The following three statements, from three different people, make sense of one another:
Pascal: We must love things before we can know them.
Kierkegaard: A believer is someone in love.
St.Anselm: I believe in order to understand.
To really understand something we have to be in a relationship with it, involved with it, to some extent given to it. I guess that’s what Pascal was getting at.
But that’s really what “faith” is. It’s not a rational assent to a given truth — like “I believe in God.” Rather, it’s a commitment, a trust, a giving of oneself to a way of life that is based on what we trust is true. And when we are so committed, when we are “walking the truth,” we come to know and be able to “talk the truth.” I guess that’s what Kierkegaard was getting at.
So Anselm is right: When we have faith in something — that is, when we trust and then act on that trust, we discover what is real and worthwhile.
So truth doesn’t grab us by the brain. It grabs us by the heart. – And then, what we know with our heart, we have to think about with our brain.