Faith’s Power of Persuation

Excerpt from Take Five: Meditations with John Henry Newman, page 66:

17. Faith’s Power of Persuasion

Newman articulated the idea that man knows spiritual realities by multiple impressions and associations of the mind and heart, and the witness of people and events, which together he called the “illative sense.”

First comes knowledge, then a view, then reasoning, and then belief. This is why science has so little of a religious tendency; deductions have no power of persuasion. The heart is commonly reached, not through the reason, but through the imagination, by means of direct impressions, by the testimony of facts and events, by history, by description. Persons influence us, voices melt us, looks subdue us, deeds inflame us. Many a man will live and die upon a dogma: no man will be a martyr for a conclusion.

GA 92-93

THINK ABOUT IT

  • · Faith is much more than a deduction.
  • · God reaches man’s heart in many ways.
  • · Religious dogma calls for real commitment

IMAGINE

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully.

Luke 19: 5-6

REMEMBER

The heart is commonly reached, not through the reason, but through the imagination, by means of direct impressions, by the testimony of facts and events, by history, by description. Persons influence us, voices melt us, looks subdue us.