My reason nourishes my faith
and my faith my reason.

Norman Cousins


Treat the other person's faith gently; it is all he or she has to believe with.  Others' minds were created for their own thoughts, not yours or mine.

Henry S. Haskins

Conscious faith is freedom.  Emotional faith is slavery.  Mechanical faith is foolishness.

G.I. Gurdjieff
Faith is a friend by our side.  When we allow it in, faith acts as a floor beneath our feet.  When we make choices rooted in faith, we trust that there is a power, an unseen force, guiding us.  When we have faith, we know that we are being taken care of.  Faith gives us the ability to look beyond our immediate circumstances and imagine brave new choices for the future.  Faith means trusting in something beyond what we know.  Having faith that we are part of a bigger whole allows us to melt away our separateness.  Faith gives us strength and reassurance and leaves us bathed in the wisdom that we are never alone.

Debbie Ford

Don't try to hold God's hand; let him hold yours. Let him do the holding, and you do the trusting.

Hammer William Webb-Peploe
Reason is an action of the mind; knowledge is a possession of the mind; but faith is an attitude of the person.  It means you are prepared to stake yourself on something being so.

Michael Ramsey


To have faith where you cannot see; to be willing to work on in
the dark; to be conscious of the fact that, so long as you strive
for the best, there are better things on the way, this in itself is success.

Katherine Logan


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Here's the thing about faith:  It gives us the strength to go on when we want
to give in.  It gives us the courage to get up when we want to lie down.  It gives
us the power to make a way out of no way when there ain't no way.  Just as
love can't make you strong until love has made you weak, well, faith can't lift
you up until life has knocked you down.  With faith or without it, we can't stop
the waves.   But with it, we don't need to.  Because with it we can ride the surf.

Patti LaBelle


Grant us a common faith that we shall know bread and peace--that we shall
know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, an equal
opportunity and an equal chance to do our best not only in our own lands,
but throughout the world. And in that faith let us march toward the
clean world our hands can make.

Stephen Vincent Benet


Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see.

William Newton Clarke


Belief is a truth held in the mind; faith is a fire in the heart.

Joseph Fort Newton


When all our efforts have come to nothing, we naturally tend to doubt
not just ourselves, but also whether God is just. At those moments,
our only hope is to seek every evidence that God is just,
by communing with the people we know who are strongest in faith.

Bill Moyers


Faith is the sense of life, that sense by virtue of which humans
do not destroy themselves, but continue to live on.
It is the force whereby we live.

Leo Tolstoy


Faith can have a profound impact on health. It is a very personal experience
of thought and surrender, which can comfort in every situation. Faith is free
and available to all people at all times. It only requires that one fully embrace
possibility, and the ultimate value is in the depth of the embrace.

Patch Adams


It often seems easier not to move on; even the muck and mire in which
we're stuck seems less fearful and less challenging than the unknown path
ahead.  Some people use faith as a reason to remain stuck.  They often say,
"I have faith, so I'm waiting."  But faith is not complacent; faith is action.
You don't have faith and wait.  When you have faith, you move.
Complacency actually shows lack of faith.  When it's time to move
in a new direction in order to progress, the right people will come to us.

Betty Eadie



I've found that the people I most admire in this world tend to be--but aren't always--people of great religious faith, people who recognize not only the existence of God, but also the goodness and the Love and the caring of God. These people walk in peace, and I find that their lives aren't at all troubled by the things that go on around them--they deal with those things, and they deal with them effectively, not spending time worrying "Why is this happening to poor me?"

I must admit that my faith is often of the shaky kind, but as time goes on and I learn more from these role models, I grow to learn that my faith is what I make it. If I have faith that God will provide, then I'll find ways to keep on, no matter what the circumstances. If I don't have faith in God, then my faith must ultimately fall in people, and I know from experience that that kind of faith will fall short as people let us down time and time again. People have let me down; God never has. I see this fact far too often in retrospect, but I'm working at seeing it all day, every day. I know that working at developing my faith is work that will develop my life in a way that will make it beautiful and fulfilling.

I've learned of a few things that faith is NOT:  faith is not dogma, believing that there is only one way to do things, and that's MY way.  Faith is not memorizing the Bible or the Talmud or the Koran and spouting off passages to impress others and to keep from having to think for ourselves.  Faith is not going to church every week and ignoring the message the other 6 and 23/24 days of the week.

Faith is a calm knowledge that things will be okay, because we were created to be just who we are, and no matter how bad things seem, they will work out--and the faithful person knows that they may take a bit longer to work out than we want them to. Faith is knowing that we are loved, just as we are, and that we are worth loving, just as we are.  That's hard for me to accept sometimes, but I know in my heart that it's true, and God gave us hearts so that we could know such things.

tom walsh


Life without faith in something is
too narrow a space in which to live.

George Lancaster Spalding

You can do very little with faith,
but you can do nothing without it.

Samuel Butler

Faith is healthy; it is an affirmation of human worth and continuity.
Fortunate are those of us who have both strong faith and good
judgment.  Belief in the essential goodness of our fellows and in
the basic rightness of the world can renew our vitality and remind
us to treat others with the respect due their humanity.  In turn,
others will respect our belief in them.  Sometimes, faith is betrayed;
sometimes we stumble.  But the delusions or mistakes of others
need not sour us; they are part of the mystery.

Karen Casey
The Promise of a New Day

I think it is impossible to explain faith.  It is like trying to explain air,
which one cannot do by dividing it into its component parts and
labeling them scientifically.  It must be breathed to be understood.

Patrick White


It is the man or the woman of faith, and hence of courage, who is
the master of circumstances, and who make his or her power felt
in the world. It is the man or the woman who lacks faith and who
as a consequence is weakened and crippled by fears and
forebodings, who is the creature of all passing occurrences.

Ralph Waldo Trine
"Thought I Met on the Highway"



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All the scholastic scaffolding falls, as a ruined edifice, before a single word: faith.

Napoleon Bonaparte

If we were logical, the future would be bleak indeed.  But we are more
than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope.

Jacques Cousteau



I never saw a moor;
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.
I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.

Emily Dickinson

I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery
than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.

Harry Emerson Fosdick

It is cynicism and fear that freezes life; it is faith that
thaws it out, releases it, sets it free.

You do build in darkness if you have faith.  When the light returns you
have made of yourself a fortress which is impregnable to certain kinds of
trouble; you may even find yourself needed and sought by others as
a beacon in their dark.

Olga Rosmanith


Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
It is not enough that a thing be possible for it to be believed.



Religious faith is not a storm cellar to which men and women
can flee for refuge from the storms of life.  It is, instead,
an inner spiritual strength which enables them to face those
storms with hope and serenity.  Religious faith has
the miraculous power to lift ordinary human beings
to greatness in seasons of stress.

Sam J. Ervin, Jr.

You know that if you get in the water and have nothing to hold on to,
but try to behave as you would on dry land, you will drown.  But if,
on the other hand, you trust yourself to the water and let go,
you will float.  And this is exactly the situation of faith.

Alan Watts


Doubts are the messengers of the Living One to the honest.  They are the
first knock at our door of things that are not yet, but have to be,
understood. . . . Doubts must precede every deeper assurance;
for uncertainties are what we first see when we look into
a region hitherto unknown, unexplored, unannexed.

George MacDonald



Believing is a daring adventure into the unseen, it is a radiant faith
in the unexplored, the undiscovered, the miracles of the future. . .
There is magic in the art of believing!  Believe!  Engrave these words
of the Master in your memory:  “All things are possible to those who believe.”
Believe!  Believe in the limitless supply of God’s goodness.  The universe
is filled with more wonders than you can imagine.

Wilferd A. Peterson


Faith is the gift of God and God will give it to those who ask for it.  You
cannot argue or coax or reason or intellectualize and get faith.  It is not
something you learn.  Your teacher is simply a spiritual farmer who prepares
the soil for the seed which God drops into the fertile soil.  Faith in God
enlarges our perspective.  It gives us an awareness that there is more to
life than the basic material one.  There is an invisible but real life which
infuses us with an indescribable peace of mind.  One reason why more
people do not receive this gift is because of pride.  How can we know God
if we think we already know everything and are filled with ourselves?

Esther Carls Dodgen


Faith is nothing at all tangible. . . . It is simply believing in God;
and like sight, it is nothing apart from its object.  You might as well
shut your eyes and look inside, to see whether you have sight,
as to look inside to discover whether you have faith.

Hannah Whitall Smith


Faith is not something that is passive.  Our faith requires a commitment
from us.  If thoughts of lack come to mind, we counteract such negativity
by counting our blessings and giving thanks for the abundance of
good things we have.  The ability of our bodies to heal is enhanced
by our affirmations of life, which stimulate a positive response
from the life within our very cells.



I prefer to think of faith, as Coleridge says of poetry, not as
the taking up of belief but as "the willing suspension of
disbelief". . . a willingness to be open, to explore, to investigate.

Sharon Salzberg


When we plant a seed, we don't keep digging
up the soil to see if it's growing.

Susan Santucci


Why should we be willing to go by faith?  We do all things in this world
by faith in the word of others.  By faith only we know our position in the
world, our circumstances, our rights and privileges, our fortunes, our
parents, our brothers and sisters, our age, our mortality.
Why should Religion be an exception?

John Henry Newman

The road to glory is difficult with its rocks and boulders, its strain and struggle.
Things aren’t always as easy as we would like.  Surprises and pitfalls wait for
us along the road of life.  We’re going to sweat and sway, we’re going to wonder
why things are the way they are.  But every road has an end; every mountain
has its peak.  If we can just hold on and keep climbing, knowing that God is
aware of how we’re straining, he will bring us up and over the mountains.

Thelma Wells


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I have done much reporting in what might be termed the religious field.
I have interviewed dozens of people--maybe hundreds--asking questions
about their beliefs.  Some impressed me more than others, but it is impossible
to avoid the conclusion that the gift of faith (and I think it is a gift) is the most
valuable one of all.  People who have it are stronger--and kinder--and
more unselfish--and happier.  It's as simple (and as mysterious) as that.

Arthur Gordon

Courage, brothers and sisters!  Do not stumble, though thy path be as
dark as night; there's a star to guide the humble.  Trust in God and do the right.

Norman MacLeod


We believe that the power behind us is greater than the task ahead.

Motto over a church


Reason is in fact the path to faith, and faith takes over when reason can say no more.

Thomas Merton

Faith is a living and unshakeable confidence, a belief in the grace
of God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake.

Martin Luther

Although it is very easy to marry a wife, it is very difficult to support her along with the children and the household. Accordingly, no one notices this faith of Jacob. Indeed, many hate fertility in a wife for the sole reason that the offspring must be supported and brought up. For this is what they commonly say: ‘Why should I marry a wife when I am a pauper and a beggar? I would rather bear the burden of poverty alone and not load myself with misery and want.’ But this blame is unjustly fastened on marriage and fruitfulness. Indeed, you are indicting your unbelief by distrusting God’s goodness, and you are bringing greater misery upon yourself by disparaging God’s blessing. For if you had trust in God’s grace and promises, you would undoubtedly be supported. But because you do not hope in the Lord, you will never prosper.

Martin Luther
The Sermons of Martin Luther
I think that, regardless of our culture, age, or even personal handicaps,
we can still strive for something exceptional.  Why not expand our sights
instead of restricting our lives and accepting the lowest common denominator
of a dormant existence?  Faith. . . will permit us to take a chance on a new
path, perhaps different from the one we now follow.  It may be
surprising where it leads.

Jimmy Carter
The Virtues of Aging

Faith is better understood as a verb than as a noun, as a process than
as a possession.  It is an on-again-off-again rather than once-and-for-all.
Faith is not being sure where you're going but going anyway.  A journey
without maps.  Tillich says that doubt isn't the opposite
of faith; it is an element of faith.

Frederick Buechner
Wishful Thinking


The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of
today.  Let us move forward with strong and active faith.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Faith has nothing to fear from thinking, even when the latter disturbs
its peace and raises a debate which appears to promise
no good results for the religious life.

Albert Schweitzer
"The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle"


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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.