“If we are to understand faith, as Christians use the word, we need to read about Jesus, reading slowly and prayerfully, unclenching ourselves, becoming still and alert. We need to think about his stories of the Kingdom of God, his acts— the ordinary ones of kindness as well as the miracles—and especially we need to meditate on his self-sacrifice without limit. We need to see that, for Christians, Jesus is the way in which God offers himself to be understood. Consider the parables. Some of them tell us what God is like. Yet more quietly, and perhaps more profoundly, they also tell us what God is unlike. God is like a shepherd who leaves his ninety-nine sheep in order to go after one lost sheep. Yet how unlike shepherds this God is! For every shepherd knows that chances are you will lose at least one sheep, and it is best to stay with the ninety-nine you have safe and sound. The parables let us see that the father of Jesus is not a God who is part of the cosmos but is at once like its creatures and wholly unlike them. No frame can contain this God because God is outside all frames.
So faith will never be grasped properly if it is used to justify fleeing from life, as though to negate the world could bring us one inch closer to God. Nor is faith grasped when it is used to bludgeon the faithful to affirm propositions beyond the reach of reason, as though agreement with as many counter-intuitive statements as possible were evidence of intellectual humility. Instead, faith is the acceptance that God reveals himself in Jesus, and that God will lead us, here and now, in an absolutely singular way that we can never comprehend, to a fuller and richer understanding of what it means to live and die as Jesus did. And it is also the trust that, if we live as Jesus did, always responding to God’s call, we will come to understand what incarnation and resurrection mean. We will come to understand, in death if not in life, that incarnation and resurrection, baptism and eucharist, are different profiles of the gracious unity of the created and the uncreated, finite being and the radical act of being—ipse esse subsistens, as St Thomas puts it—that is God. We pass from faith to understanding, as St Augustine said, and as St Anselm said. It is no simple passage: some things come slowly, if ever, and when they come they sometimes seem to come too late. And some things will never come. There is no conceptual understanding of the absolutely singular, the being that exists a se, entirely from itself. As St Gregory of Nyssa often said, we stretch forward endlessly into God throughout eternity.”
Kevin Hart. “On Faith.” Meanjin 65, no. 4 (2006): 7