What is Faith?
Do you believe in photosynthesis, quarks, and electrons? You have never seen any of these things yourself (nor has any scientist) but you believe in them because scientists can see their effects and you trust the scientists who are telling you about them. In a similar way, observing God’s action in nature and in ourselves moves our hearts to trust what He wants to say to us and trust the direction in which He wants to lead us.
By Faith (with the help of Reason), we assent to all that God has revealed about Himself and us. We assent in order to know and love God in this world, which prepares us to reach our destiny to live forever with Him in the next. Prayer is necessary to develop Faith because in prayer, we converse in an intimate way with God. In prayer, we get insights, reality becomes clearer, and thereby we learn to trust Him even more. Never prayed before? Try this: “God, please show yourself to me.” Repeat whenever you remember to. Then stand back — He’ll make Himself known to you in unexpected ways, like a newspaper headline that grabs your attention or a child’s remark overheard. Then, He’ll do it again. And again. Ever get “that feeling” looking at the ocean or gazing out from a mountaintop? That’s God whispering to you. See what happens when you answer Him back.
To believe is nothing other than to think with assent….Believers are also thinkers: in believing, they think and in thinking, they believe….If faith does not think it is nothing. St. Augustine