adeste fidelis

I often find a lingering doubt in my soul as to whether or not I’ve really given Jesus a fair shake.  I think that thread of doubt is easily discovered in what I write.  It’s not a doubt, however, as to whether or not Jesus is real or powerful or meaningful.

Although such doubts appear in my mental meanderings occasionally, I seldom give them voice because they don’t carry enough weight in comparison to my more persistent doubts; that is, whether I’ve truly embraced the reality, power or meaning of Jesus – whether I’ve given him a fair shake as far as living in the light of those truths.

So, as I’m prone to do, I find myself reading something from Buechner that stirs me to that challenge once again.  Tonight, I thought I’d share that with you because Buechner says it better than I.

I’m guessing, though, that if you’re like me, you don’t like to read long quotes from some other writer included in something written by a friend or favored author.  I tend to check out when those quotes show up, thinking, “if I wanted to read Buechner, I wouldn’t have come to this blog,” or some such tripe.

Come on.  Just once, give Buechner a fair shake.  Maybe, in some small way, it will set you on the road to give Jesus a fair shake.  Come all ye faithful.

The following is an excerpt from Frederick Buechner’s essay titled Come and See, included in the collection “The Hungering Dark”.

So what is left to us then is the greatest question of them all.  How do we know whether or not this truth is true?  How do we find out for ourselves whether in this child born so long ago there really is the power to give us a new kind of life in which both suffering and joy are immeasurably deepened, a new kind of life in which little by little we begin to be able to love even our friends, at moments maybe even our enemies, maybe at last even ourselves, even God?

Adeste fidelis.  That is the only answer that I know for people who want to find out whether or not this is true.  Come all ye faithful, and all ye who would like to be faithful if only you could, all ye who walk in darkness and hunger for light.  Have faith enough, hope enough, despair enough, foolishness enough, to at least draw near to see for yourselves.

He says to ask and it will be given you, to seek and you will find.  In other words, he says that if you pray for him, he will come to you, and as fas as I know, there is only one way to find out whether that is true, and that is to try it.  Pray for him and see if he comes, in ways that only you will recognize.  He says to follow him, to walk as he did into the world’s darkness, to throw yourself away as he threw himself away for love of the dark world.  And he says that if you follow him, you will end up on some kind of cross but that beyond your cross and even on your cross you will also find your heart’s desire, the peace that passes all understanding.  And again, as far as I know there is only one way to find out whether that is true, and that is to try it.  Follow him and see.  And if the going gets tough, you can always back out.  Maybe you can always back out.

Doesn’t that make you want to leap over tall buildings in a single bound?  Doesn’t that make you want to follow him, really follow him, and see?

3 thoughts on “adeste fidelis”

  1. “Maybe you can always back out.” can easily be changed with a comma but i really like how it stands. i also tend to bounce right over the quotes… searching for the meat of what my friends have to say, although i can remember sending email messages with quotes and really meaning for the reader to read them. Interesting in the context of word usage. Thanks for your persistence in posting these beautiful gems!

  2. “I often find a lingering doubt in my soul as to whether or not I’ve really given Jesus a fair shake.”

    Really? What does that mean? Please elaborate. You believe in him; you go by the rules set by your belief system. Don’t you? Don’t you already follow Him? I am confused.

    Also ~
    This quote, and your response to it, makes it seem as if there’s some divine cosmic party and you are missing out somehow, and the things you do and the things you believe in and the very degree to which you believe and do them somehow prevent you from attending this party. Am I misunderstanding? You can’t attend the party til after you die. Miracles happen every day, big and small, true, but you cannot create the miracles nor can you predict them or encourage them somehow. You can communicate with your God, and your God does communicate back. But what I don’t get from your posts is what more you think there is, and why you feel as if there is more you could do to create this cosmic meeting on this plane of existence. Do you meditate? That might help you feel closer. That’s worked for me. Keeping my eyes open to miracles helps to bring that feeling of divine energy flowing thru me and back to God. What do you think would work? What do you think there is left for you to do? Do you need more strength to your faith?

    This isn’t the first post that’s left me wondering what you really want from God. Do you know? It is hard to figure out – are you wondering, or are you trying to find your path or is it better to imagine how awesome it would be if only…what?

    Just curious. Maybe you aren’t in the solution phase but in the discovery phase. That’s really important; and if you aren’t ready for solutions or acceptance, that’s perfectly fine. I just wonder where you are, and where you want to go. 🙂

  3. Tracy in L.A. – Once again, I really appreciate finding you here in the comment realm. Thanks for reading and questioning. You make me smile, and laugh, and think.

    First of all, I’ll plan to write a post in the next few days to address your questions more directly.

    Meanwhile, let me say that I think I did elaborate, both in this post and the subsequent addendum, but I don’t think I completely addressed your question. I have a premise which I assumed and didn’t completely divulge, but I will.

    Furthermore, I’m always in the discovery phase, just because there is so much of God to discover, but I’m not having a faith crisis. I’m merely in love with Jesus and desiring to know him better, making the most of every opportunity.

    More to come . . .

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