From No Man is An Island, Thomas Merton
This discovery of Christ is never genuine if it is nothing but a flight from ourselves. On the contrary, it cannot be an escape. It must be a fulfillment. I cannot discover God in myself and myself in Him unless I have the courage to face myself exactly as I am, with all my limitations, and to accept others as they are, with all their limitations. The religious answer is not religious if it is not fully real. Evasion is the answer of superstition.
I've known a number of people in my life, non-believers, who insist that religion is a crutch. Unfortunately, at the time I knew most of them, I didn't know how to answer such an assertion. Merton gives us some idea in the above quote. Having faith, believing what God says and taking Him at His word, requires the strength to walk without crutches. It takes the most difficult thing of all, the courage to admit to ourselves who and what we are, sinners, fallen, weak human beings. Then it takes accepting that truth. I'm learning that only then can one begin to grow in faith. It ain't easy.