At times I want to believe the old maxim that “what goes around comes around”, but all too often history [both private and public] has shown me otherwise. An old Jesuit used to tell me that “old sins have long shadows”, but that was when I still had some belief in what he referred to as ‘sins’. As I age, I grow ever more conscious about how “full of myself” I once was and perhaps still am, how insensitive, how arrogant, and yes sometimes, how hurtful. I am fully aware of how little self-control I had and still have in some areas of my life, and how often I have not behaved as I would have wanted to behave. However I still have little time for ‘institutionalized escapism’, the twaddle of Joel Osteen and the dogmatics of black and white thinking. I don’t believe even as I still believe.
I reject the academic mythicists who tells us that Jesus did not exist, and that he really is just another legend invented by Paul and others. I believe there was a Jewish man called Jesus, and I believe we can demonstrate that historically. I do not believe that we can say much about ‘Jesus Christ resurrected’ or Jesus Christ divine and human, other than to observe that there has long existed many communities who believed and still believe that to be the case.
Carroll, whose reflection I include below, has long been regarded as more of a secularist than a Catholic, just another renegade priest who has lost his faith. How dare he question the sacred deposit of faith, some argue, but I would have it no other way, which by this time you all know.
From The New York Times:
Jesus and the Modern Man
Retrieving the centrality of Jesus can restore the simplicity of faith.