"I suppose they try and make you believe an awful lot of nonsense?"
"Is it nonsense? I wish it were. It sometimes sound terribly sensible to me."
"But my dear Sebastian, you can't seriously believe it all!"
"I mean about Christmas and the star and the three kings and the ox and the ass."
"Oh yes, I believe that. It's a lovely idea."
"But you can't believe things because they are a lovely idea."
"But I do. That's how I believe."
from Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
As a general epistemological principle, I'm not sure how far I'd go with that one. Sebastian believes the way a child believes. Then again, there is good scriptural basis for believing as a child and there is no doubt we spend too much time trying to be terribly sophisticated about knowledge even though this rarely gets us anywhere.
Sometimes, though, it just seems right. Today is the Feast of the Visitation. It is of medieval origin according to my Bishop and "it was kept by the Franciscan Order before 1263, and soon its observance spread throughout the entire Church." Much of the Christmas lore that Charles challenges Sebastian about in the quoted section of Brideshead Revisited above also originates with the Franciscans (even with Francis himself).
In any case, what really struck me in the Archbishop's post was that one of the things we commemorate with the Visitation is "the cleansing of John the Baptist from original sin in the womb of his mother at the words of Our Lady's greeting."
The Baptist baptized in his mother's amniotic fluid. There is something just so terribly right about that that I am willing to take it on the sheer loveliness of the idea alone.