Faith reaches the intellect not simply through the senses but in a light directly infused by God. Since this light does not pass through the eye or the imagination or reason, its certitude becomes our own without any vesture of created appearance, without any likeness that can be visualized or described.
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation, New Directions, 1961, p. 132
God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
I am so grateful for these words. I know it might sound a bit much to some people, but truly I keep finding that the only way I can live is by faith, through the hope that is mine, being saved; and through the love I have for my sisters and brothers in Christ, as well as the ones who don’t know who he even is. Yet if you asked me to explain in concrete terms why I have faith, I who grew up so far from the Lord, I couldn’t tell you. All I know is that I didn’t have faith then, and I do now; I wasn’t saved then, now I am; I had love for no one but myself, and now my heart is full. I have nothing whatever for which I can take the credit. Like Paul, I want to say, “May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6.14)