Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | May 10, 2010

Faith Resurgence

I’ve been experiencing a resurgence of faith lately, and it’s an interesting journey. I have not received the grace to fully believe again. The tai chi way has been a good way for me, and I’m not going to abandon it. Not that I would have to. But when it comes to Christ, I’m just not there yet. But something is calling me back, and so I’ve been following the tact of the greater saints: praying, wanting to have faith, asking for the grace of faith, and remaining faithful in darkness.

Perhaps the greatest problem are the words of Judge Judy that ring in my ears whenever I battle with faith: “If it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true.” So, she’s talking about witness testimony here, but, doesn’t it apply to faith as well, to theology. The problem is that faith and spirituality is approached through reason, but not reason alone. It is the experiential quality of it by which we make our decision to believe.

There is no doubt in my mind that there is a divine, numenous essence to our existence. In tai chi and taoism, we experience it. We also experience it as practicing christians. Perhaps it’s best to accept it as mystery, as mystical, as unexplainable. I have been saying the rosary daily, meditating and contemplating the mysteries of the rosary, the mysteries of Christ’s life. I find myself praying, I don’t understand this or that mystery, but I accept it.

I was thinking of the passion of Christ, the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, the agony in the garden, the scourging at the pillar, the crowning with thorns, the carrying of the cross, the crucifixion, and I aske, why did God have to do it this way? Oh, the religions and the theologians have their answers, some very complicated, some too simple, lots of obfuscation(obfuscation makes me run for cover). I don’t know the full answer. But I’ve come up with this:

The passion of Christ, the embrace of suffering, is witness to the sufering we must endure here on earth, a life of suffering resulting from our choice to isolate ourselves and alienate ourselves from our creator. Christ is the way back. The chrtistian message is a message of reconciliation and redemption.

It is this message which led me to stop believing in the first place–not accepting that we are so alienated, or that we need a redemptor or savior. If I can become aware of my divinity through, say, the practice of zen or tai chi or buddhism, or taoism, then I can fix myself. In fact, I began to believe, and still do, that people don’t really need fixing, just learning and development and proper growth.

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Responses

  1. “If it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true.”

    Demonstrably false. Olber’s Paradox doesn’t make sense, but it is true. Olber’s Paradox is the one about the nighttime sky: if the universe is infinitely large and uniform throughout, then in any direction we look, our eyes should eventually land on a star, and the nighttime sky should be as bright as the sun. That’s what science tells us, and yet any fool can see that the sky is dark. This doesn’t make sense.

    Judge Judy’s statement would only be true if human intellect were infallible. It obviously isn’t, but a lot of people tend to forget that. They overestimate how smart they are, and then proceed to reason themselves into positions of absurdity. People’s lack of humility when it comes to their own intelligence is one of the devil’s best tools.

  2. When I’ve been practicing regularly and my mind is calm, I find my faith is the strongest.


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