Tuesday 27 October 2020

Life as a quest: Possibilities for the solo Christian

As I discussed yesterday; the combination of corruption and closure of most Christian churches means that many or most serious Christians will need to Go It Alone. And this in practice seems to imply (albeit does not require) the need for direct and personal spiritual experience; if faith is not to be feeble and ineffectual.  

Lacking the encouragement and support of a good church community; solo Christians may well benefit from a self-understanding of life as a spiritual quest; requiring heroic virtues such as tenacity, endurance and courage - but also with the hope of eventual heroic gratifications (albeit probably not in this life, not on this earth). 

So what should the modern Christian hero be doing on his or her solo quest? That can only have a very specific answer, which depends on the individual, and his or her exact situation : age and stage of life, and inner needs and yearnings. 

Ideas and instances can be obtained from reading about the lives, works and practices of those you regard as examplary Christians who also (for whatever reason) lived as solo Christians (maybe hermits, prisoners, or Romantic Christians). 

Some individuals benefit from more discipline and regularity - others from more impulsivity and spontaneity. Each must discover which he needs - and sometimes self-monitoring will reveal that an error has been made and a different - even opposite - practice is required. 

Because the key to all of this is a 'feedback process' of making (and taking responsibility for) using personal discernment, making personal choices and heroic efforts, and then self-evaluating about what has actually happened. Recognising, throughout, that you may have made a mistake, or circumstances may have changed, and decisions may need to be reversed -- and perhaps repented. 

Of course, in such matters we all - at all times and places - have the possibility of guidance by the Holy Ghost, in addition to the human-divine, God-within-us. 

We are never without guidance, and self-corrections is always made possible by God (so long as we really want it: in this as always, motivation is primary).

Thus armed we may embark on our personal quest of a Christian life with cheer, confidence and courage. 

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