Faith, in its deepest sense is the very essence of our being. It is not a mental idea or belief but an unshakable conviction held deep within. Once there, it is never lost, though it can be momentarily clouded. It is like a key that opens the inner doors for the higher powers to act.
Faith can be developed by asking for it from the Divine, by contact with those who themselves carry this flame and by the influence of books written by realised ones.
Some persons believe that faith is an irrational thing and to encourage it in this modern world of scientific knowledge is simply to go back to some primitive age when man feared and worshipped Nature as if it were conscious and capable of relating with us. They say that man has discovered the laws and processes of Nature and has even harnessed them to his advantage. We do not need faith anymore but only an expansion of scientific knowledge and technology to match.
This is a gross error. In reality, we are replacing only one kind of faith with another. Faith in spiritual things is as consistent with reason as faith in scientific methods. The spiritual ideas including the idea of a Divine Grace that can intervene and heal is as much based upon experience, albeit of another kind and order of reality than the physical.
In its deepest sense, faith is the soul’s witness to a knowledge that our surface mind and reason as well as the senses do not yet have or grasp. It is the deepest will-to-be that governs our nature and presides over all we do and receive. If we have faith only in science and its methods we end up discovering only that much which science presumes and is willing to admit through the curtain of mind and no more. Instead of quarrelling over faith we need to enlarge it and widen its scope, so that science and spirituality can find their respective place in an integral faith that is vast enough to include both without negating each other.
In truth, we can say without exaggeration that faith is the very stuff of which we are made of. Though normally and unfortunately it is perceived to be limited to a religious belief, in reality, it extends to everyone. Even the atheist has faith in his atheism and in his reason!