“Faith today is identified with a kind of feeling or instinctive urge toward the acceptance of an idea. Very few today realize that reason is the prelude to faith. Whether they know it or not, they follow the philosophy of Jean Jacques Rouseau, who wrote to Dom Deschamps in 1762, ‘Order and method are your gods; they are my furies. The state of reflection is contrary to nature. A man who meditates is a depraved animal. Don’t think, it hurts; just feel.’ In German, Goethe made Faust say, ‘Feeling is everything.’ Madame de Stael wrote a work on the influence of passions on happiness. Wordsworth said: ‘Our meddling intellect misshapes the beauteous form of things.’
It is very hard to convince those whose lives are dominated by feeling that faith has nothing whatever to do with emotion. Nor does it have anything to do with ‘feeling good,’ because very often faith recommends something that is very difficult, such as taking up a cross. Nor is faith something so compelling as to completely destroy reason, as if one might say, ‘It bowled me over.'”
Source: Sheen Fulton, Guide to Contentment, Alba House, 2010.