Understanding Faith

Faith: Origin: 1200-1250; Middle English feith, akin to fidere - to trust. Confidence or trust in a person or thing. Belief that is not based on proof as in a system of religious beliefs. Belief in a code of ethics, standards or merit, etc.
Dictionary.com Unabridged | Based on the Random House Dictionary

Synonyms: devotion, loyalty, faithfulness, commitment, fidelity, constancy, fealty, dedication, allegiance.
Antonym: disloyalty.
MSN Encarta

  • Faith is trust — a confident expectation of something; hope.
  • Faith is credence — a claim to belief.
  • Faith is acceptance — favorable reception, approval and yielding.
  • Faith is confidence — a reliance on integrity, strength, or ability of a person or thing.
  • Faith is hope — feeling that what is wanted can be had and that events will turn out for the best.

Benefits of Faith

  • Faith provides well-being — a background against which all psychic striving can be understood.
  • Faith provides strength — from a source outside ourselves that serves to build and hold us up.
  • Faith provides assurance — a safe place to present our troubles and know we will be lovingly cared for.
  • Faith provides connection — between the physical and spiritual realms (the soul and the body).
  • Faith provides relief — from hopelessness, helplessness and despair.

Acts of Faith in Everyday Life

  • The Bible — When Abraham was called upon to sacrifice his only son, a son he had waited for until he was almost 100 years old, he was ready to because of his deep, undying faith.
  • Recovery — One of the only techniques with positive results for addicts of all walks of life; programs built around the conception and practice of a Power outside of oneself that is in charge.
  • Tending to our Physical Health — We put our care and the care of our loved ones in the hands of health-care professionals time and time again. We have faith they will be guided and inspired to do what is best for our well-being.
  • Traveling, especially in Today's World — In particular in air travel, to be able to give up the reins that we will arrive safely at our destination, that the flight will be a safe one and that security will not be breached.
  • Positive Parenting — Allow our children to see and experience our human imperfections and limitations. Learn to say "I'm sorry, I made a mistake," to our children and let them know it is okay for us all to say "I need help," from a source of power greater than ourselves.

Methods for Achieving Faith

  • Practice Prayer — It can be just two words; "Help Me!"
  • Learn the Power of Now — By living serenely in the moment and appreciating nature we can bridge the gap between mental, physical and spiritual.
  • Challenge your Beliefs — Don't be afraid to ask yourself where you stand spiritually speaking at this exact moment of your life. The answer might surprise you.
  • Meditate — In the stillness you will come to be able to hear your inner faith-based voice.

Golden Mean

Disloyalty, Unfaithfulness

Quotes for Faith

Faith is not a thing which one loses, we merely cease to shape our lives by it.
- Georges Bernanos -
To us also through every star, through every blade of grass, is not G-d made visible if we will open our minds and our eyes.
- Thomas Carlyle -
Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.
- St. Augustine -
Faith is a higher faculty than reason.
- Henry Christopher Bailey -

Recommended Reading

Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience — by Sharon Salzberg

Another one of those possibly life-changing books! Ms. Salzberg covers aspects of Buddhism in a pure and simple way that provides a wonderful overview of the personal journey into peace and serenity that this faith has to offer.

Faith and Doubt — by John Ortberg

Mr. Ortberg expertly handles the very sensitive issue of doubt in faith. He presents in his individual wonderful fashion, the need for doubt in order for faith to thrive and grow. This one will appeal to everybody, however far along they may be on their spiritual journey.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous — by Bill Wilson

It is not overstating to say that this book has been part of saving millions of lives, not only for those inflicted by alcoholism but those inflicted with almost every addiction there is. A simple program based in the element of faith in a power greater than oneself, providing help and hope for those who were once considered "hopeless."

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

Faith is not contrary to the usual ideas, something that turns out to be right or wrong, like a gambler’s bet: it's an act, an intention, a project, something that makes you, in leaping into the future, go so far, far, far ahead that you shoot clean out of time and right into Eternity, which is not theend of time or a whole lot of time or unending time, but timelessness, the old Eternal Now. Joanna Russ