Post by Ann
An extract from the novel `On The Third Day` by Piers Paul Read
As Simon wandered first through the Christian Quarter and later amongst those of other faiths he was struck by the Universality of the faithful. He reflected with sudden joy that the Cross without the Resurrection made him love Jesus all the more, sharing with him his human fraility.Walking south, towards the Jewish Quarter, he came to the top of the steps of the Western Wall where, as always, there stood a row of pious Jews nodding and chanting as they prayed. He suddenly felt this intense warm kinship with them, he had never known before.
He had considered their frock coats, beards and ringlets so strange to him, but now he rejoiced in the sharing of the mutual strangeness, they in their costume of the Polish gentry of the 18th century and he in the habit of a medieval monk.
Both bore witness, in their eccentric attire, to their faith in the same God. The Muslims too he thought, who had occupied the Temple Mount since Saladin had taken Jerusalem, believed, like Jews and Christians, in the existence of a single God.
"The faith that sustains me", he reflected, "must not depend on the detail of a human requirement of God`s conformity. It must not be that trivial.It must be something underlying and pervading all these things- yet that does not invalidate the more particular way I have chosen to express my faith.The way I have chosen is right not because it is the way for me because it is favoured by the One I worship , but because it is the way for me."
For my God is greater than all these things.
Through the doubts that have descended upon me today I am finding a deeper faith.
And with that he returned to sing vespers in the church of St Simon Doris.
Ed Note: The Author is a British Novelist and non-fiction writer born in March 1941.A practising catholic, his work is heavily influenced by his faith. The reader will draw their own conclusions upon any parallels between the sentiment expressed above, and liberal faith. The most recent edition of this book (March 2000) for those who may be interested, is available via publishers Hodder and Stoughton.
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