The goal that lies beyond us

There is a tough balance between “certitude”, which we seem to want in life and in belief, and simply “just believing” without even really trying. It can be the trite saying, “God said, I believe it, that settles it.” It doesn’t wrestle. I’ve longed for something more than this my entire life.

If there is “certitude” in our belief system, we don’t have faith. Not really. We have a system that fits for us and we let is stay there. Faith calls us to trust God. It is a call to rest in him when we don’t have the answers… even while we are demanding the answers.

But I don’t want to live in fatalism. I know I am meant to wrestle with God. I truly believe we are all meant to wrestle with God… it’s just we don’t want to, so we give up by not thinking about God or we settle into our box of certitudes.

Gregory of Nyssa referred to a “luminous darkness” in a way to describe the goal of the mystical life. It is to realize that a mere intellectual pursuit of God is completely inadequate. To know God is noble and powerful and should drive us. It drives me. I want to KNOW GOD! Yet, it is the goal that always lies beyond us.

I am the finite trying to grasp the infinite… and I am okay with this. I am working to grasp with my finite knowledge and my thirst for knowing Scripture. I want to learn “good methods” of studying Scripture, AND holding to the mystery of the Church that interprets Scripture historically in a way that modern exegetical methods would say is “wrong.”

I am unable to grasp the full essence of God, but I love the pursuit!

There is a place where I find myself pursuing God and come to my end and all that is left is my silence. Hopefully that is all that is left. In those times I will rest for a bit and then pick up my pursuit. Where will that pursuit lead me? To a bit more knowledge of God and the end of the path where I again stare into a deeper mystery. And that deserves my silence and my worship.

I am not upset that I do not completely know God. It doesn’t wreck my Christianity to say, “I don’t know” when it comes to “difficult passages” in the Bible. I am not put off by saying there is a real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and when asked “HOW” I merely shrug my shoulders, but I am not shaken by what I don’t understand. I just know he IS there.

The true essence of God is beyond my understanding. And each time I reach that point, I am left with silence… and worship. It has become an amazing place.

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