: strong belief and trust in someone or something : LOYALTY
: belief in the existence of God : strong religious feelings or beliefs
: a system of religious beliefs
Faith (n.): mid-13c., “trust or promise; loyalty to a person; honesty, truthfulness,” from Anglo-French and Old French, and from Latin (11c.), “trust, confidence, reliance, credence, belief.”
From early 14c. as “belief in religious matters” and since mid-to-late 14c. in reference to the Christian church or religion or to any religious persuasion:
And faith is neither the submission of the reason, nor is it the acceptance, simply and absolutely upon testimony, of what reason cannot reach. Faith is: the being able to cleave to a power of goodness appealing to our higher and real self, not to our lower and apparent self. [Matthew Arnold, “Literature & Dogma,” 1873]
From late 14c. as “confidence in a person or thing with reference to truthfulness or reliability,” also “fidelity of one spouse to another.” Also in Middle English “a sworn oath,” hence its frequent use of oaths and asseverations.
“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
Soren Kiergegaard (1813-1855, Copenhagen, Denmark, Philosopher and dubbed “the father of existentialism.”)
“Doubt everything. Find your own light.”
Gautama Buddha (c. 600 BCE – c. 300 BCE, born in what is now known as modern Nepal. After experimenting with different rigorous ascetic practices for six years, Gautama found none of them acceptable. He then spent a night in deep meditation and found the path to what he called The Middle Way. Buddha was a spiritual leader and teacher whose life serves as the foundation of the Buddhist religion.)
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”
Joseph Campbell (1904-1987, Writer and American Mythologist, best known for his work on comparative mythology and comparative religion.)
“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.)
“Do not be afraid; our fate
Cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.”
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321, major Italian poet, writer, and political thinker of the late Middle Ages, and author of “The Divine Comedy” and “Inferno.”)
“Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest.”
Beatrix Potter (Helen Beatrix Potter, 1866-1943, English author, illustrator, natural scientist, and conservationist best known for her imaginative children’s books, such as “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”)
“The moment God is figured out with nice neat lines and definitions, we are no longer dealing with God.”
Rob Bell (b. 1970, age 45, American author and teacher, and former pastor. In 2011, Time Magazine profiled him as one of their 100 most influential people.)
“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
Thomas Merton (1915-1968, American Catholic writer, mystic, and Trappist monk of Our lady of Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky. He is the author of more than 70 books that include poetry, personal journals, collections of letters, social criticism, and writings on peace, justice ecumenism.)
“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I'd do. I'd go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I'd look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I'd just feel a prayer.”
L.M. Montgomery (Lucy Maud Montgomery, 1874-1942, Canadian author best known for a series of novels with “Anne of Green Gables.”)
Personally, I have two relationships with Faith. It’s either a crisis of faith when the scaffolding around my life is collapsing, or a faith walk where I put one foot in front of the other in hopes of revealing what may be before me.
Actually, neither the crisis or the walk are negative or positive concepts. They are both relative energetic experiences that can lead to divine transformation.
Sometimes, the crisis and the walk can encompass each other simultaneously. It depends on the circumstances and/or one’s state of mind.
Back in 2004, after getting a divorce I appealed to the Greater Universe for a better life. The answer came back swift and clear. I needed to change my life and move away from the challenges of New York City to a quieter quality of life in Florida.
In the middle of preparing for the move, which took two years to seek employment, sell my apartment, and prepare my family for this shift, I had a catastrophic fall down a flight of stairs where I was injured very badly.
That didn’t stop my progress. Actually it pushed me to be more determined to move forward. It also gave me the time and space to do so. While I recovered from my physically injuries and the post-traumatic stress, I worked each day to do something towards my recovery and my move.
When I wasn’t receiving physical therapy, a friend recommended that while I watched TV I shred the paper that I no longer needed.
It took weeks to purge and recycle 17 years of so-called important paperwork, especially back during a time when we held on to paper. But once I was finished, I had the strength to do more. I also became more clear-minded to ask for help from those men and women who had the resources to give in strength and time.
That life transition took time, patience, and fortitude, but eventually I moved and was able to create a more meaningful life.
Faith is truly about trust, belief, and imagination. But, it’s also about being still and reflecting, and moving forward into action when one is directed to do so.
As the great Thomas Merton advised, may we all be fully present in our lives so we can have faith, courage, and hope to put love fully into action.
Be well, my friends.
Miraculously Yours, Tonya