One of the things that set me on my recent review of my journey was that I am reading another book by Bercot. I haven't read him for awhile. I read him much different than I used to. But he makes some good points.
Bercot is a Protestant. In spite of all he has learned and shared about the early Christians, he remains staunchly anti-Catholic and very fundamentally Protestant. Here, we part ways. It's too bad because I feel a real kinship with him. He was greatly influenced by Leonard Ravenhill and so was I. Both of us long to see the same dynamic holiness in the lives of everyday Christians and in the life of the Church at large. But where we part ways is when we consider the question, "What is the Church?".
I believe the Church is indivisibly and indestructibly one from its inception until the return of our Lord. Bercot believes the Church is comprised of those true believers who continue in the spirit of apostolic Christianity apart from any visible organization.
But that' s not why I'm writing this post. Rather, I want to focus on the area of our agreement; and that is true, authentic, holy living on the part of those who profess to be Christians. My journey continues, not because I believe I'm in the wrong place as a Catholic, but because having come here, I am so much more aware of my own shortcomings. I am not a holy man, as I once imagined myself to be. In fact, I am a rank hypocrite. A brief glance at the Sermon on the Mount reveals me for what I am. "Blessed are the poor... the meek... the pure in heart... the persecuted." I am none of those things. "Whoever is angry... whoever looks lustfully". I am guilty here. "Give to him who asks you... go the second mile... turn the other cheek... love your enemies". I don't even come close. So this is where my journey continues.
I started out looking for the Church. But having found it, I am now looking for Christ. That is, I am looking, and longing for ways that I might know Him more and be more like Him. I am being challenged to new depths of prayer. I am learning the Scriptures in a whole different light. Worship is coming alive like I never imagined. And, perhaps most significantly, I am learning that my service to the poor is the true measure by which I can find likeness to Christ.
My journey is far from over. In one sense, I realize that it will never end in this life. But on the other hand, I believe that Christ calls me in this way in order that He may be found. "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you." Taking our Lord at His word, I am confident that in this sense the journey has a destination. May I be found worthy to attain the prize- Christ!