Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Talking About Faith 2
In the first post on faith, I was reflecting on the act of faith as distinct from the content of beliefs that we tend to associate with religion. One element that I neglected to include is the kind of existential openness that we might call awe, reverence, or sense of the sublime nature of existence. If I am not mistaken, this capacity for standing in relationship to mystery is a dimension of our naturally spiritual human experience. Even those who do not espouse belief in God (though I would ask, what God people are rejecting?) will admit to feeling a sort of wonder when they hold a newborn, or when they experience the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon, or Uluru, or the Milky Way. I worry though, about people who consider themselves devoutly religious, yet do not leave room for such feeling -- those whose religions are about answers rather than questions, and certitude rather than faith.
Our Tertian director, Fr. Adrian Lyons, S.J. wrote a book called Imagine Believing, wherein he says "faith, at its best, is a way of knowing, a way of being in the world and a way of acknowledging that we human persons are not alone. Indeed, we never were. To be human is to be in dialogue."