It is human nature to ask questions and expect or at least want those questions to be answered.  This seems to raise the question, should all questions be answered. You can probably think of many questions which you would like a definitive answer to.   Was there actually a virgin birth?  Did God create the world (however, you define it) in six days?  Or perhaps, why do bad things happen to good people? Coming from a different perspective, why do people believe in conspiracy theories which are patently absurd? 


In the past week I read two perspectives on this that I have found helpful which I want to share with you.  These are rather lengthy – particularly the second one – however, I believe they are worth the read. 

The first is from Richard Rohr and is addressed in one of the Core Principles of the Center for Contemplation and Action (CAC) which was founded by Fr. Richard:

The Sixth Core Principle of the CAC: Life is about discovering the right questions more than having the right answers. Father Richard expands on this counterintuitive wisdom:

This principle keeps us on the path of ongoing discernment, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:10). The key concept here is the contrast between the words “discovering” and “having.” A discerning and inquiring spirit will make us discoverers in touch with our hidden unconscious and the deeper truth. A glib “I have the answers” spirit makes us into protectors of clichés. Answers are wonderful when they are true and keep us on the human and spiritual path. But answers are not wonderful when they become something we hold as an ego possession, allowing us to be arrogant, falsely self-assured, and closed down individuals.

The second perspective in from Northrop Frye, the great interpreter of the Bible from a religious/literary perspective:

One of the principles involved has to do with the relation of question and answer. When you answer a question, you accept the assumptions in the question, so that the answer, if it is a satisfactory answer, consolidates the mental level on which the question is asked. If it is the answer, it also annihilates the question. If you ask me where the nearest telephone is, I can accept the assumptions in the question, answer it, if I know where the nearest telephone is, and consequently annihilate or abolish that particular problem which the question symbolizes. But if you ask me, 'Where is God?', I can say only that conceptions of 'where' do not apply to God, and that the only way of answering such a question is to refuse to answer it. I cannot answer the question because I cannot accept the assumptions in the question. It's one of those 'have you quit beating your wife' questions, in which the matter of accepting the assumption in the question is primary.

Now it is for that reason that no serious religion ever attempts to answer questions. Because seriousness, whether it is in religion or in art or in science, is a matter of proceeding steadily to better and more adequate questions. In religion, the questions that you raise are not answered except in the most perfunctory ways because, if you think about it for a moment, you will see that to answer such a question as, 'Why do innocent people suffer?' or, 'Why is there evil in a world created by a good God?' really cheats you out of the right to ask the question, and certainly blocks your further advance. It prevents you from reformulating a question with rather better assumptions in it, and so proceeding in the way the human mind does proceed in dealing with very large and serious issues, by trying to make the assumptions in the questions it asks more and more adequate.

In conclusion, you might say it is better to give than to receive i.e. ask and not expect a definitive answer.  Grace is in the ability to formulate more searching questions into the mystery which is God.

May you be blessed to have the right questions on your journey.