I recently read the wise opinion that if you are searching for answers to ultimate questions, to the God questions, then you should be engaged in some way with the Ultimate, with God as someone understands God to be, even if that someone is not you. What does this mean?
It is too easy to look for answers with one’s eyes shut or to listen for answers with one’s ears covered and then say there are no answers. A self-fulfilling prophecy. If we are sincere in our pursuit of the Divine then at the very least we should be spending time engaged with the beliefs of others. We should immerse ourselves in the writings of sages and spiritual leaders, or in the scriptures of various faith traditions. We should engage our eyes and hearts with art and music expressing themes of divinity and ultimacy. We should participate in rituals and sacred celebrations of various religions.
If we are deep in doubt and fear we should be more active in our pursuit of the sacred than ever before. If we don’t care, then we shouldn’t expect to hear any answers and shouldn’t bother asking the questions in the first place. If we do care, we should be actively engaged in listening, learning, seeing…with eyes and ears and hearts open.
I have been searching and doubting for the past six years. But I have continued to read Jewish and Christian spiritual writers, attend Jewish and Christian religious services, and write on topics of faith, doubt and hope. I have practiced slow breathing and meditation and worked at being more mindful. And all the while I have maintained an internal conversation about the nature and existence of God. Where has this brought me? Not to any definitive answers; not back to the Catholic Church. But back to an awareness of the importance of the sacred in my life and a willingness to engage in hope.