– Friday of the 5th Week of Lent –
The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus replied, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?’ The Jews answered, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.’ [John 10:31-33]
Faith, if solely lived arranged around particular practices and rules will inevitably come into conflict with those who focus on different practices and rules.
It is inevitable that this problem should arise, particularly if our introduction to the faith has been through particular practices. We get used to the way things look, sound, smell etc. and we think that that is what being Catholic means. These things are precious to us and help define who we are. It is hard to see beyond them. However, we must learn that they serve as an entry point into a relationship with the eternal God. It is as we allow ourselves to be led deeper into that relationship where things get interesting.
It is not always straightforward. Once you move into the interior, you can easily begin to lose your bearings. At that point, either find yourself a good and experienced spiritual director or try to go back to what you know. Try, but you will often find that those things that have always worked in the past no longer hold the same degree of appeal. At some stage, you will need to get out of that boat and start walking towards Christ (Mt 14:28-32). It may feel like you are drowning.
The voices calling you back into the boat can be hard to resist. In your own time, and in your own way, ignore them. They too will one day need to make that journey beyond what they know and can control. In the meantime – if they cannot call you back, they may want to stone you.
by Shane Dwyer