There is faith of the religious sort. There is also faith in the general sense — that is, immense trust or confidence in something or someone. It could be anything: a system, a particular individual, humankind, or life itself. Either way, faith is essential. A person without it is like a rudderless, anchorless ship drifting at sea.

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.

— J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (1954)

Now Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes.

— C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1952)

Faith is the backbone of the social and the foundation of the commercial fabric; remove faith between man and man, and society and commerce fall to pieces. There is not a happy home on earth but stands on faith; our heads are pillowed on it, we sleep at night in its arms with greater security for the safety of our lives, peace, and prosperity than bolts and bars can give.

— Thomas Guthrie, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.

— Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (1994)

All that is harsh and dissonant in my life melts into one sweet harmony — and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird on its flight across the sea.

— Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali (1912)

Listen to this charming song about faith at sea. Click on title to download.

In a Storm at Sea

 

There are many faiths, but the spirit is one — in me and in you and in him. So that if every one believes himself all will be united; every one be himself, and all will be as one.

— Leo Tolstoy, Resurrection, translated by Louise Maude (1916)

Given a man full of faith, you will have a man tenacious in purpose, absorbed in one grand object, simple in his motives, in whom selfishness has been driven out by the power of a mightier love, and indolence stirred into unwearied energy.

— Alexander Maclaren, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

…believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance and trust that in this love there is a strength and a blessing, out beyond which you do not have to step in order to go very far!

— Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, translation by M.D. Herter Norton (1934)

Like Confucius of old, I am absorbed in the wonder of earth, and the life upon it, and I cannot think of heaven and the angels. I have enough for this life. If there is no other life, than this one has been enough to make it worth being born, myself a human being. With so profound a faith in the human heart and its power to grow toward the light, I find here reason and cause enough for hope and confidence in the future of mankind.

— Pearl S. Buck, This I Believe (1951)

If I were dying, my last words would be, Have faith and pursue the unknown end.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Letter to John Ching Hsiung Wu (1924), published in Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: His Book Notices and Uncollected Letters and Papers (1936) by Harry Clair Shriver

~ Barista Uno

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