Faith reaches toward God. It is a feature not only of the mind but of the heart—where “heart” means “mind” and “strength” as well as “heart.” Living faith needs a religious knowledge of God but is in addition, active, warm and totally committed. Faith seeks God rather than merely statements about God. Moreover it seeks God as God is! The problem of the Pharisees was that they worshiped a god of their own making though their idol bore the name of the true God.
Jesus showed the goodness of God. Jesus dwelt among us. He forgave without bargaining. Indeed unless a forgiving God reaches out to us, we would not ask for forgiveness. Jesus manifested this truth about God in the parables of the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan. Our response comes in stages: first, an illuminating grace which enables us to let go of sin, then a letting go of fear as knowledge of God grows in living faith. Finally, we let God's love transform us. This is holiness.
I believe in you, Lord. I reach toward you with desire. Purify me and strengthen me so that I let go of whatever gets in the way of my union with you.