Sunday, January 16, 2011

Brave Enough to Ask Questions

From Called to Question by Joan Chittister

(Here she is writing about being brave enough to ask all these new spiritual questions.)

As exciting as the situation may be, it is not always a comfortable place to be. But there is no going back. The old answers simply are not adequate to the resolution of the new questions.

This book…is my own attempt to look under every rock inside my own heart to determine what of life is still really gold and what of the answers that remain from the past is now simply fool’s dust.

I offer this book as an invitation to others to trust not only their right but their responsibility to honor their own questions, not as a breach of fidelity but as the faithful pursuit of the ancient and eternally ongoing search for “the good, the true and the beautiful.”

(After a story about a life-changing episode in the church.) That was the day I began the conscious, peri-lous journey from religion to spirituality, from the certainties of dogma to that long, slow personal journey into God.

I began to trust the questions themselves to lead me beyond answers to understanding, beyond practice to faith.

It is possible, of course, to wend our way through life superficially, questioning nothing and calling that faith. Or we can choose to look ourselves in the center of our souls, admit the worst, whatever the pain of that, and pursue the best, even when we are totally unsure where that pursuit will take us.

[This book] is a personal excursion through questions that for years I feared to ask because they had all been answered. Now I am convinced that not to answer them for ourselves means that we will fail in the only thing that, in the end, the spiritual life is all about—the search for meaning and for life.

We can only become spiritual adults when we go beyond the answers, beyond the fear of uncertainty, to that great encompassing mystery of life that is God.