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By Father Charles Irvin

Faith is reasonable

There are those who think faith is nothing more than blind acceptance, something that is unreasonable. I don’t. I think faith is something that is reasonable, because there is evidence that an answer will eventually come. Faith and mystery go together. After all, when you are dealing with a mystery, you are dealing with clues. It’s just that all of the clues do not yet add up to certainty. Faith and certainty cannot coexist in the same mind at the same time.

Faith and love are journeys into mystery. Take love, for instance. When you love people, you believe in them. You believe in them even though there’s a certain amount of uncertainty involved. You can’t tell someone you love him unless you believe in him, and you can’t believe in someone, really believe in him, unless you love him.

Both faith and love are choices. Both are acts of the mind. They are not simply feelings, they are choices. Affection is a feeling, an emotion. One chooses to love, just as one chooses to believe –  even though there is a certain amount of mystery involved, even though there is yet more to discover and know.

How can our Creator become one of his creatures? That is a great mystery. Why does God love me? That, too, is a great mystery. But the evidence is that God has become human, and, moreover, the evidence is that God loves me. All of our encounters with God are mysteries. We can ask “Why?” and we can ask “How?” but, in the end, the union between us is found in love and that union is the result of love – God loves me, and I love God. That is the core of all spirituality; God offers himself to us and we respond – the offer and the response being bonded together in love.

The great saints were all great lovers. Their faith was great and their resulting love was greater still. It is love that gives us the assurance of our faith. In love we see what we could not see before. Blaise Paschal famously declared: “The heart has its reasons the mind knows not of.”

Journey into the mystery – have faith in the love of God!