Thursday, November 6, 2008

Living with Mystery

Two of my very favorite quotes are from St. Augustine:

"God is best known in not knowing him." - De Ordine (II, 16)

"Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe, that thou mayest understand." - In Ioannis Evangelium

Like all children, the boys ask "WHY" a lot. When it comes to matters of faith, I can't always answer them. So I struggle to give them what answer I can, and then try to teach them that a little mystery in life is a good thing. And that a little mystery in faith is an even better thing - because if we knew it all, what would be the point of following Christ? It's a hard lesson to learn as a child. We tell them in all other aspects of life: "go and find out", but sometimes in faith we have to say "wait and someday you may know - or you may not - but you must believe anyway." As I've grown up I've become more comfortable with knowing there are some things I can't understand, but as a child to be asked to live with a mystery is like being asked to put the Hardy Boys down before the last chapter and never know whodunit.

How do we teach our children to wait and live with mystery? How do you teach children to be as accepting of Christ as the most devout Buddhist is of the world, and yet as curious as Rikki Tikki Tavi?

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