The answer to the question “what is faith?” is anything but easy to answer. It is a question that can be interpreted in many different ways, by people of different cultural backgrounds, beliefs and social context. This being said, my interpretation of faith comes from that of a Catholic male in his early twenties, coming from a middle class family and with a realistic understanding of what this world is all about.
While at Mass this past Sunday, I looked around at the people in the Church and really tried to determine what my definition of faith is. As I looked on, I saw mothers holding their children closely, elderly couples holding hands and praying. I saw a teenager who seemed to be troubled and saw myself in his eyes, realizing that when things would go bad I could always find something to aid me in Church.
This led to one word popping in to my head and sticking with me the next few days as I tried to determine what faith was. That word was “hope”. Faith is hope. Faith is the hope it gives to true believers to find some light in a world completely filled with darkness, bitterness, corruption, disease, disasters, famine and war. When all else goes to complete shit (sorry for the lack of a better word), faith is what grounds people of different religious groups and is what helps us get through an otherwise depressing world. If a person were to lack faith and hope in a world such as this, it would be far to easy to fall in to despair and suffering. Darkness can easily consume us, and as humans we need to cling to things that bring us joy. Religion, relationships, families, children, friends... these are all things that aid us in finding this joy. All of these bonds we create are linked to faith, because faith is believing and we believe in these bonds. Therefore, faith is not necessarily the belief in God or a religion. Because faith is hope and belief, it can be easily adapted to all of the connections I have mentioned above. I believe that we need more faith in this world, because without some sort of belief that we can achieve more then we are doomed as a society to continue down this self destructive whirlwind humanity has created for itself.