For all the debate about belief and nonbelief in today’s world—and how everyone becomes pigeonholed by one or the other— Tomá Halík teaches that God requires us to persevere with our doubts, carry them in our hearts, and allow them to lead us to maturity. For Halík, patience is the main difference between faith and atheism. Faith, hope, and love are three aspects of patience in the face of God’s silence, which is interpreted as “the death of God” by atheists and is not taken seriously enough by fundamentalists.
Using the gospel story of Jesus’s encounter with Zacchaeus, Halík issues an invitation to all people who stand (like Zacchaeus did) on the sideline—curious but noncommittal. The fact that Jesus gravitated to the poor and the marginalized means that he also has a special place in his heart for diligent seekers on the margins of the community of believers.
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|Title of eBook: Patience with God|
|Release Date: 04-14-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Patience with God|
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Patience with God
It was early morning and fresh snow lay in the streets of Prague. Everything was fairly fresh in those days--the mid-1990s. A few years earlier, the Communist regime had fallen in the course of the "Velvet Revolution," along with its monopoly of political and police power, and for the first time in decades genuine parliamentary democracy was restored. The church and the university once more enjoyed freedom. That turn of events wrought enormous changes in my life: during the 1970s, I had been secretly ordained abroad at a time of religious repression at home that had already lasted decades. Not even my mother, with whom I lived, was allowed to know I was a priest. For eleven years, I performed my priestly duties clandestinely in an "underground church." Now I was able to function openly, freely, as a priest, without any risk of repression, in the newly created university parish in the heart of Old Prague. After years during which I had to give lectures on philosophy solely as part of clandestine courses in private homes organized by the "flying university," could only publish in samizdat, I was able to return to the university, write for the newspapers, and publish books.
But on that particular winter morning I was headed, not for the church or the university, but for the parliament building. Among the novelties of those days was the custom, established a few years earlier, of inviting a member of the clergy to the parliament once a year, just before Christmas, to deliver a brief meditation to the assembled members of parliament and senators prior to the last sitting before the Christmas vacation.
Yes, everything was still fairly fresh and...