The questions of Jesus

Be patient with regard to all that in your heart is still unresolved and try to love (and live) the questions (now).  Rainer Maria Rilke

Wood snake, James Forbes (

Wood snake, James Forbes (

"Jesus asks questions, good questions, unnerving questions, realigning questions, transforming questions.  He leads us into liminal and therefore transformative space, much more than taking us ino any moral high ground of immediate certitude or ego superiority...He leaves us betwixt and between, where God and grace can get at us, and where we are not all in control."   (Richard Rohr)

"The important thing is not to settle the dust and respond to the ego's need for closure and satisfaction, but in fact to lead one into a vital relationship."  (Richard Rohr)

"The instantaneous is about satisfaction, not about quality.  It caters to our impulses...The instantaneous is about our anger, our emotions, our urges, our instincts, our needs, perhaps, but it is not about diligence.  It is not about reflection." (Joan Chittister)

The questioning of the soul

We start the year asking ourselves some of the questions Jesus asked, such as What are you looking for?  Why have you come to me?

To be asked a question by Jesus, as his contemporaries were, is to be stopped in our tracks. And if we will allow it, to have our hearts slowly opened up to a new way, our grip on impulses and fixed opinions loosened.  Our task is to stay with the question (or image) and work with the Spirit, despite our tendency to divert the question, deflect the gaze and cave into the instantaneous. 

Pulling back on words we invite slow absorption over a week of the question and an associated image; carrying, holding, breathing them in.