I have questions but do I have the answers?
What is the New Testament? Is it a story (maybe a novel) about Jesus? Is it an advice book? Is it a puzzle or enigma to be figured out? Is it divinely inspired writing about truth? Is it a path to life or salvation?
It’s all of those things and more, but means nothing if you don’t believe what it says. But what if I believe what it says but don’t take the advice it gives? I take some of the advice. I’m non-violent (I try) but I don’t know about turning the other cheek. I do believe in forgiveness but forgiving always is impossible, and I do believe in not judging—most of the time.
They tell me “gospel” means good news. Because the first Christians believed the Gospels revealed a path or a way to atonement (at-one-ment) they were called themselves the people of the way. I wonder if those first Christians are like me, more trying to believe than believing? I find the more I succeed in the advice of the New Testament, the stronger my faith in life becomes.
The gospel tells us to ask and it shall be given. Ask for what? It tells us to seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be open. What kind of advice is it to knock but doesn’t tell you what door to knock on, or to seek but not what to seek? Evidently the author trusts the individual to be involved in life, make choices and then trust you will learn from the consequences. I think it’s called on the job training.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.