FAITH AS UNKNOWING: We are often tempted not to trust in God but to trust in our faith tradition of trusting in God. They are not the same thing! Talking (and preaching) about Christians and theologians who trusted in God is a clever way to (personally) avoid the experience itself, to avoid encounter with the living God, to avoid the ongoing Incarnation. We tend to trust the past for its own sake, as if past time is somehow holier then the present, the ‘right now’! God did not come to earth to protect human traditions. In fact, Jesus pointedly asks the Pharisees and scribes,’And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God’ (Matt. 15:3, NLT).
Authentic and mature ‘Tradition’ calls us to surrender to the wonderful and always too-much mystery of God. This is the ‘apophatic’ tradition, or the ‘cloud of unknowing’. It is the very concept of faith – the freedom not to know because I experience myself as being known, more fully than I can know or even need to know. ‘All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me completely’ (1 Corinthians 13:12, NLT).
In silent prayer, let go of the need to use words to approach God. Let go of all ideas about God, self, and reality. Even if you don’t sense God’s presence, trust that you are fully seen and known by the One who is merciful, gracious, faithful, and steadfast in love. Richard Rohr ‘Gateway to Silence – Awaken me to Love this day.’ Jan. 22nd.