Returning to our own lives from a faith perspective, there are often no clear distinctions between inner sensing and believing in regard to the language we use. For example an individual might say, ‘I have a sense God is close to me in this difficult period of my life’ or ‘I believe God is close…’.
The three words, sensing, believing, awareness are almost interchangeable. We tend to use different ones when attempting to express the indescribable. For example, the exclamation that ‘now I see’ could be replaced by ‘now I believe that to be true’ or ‘now I am aware that is true’. In each case we are referring to an inner knowing. Hence inner sensing and believing overlap. Both allow for a deep assurance that the knowledge I have is true, is real. When referring to religious faith our conviction needs to be supported by a deep, authentic, inner knowing coupled with the knowledge that religious faith is primarily a gift from the Divine to which I have consented in an almost unknowing way.
Faith always remains a gift of God, a gift that will peter out if it is not nourished, and nourished in a meaningful way by each individual.
Excerpted from Spirituality and the Senses: Living Life to the Full by Catherine McCann