I am not searching for knowledge, I am searching for God!
I once, driven by a desire to convert an atheist, began a conversation on the existence of God. He was of my height and age, and a student in one of our tertiary institution. I rolled down all the Thomistic arguments “successfully”. He commented that, “I think if you are to make a better apologist you ought to read St Anselm’s too” that really got me thinking.
Recollecting the signs of the times
From the look of things, as things are, we are faced with one reality in today's world, that all men seem learned, that is if they are not. As young people we search for purpose and fulfillment in various things and in various ways. Nature compels us to find our true selves and to live up to our dreams. Failure to achieve such things leads us to desperation, pessimism and sheer disillusionment. It is during this time of our life that we ask ourselves the most, “what is my purpose in life?”
It did keep me thinking, “What if then in the Dominican spirituality lies my answers?” is this the path of VERITAS? Have I understood my mission to the world? I took some moments out to think critically over the conflict within myself, the conflict between my understanding of the Dominican spirituality and my life as a young person (asking myself, was all these necessary?)
Revisiting the cradle of Truth
I took some time in prayer asking God what to do, and how far I can go in pursuit for truth. I felt like I was not convincing enough to be a preacher and I put my place as a Dominican youth in probation. That is not what God wanted of me or even what I wanted for myself? Thus, I decided to share my trouble with one of the youths. He asked me, “did he happen to share his dream or yearnings?” then all his last words flowed back to my mind “I have read so much about God, his nature, his mystery. Please tell me, why would he not allow me to be free? This God… I am not searching for knowledge, I am searching for God!”
It then dawned on me, he was in such of something more than books could explain; a yearning of a restlessness soul that only Truth itself can quench. I then knew what to do.
It now seems so clear to me, that our Dominican call to preach the truth is still relevant, it is a need that is eternal, that as long as we are on earth, our search for Truth remains to be our ultimate number one goal, technology and modernization notwithstanding.
The Dominican mission
As we celebrated the jubilee of the order to mark 800 years of existence, our mission as Dominicans did not change. It seemed more of giving us a fresh start as though our Holy Father Dominic was physically present with us and commissioned us to preach.
Our Dominican spirituality is an eternal spring of the church. We are called to share with our dear brothers and sisters the truth that we have contemplated. The human heart is in search of something that not all the knowledge the world has can suffice. It is the search that keeps us restless until we find it, as St Augustine once put it, the search for God
Take the plunge
With renewed vigor, the jubilee offered us enough courage (so I believe), love strength to take the plunge and fill in the Truth amongst ourselves and to our “cumans” as well. As young people not yet committed to marriage or holy orders, we have the opportunity to live our baptism to the fullest. The Holy Spirit who descended on us on the day of Pentecost should be roused and allowed to freely express himself in us and those with whom we interact with. The Holy Spirit thrives very well in environment of prayer, it works in environment of prayer and converts in environment of prayer. Prayer is the wellspring in which we Dominicans draw our passion to study (to use our talents for the great glory of God), to live together as a community (drawn together, if not physically, but by our spirituality, mission and vision as Dominican youths) and apostolate (working in words and actions for the salvation of souls). As young people trying to find our strength and role in the order, I believe that we have been enriched with the very precious sacraments which are the pillar of our Christianity; baptism and confirmation. Living these sacraments under the Dominican spirituality gives us more strength to realize our roles as youths in the order.
One, John Locke, a philosopher says, “reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours “what we need in order to reach to our potential is just one,a leap of faith,to look beyond what we know and to believe that which exists yet we have not seen. For it is by faith and actions that we know God and love Him more.
If I happen to go to preach any day from today, then you know what my punch line would be!
- Joyful Sharon, Kenya