Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith

Norris, Kathleen

Riverhead, 1998

pp. 62 - 68

“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). The old monks aren’t scandalized by your doubts. They think of doubt as the seed of faith, “a sign that faith is alive and ready to grow.” Do you have any inclination to worship? That’s a sign of faith. A key to gaining faith: repetition. Say the words. Repetition said Kierkegaard is “’the daily bread of life that satisfies with benediction.’” And what you say (the creed), what you repeat isn’t yours alone, not yours at all till you affirm it. It’s the church’s creed. It’s the believers’ creed. Get with their program. Join something bigger than you. Don’t worry that not all of it comes to you right away. Don’t worry about ambivalence, which may be blessed, as in Mark 9. Wisdom tells us that you don’t just get belief: you “have to kneel down and explore for it.”