Monday, March 7, 2011

A redemptive recognition of reality

Artist: Henri Rousseau

Someone in crisis phoned me today and we talked for a while about reality testing. In the following passage, Benedictine monk Laurence Freeman asserts that questions - not anwers - help us in the recognition of what's real and what's not:
Unlike answers, questions attract and hold our attention. They are irresistible, like a half-open door. Answers, especially wrapped in dogmatic certainty or claiming to be right in this form for all time, soon come either to bore or oppress us. Even the best answers can be as unwelcoming as a door banged in our face when they exclude alternative responses. Rather than giving answers and making rules Jesus called people to experiential knowledge. By asking questions or telling stories he invited his hearers to a personal discovery of truth, a redemptive recognition of reality. Throughout the gospels it is his questions which magnetize and capture our attention. Often they also deftly turn the attacks of his hostile critics back on themselves. It is by questions that he leads his disciples into a deeper understanding of who we are and who he is. These are the inseparable twin insights of his gift to humanity.


  1. Love this Ellie and it will be my meditation for the beginning of lent. What a great exercise, to go through the Gospels and find all of Jesus' questions. Thank you for this.

  2. What a wonderful idea, Andie! I think I might do that myself. Excellent!

    A blessed Lent to you, friend.

  3. I am loving your blogs. Thank you for them! They are just what I need for my Lenten journey. Signed, not Paperclip or Doorknob but Helen

  4. Hello, Helen. I'm glad you're here and that the blogs are serving some purpose in your life. Do stick around, okay?

    A blessed Lent to you.

  5. Thank you, Ellie. I am reading a beautiful novel right now called "Cutting for Stone." Have you read it? I am an English teacher and a writer, I have read thousands of books, but I have to say, I think this is the best book I have ever read. It was written with so much love. I am recommending it just in case you, or your blog readers, are looking for a good book to read.

  6. Thanks for the recommendation, Helen. I looked for it online and read several reviews - sounds really good and a page turner as well.


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