which make up a lifetime of actively seeking to allow God's love to live in us and through us.

~ in "Thin Places" - newsletter of the Westminster Presbyterian Church

Faith is the fountain of spiritual discipline

Though it may seem as though faith is absent more often than it is present, it is possible to strengthen this quality through silence and meditation. Like the sun and the stars, faith is a natural part of our soul life—we have only to learn to put our trust in this intuitive sense to begin to feel its healing effects. Faith is the fountain of spiritual discipline...an inner sense that allows us to bear with patience our doubts and despair, as well as the dry, depressing passages of life, knowing that somehow, some way, we are being led forward in the right direction.

~ from SOUL SISTERS by Pythia Peay

How we live

Faith is not about how we feel; it's about how we live. 
~ Anne Lamott

Faith, optimism, and hope

One becomes an active participant in the world when he or she believes in something. Faith, optimism, and hope—we have to have those things as human beings; otherwise, life is unbearable because there is nothing that we can see beyond ourselves.

~ Gabriel Byrne

Simple faith

I have over the years dismissed simple faith, viewing it as either ignorant or stagnant. Only lately have I begun to recognize a profound quality of simple faith and the dynamism and struggle involved. It is easy to complicate one's faith. The real challenge is to maintain faith in all its simplicity! Simple faith clearly is a leap across the chasm of unanswered questions. That is the beauty of it.

~ from "The Gift of Simple Faith" by Richard B. Patterson in Spiritual Life, Spring '98

Real faith is rooted in a basic unknowing

Real faith is rooted in a basic unknowing about ultimate things, and religion helps us to be in relation to that mystery. This kind of unknowing can offer calm or create anxiety, depending on a person's faith. Often people fill in this emptiness by insisting that they possess the truth. The fragility of their faith is betrayed by their strident insistence on being right and by their efforts to force their views on others. They seem afraid of the very things that define religion: mystery and trust.

~ from THE SOUL'S RELIGION by Thomas More
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