Excerpt from the "Light of Faith" by Francis Canavan SJ (1917-2009)

“[Coming] to believe is a process that goes on all our lives and is never completely finished. No matter how deeply we believe, we can always believe more deeply, and God will lead us to a steadily more profound faith through the experiences of our lives, if we will let Him. But what is of immediate interest to us here is the coming to believe of the person who has little or no faith in God. “Acting as if” is the way in which he begins the process of coming to believe. …
“We go through our entire lives “acting as if.” No one would ever marry, or have children, or choose a career, or sign a contract if he insisted on certainty in advance. “Marry in haste and repent at leisure” is a salutary warning, but it does not mean putting off marriage until we are absolutely certain that we are marrying the right person. That kind of certainty is not to be had in this world, and insisting on having it means choosing to remain single.
“The same is true of our approach to God. We cannot begin if we insist on beginning with certainty. “Blessed are those who have not seen and have yet believed,” said our Lord to doubting Thomas (John 20:29). Instead of waiting until all questions are answered and all doubts removed before we begin our quest for God, the better course is to do something—say a prayer, for instance.”

— Francis Canavan S.J. (1917-2009), “Acting as If,” from The Light of Faith, available from the Calix Society

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