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Questioning in Humility

When I was a young boy I remember walking to Church every morning to serve the daily Mass. I remember the first time I started reflecting on the division within our Christian tradition: “Why is my Church called Roman-Catholic?”, “Why do we have different Churches that do not belong to my Church?”, “Why does the communist government in Poland discourage us from believing in God, from going to Church, from praying?” Those were questions that remained with me for many years as I tried to make sense of the world I was living in, as I was trying to figure out all these

different pieces of the reality that surrounded me. I think that it is part of our human condition to try to fix those things that are broken, to remove the obstacles from our paths, and to unite ourselves with those around us. We don't feel comfortable with brokenness, division and unanswered questions. We want answers, we want to see results, but are we ready for what we desire? I remember meeting a young man in grade eight who had many questions about life, about God, about the world. I was working at a local parish as an associate pastor at the time and I remember sitting down with him in the principal’s office to try to help him make sense of some of his confusion. We spent over an hour together as I listened to his observations and questions. He reminded me of myself many years earlier, though he seemed much less patient about finding answers and making sense of his confused reality then when I was in his shoes. After an hour of trying to answer his questions and helping him organize his thoughts I realized that he was not mature enough for the answers to the questions that preoccupied his young mind. He was in that uncomfortable limbo between childhood and adulthood, and he would have to wait patiently for the experience of life to offer answers for which he just was not ready yet. When it comes to our tradition of Christian Spirituality we may find ourselves in the same difficult place. It is easy to notice difficulties and to come up with difficult questions: “If we believe in one God, why are there so many ways of trying to find Him?”, “If we are all part of the same human family why do we disagree about so many things?”, “If Christianity is based on revealed truth, why is the history of Christianity marked with so many divisions and wounds?” These are difficult questions, and difficult questions cannot be disrespected by simplistic answers. It takes time to make sense of those questions. We must be patient and allow experience and understanding of history and human nature to prepare us for answers that will not create more division but rather will satisfy the longing of our human hearts for unity, clarity, and peace.

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