Faith is a fact of life, made necessary by our human condition as being, not God, but limited creatures capable only of incomplete and uncertain knowledge. As a spiritual virtue, faith is a firm disposition, warranted by reason, authority, and experience, to believe the truth about ultimate reality, comprehending who God is and who we are in relation to him.
Faith is the business of Step 2, where we are motivated by hope to believe in a God who can heal us; of Step 3, where we make a decision to surrender all to a God we begin to understand as a caring and a loving God; of Steps 5, 6, and 7, where we admit and surrender our defects of character to him; and of Step 11, where through prayer and meditation we seek conscious contact with a God we now understand as having a will for us and the power to help us carry that out.
[Image: Father Dowling of St. Louis, who met Bill W. at AA’s first clubhouse at 331½ West 24th Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and went on to become one of his unofficial sponsors, together with the Rev. Sam Shoemaker. For Bill's tribute to him, see "To Father Ed — God Speed," in The Language of the Heart, pp. 364–366. For the story of their relationship, see The Soul of Sponsorship: The Friendship of Fr. Ed Dowling, S.J., and Bill Wilson in Letters.]