Wandering through yet another book, this time Peter Kreeft’s, “Jesus Shock”, I sit paralyzed and torn again. Do I go back? Do we all need to go back? Does he or Teilhard or Merton or Augustine make the case strong enough to convince us that being Catholic is the right thing to do, the right place for us to be? How can we possibly leave that decision up to them – no matter how faithful, scholarly, devoutly mystical they are? If Truth is like I have proposed in earlier posts – which I still believe is actual – then is this Truth found in the Church? Did Peter, Paul and Mary (I should take that out of this post, but I just can’t sorry) have it right? Has the Church been so corrupted all these years – by people – that what is left is far removed from the Jesus of what might have been James’ church? Or…not?
And I have to say it, what of the Eucharist? It is the single most divisive thing in Christian circles, no debate in the early days of Christianity, no debate from Luther or even King James and his Anglicans, do we need to accept that the Eucharist is as the Church contends, the living presence of Christ on Earth and if we do, there is no choice, we have to go back. If Truth is and if the Eucharist is living Truth, the fullness, the completeness of Christ on Earth sent to support and nourish our spirit and keep us connected, by denying ourselves the Eucharist, that communion, we are missing nothing if we don’t believe and everything if we do. Is the Eucharist the most profound, but understated source of our own connectedness to the divine that humans can have?
So Kreeft aptly spells out that Christ is the most divisive character in history and to speak of him outside of very Christian circles is to cause discomfort and embarrassment. It is true, no doubt. His life also split time into BC and AD, who else can claim that? Does he make us uncomfortable because he is that point at which the divine, the beautiful, meets the corrupt – the world – and stays beautiful and because of that, we can’t bear to look at him? To have him in our actual presence? Is that why he hides in a piece of bread so simple, so static, so unmoving but somehow so powerful? And what impact does he have on us? By striking the chord of our soul does he in fact tune us with the divine in some way? Or attempt to if we, like a pliant guitar string, are willing to accept the adjustment versus straining and stretching until we eventually break.
So Christ the seducer tries to win us over, but never forces us to follow him. We accept or we decline and each day – for me at least – seems to be a day of conversion. The Church in all her richness, her history, her beauty could move us, maybe used to move us? Or were we just that much closer to our ancestors who feared for their lives in many cases for not being in line with the Church and so we were still compelled to stay. Are we evolving out of (dare I say) the need of Jesus or are we so much in need that we don’t see it. Are we so addicted to our lives and or to ourselves that we can’t see beyond that we are not the center of the universe. Maybe we are physically evolving and spiritually devolving – that is such a scary thought.
My soul searches constantly, my heart longs achingly and I have felt the touch of the holy spirit in my life and yet I can’t settle down, I don’t fully commit. I keep looking for something better, trying to find the real Jesus as close as my breath, but so far away. I wish I had a simple faith that I could just believe what I am told and be comforted in knowing my rightful place, but for me it is just not that simple. I don’t think I am smarter, holier or more faithful, if anything I am less faithful and I know it. I am God’s spiritual wanderer and I can only hope I am fulfilling my purpose, his purpose for my life.