Doctrines Are for the Sake of Experience
Christians speak of the “paschal mystery,” the process of loss and renewal that was lived and personified in the death and raising up of Jesus. We can affirm that belief in ritual and song, as some Christians do in the Eucharist. However, until we have personally lost our own foundation and ground, and then experienced God upholding us so that we come out even more alive on the other side, the expression “paschal mystery” is little understood and not essentially transformative. It is a mere theological affirmation or liturgical acclamation.
“Cross and Resurrection” is a doctrine that most Christians would probably intellectually assent to, but it is not yet the very cornerstone of their own life philosophy. That is the difference between mere belief systems and a living faith. We move from one to the other only through actual encounter, surrender, trust, and an inner experience of presence and power. Then it is our “secret” discovery too, and not just a church theology.
From Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, Richard Rohr pp. 62, 63
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