Live with freedom

December 29, 2009

Richard Rohr writes, ‘great spiritual teachers always balance knowing with not knowing—and knowing that you don’t know, even your own motives—as we see in St. Thomas à Becket.  This balancing act became the central Biblical great idea called “faith.” I am afraid it has been largely lost in the west in our desire to combat secularists, atheists, and unbelievers. The Christian churches today largely define faith as knowing, and even being certain about your knowing, when in fact it means exactly the opposite!

Faith is being willing not to know, and still being content, because God knows.  Faith is a learned “tolerance for ambiguity” because I no longer use knowledge as power, so I no longer need to be right.  I do not even need to know that I am perfectly moral, superior, or good, because I now know as Jesus said, that “God alone is good” (Mark 10:18).

Now that’s definitely a gift from God—to be able to live with the freedom not to know and not to be right—and that is exactly why we always said that faith is a gift.  It is a gift we can consciously ask for and grow into, but we do need to know what the goal is!’

T S Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral: 

Seven years were my people without my presence;
Seven years of misery and pain.
Seven years a mendicant on foreign charity I lingered abroad:
Seven years is no brevity.
I shall not get those seven years back again.
Never again, you must make no doubt,
Shall the sea run between the shepherd and his fold.

It is not I who insult the King,
And there is higher than I or the King.
It is not I, Becket from Cheapside,
It is not against me, Becket, that you strive.
It is not Becket who pronounces doom,
But the Law of Christ’s Church, the judgement of Rome.

I am here.
No traitor to the King.
I am a priest,
A Christian, saved by the blood of Christ,
Ready to suffer with my blood.
This is the sign of the Church always,
The sign of blood.
Blood for blood.
His blood given to buy my life,
My blood given to pay for His death.
My death for His death.

For my Lord I am now ready to die,
That His Church may have peace and liberty.


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