U.S. Catholic Book Club: Patience with God
Patience with God is for both people with doubts and those who want to understand them. The premise is that many today approach faith like Zacchaeus, the tax collector who climbed a tree to see Jesus: cautious but curious. As Jesus did, we are called to reach out those on the sidelines of faith-but not to demand orthodoxy from them. Patience is required from both seekers and believers.
As a priest who served the underground church in communist Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Halík brings an interesting perspective to the discussion of God, atheism, church, and current events. Though not a quick read, the book is thoughtful and worth a close-and patient-read. -Megan Sweas, Associate Editor, U.S. CATHOLIC
Selected discussion questions: (find more)
1. Maturing in one's faith also entails enduring periods of God's silence. We need faith precisely in those twilight moments when our lives and the world are full of uncertainty and its function is not to allay our thirst for certainty and safety, but to teach us to live with mystery. Faith, hope and love are three aspects of our patience with God; they are three ways of coming to terms with the experience of God's hiddenness. If God exercises such patience with us, can we refuse him our patience and hope, and love - even in moments of darkness and emptiness, when there is no alternative but to wait or defect from the path of waiting? Waiting on God does not happen only in the waiting room of faith but belongs also at the very heart of faith. Do you also think that having patience with God is an integral part of religious experience?
2. Jesus had a prior interest in 'people on the fringes'. Solidarity with the poor, the exploited and the persecuted, care for the sick and handicapped is an important part of the Christian witness in this world. But today there is also need for an interest in the doubters and seekers. Why does the author believe that the Church can benefit from the seekers and outsiders? What could we learn from them? How do you we, as the Church, currently treat those without the same faith as ours?