No one can find the truth alone, just as no one can live by himself, because life is a relationship. None of us is an island. No one stands alone in the vastness of the cosmos. Whether we like it or not, we are companions on the way through all experiences of being human, both in good times and in bad times. In friendship and love and amidst war and the terror of terror. Even if you go completely into solitude, like Jesus into the solitude of the desert, you will not meet nothingness, but the fullness of the life that flows around you and in your inner being. The road to solitude – the path of contemplation and prayer – is not an escape from community, but a deeper communion.
The desert is a wonderful and powerful symbol for releasing all superfluous things. The letting go of everything that prevents us from seeing the essentials. True faith is not the theoretical affirmation of some abstract beliefs which have nothing to do with our lives, which are only superimposed upon it, such as a too tight garment or a heavy armor; all these are only ephemeral phenomena that hardly touch the essentials. In truth, true Faith is the Way of Life itself. The path that brings you into contact with the source of all being. The right theology springs from the contact with reality, the vitality of life. True life, the right way of life, does not spring from theology. It is exactly the other way. This is the reason why the early Christians called themselves the “Community of the Way”. A religion that is only an intellectual system is weak and dead. The only religion that interests me is identical with life: the way, the pulse, the rhythm of life. I’m not interested in systems, because all systems are dead, frozen thoughts. I am only interested in life, the Way of Life. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, incarnated on earth to reveal to us the Way of Life. Not just a new religion among other religions, but the heart of every religion, their deepest meaning and destiny.
Do not call me a Christian. I am no longer interested in such vain terms. Call me a follower of the Way and the Life and the Truth. Whoever is thirsting for life and truth, for freedom and grace, for love and justice, for beauty and meaning, is my friend and brother and companion. All these people are, in one way or another, disciples of Christ. My faith is based on the inner knowledge that life is always victorious and the spirit of love triumphs over every enemy, every fear and death. Life is eternal, for it is God: his indwelling presence in every soul and being.
“…therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me…” (Thomas Merton)
(c) mark david vinzens