In preparing to move, I always come across old journals. I don't sit down and read them, but I usually take a glance, just to note what were my spiritual concerns at a particular time. It's often quite interesting. Last night I read a couple of entries from about two years after my baptism. I was very worked up about belief. Did I really believe what the faith proposes? Or was it just that I had become infatuated with the ideas or--even worse--the idea of believing in them?
Somehow, without noticing it, I seem to have moved beyond this problem. Is it because my faith is stronger now? Am I more convicted of the faith than I was? I don't know.
I think that in my earlier years in the faith, the concepts of its truths and my evaluation of my belief in them were all too enmeshed. It was as if my believing it made it true or not. I see this in people sometimes; because they don't know how to believe in God, they decide that there is no God. A non sequitur, for sure. As if my believing in something has any bearing on whether it is the case or not.
Trust is part of it, too. When I was younger I could only see how it was up to me alone to make the intellectual assent, to believe. Now I realize that there is a trust involved that includes other people. I believe in the resurrection, for sure, but it isn't just because I have been able to make a personal intellectual assent, but because I trust the apostolic witness that has given me the first reports of this Event. At the heart of it, I think this is what it means to be a Catholic rather than an Evangelical or a Pentecostal; we live in a community of spiritual interpretation, trusting the witness handed down to us as a key to interpret our own experience.