Thresholds

I’m finishing up Crossing the Threshold of Hope. The title never really meant anything until I began to hope. I find it to be the most inviting book title I’ve heard in a very long time. It seems to be what I’m doing, but to cross a threshold, one must walk.

And there’s the rub.

John Paul II writes,

Christ wants to awaken human hearts. He wants them to respond to the word of the Father, but he wants this in full respect for human dignity. In the very search for faith an implicit faith is already present, and therefore the necessary condition for salvation is already satisfied. (193)

I’ve read that a dozen times, and it brings a smile each time. It’s not that I’m thinking, “I’m searching, so I’m home free!” Rather, there’s been this sense, this ineffable feeling, that this working on faith is itself a kind of faith.

The old adage about longest journeys and first steps isn’t merely an empty cliche. In picking up my foot, I have to have a certain kind of — dare I say it? — faith that it will land on solid ground. I take this for granted daily, but only because it has been confirmed again and again. And because I constantly and unconsciously check my environment countless times as I walk to make sure I am on firm ground. Yet infants don’t have that experience, and each step is an adventure.

This surely is what Paul had in mind when he wrote of “mere babes in Christ.”

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