Patience with God
The Story of Zacchaeus Continuing In Us
By Tomas Halik
(Doubleday Religion, Hardcover, 9780385524490, 240pp.)
Publication Date: April 14, 2009
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For all the debate about belief and nonbelief in today’s world—and how everyone becomes pigeonholed by one or the other— Tomá Halík teaches that God requires us to persevere with our doubts, carry them in our hearts, and allow them to lead us to maturity. For Halík, patience is the main difference between faith and atheism. Faith, hope, and love are three aspects of patience in the face of God’s silence, which is interpreted as “the death of God” by atheists and is not taken seriously enough by fundamentalists.
Using the gospel story of Jesus’s encounter with Zacchaeus, Halík issues an invitation to all people who stand (like Zacchaeus did) on the sideline—curious but noncommittal. The fact that Jesus gravitated to the poor and the marginalized means that he also has a special place in his heart for diligent seekers on the margins of the community of believers.
TOMÁ HALÍK worked as a psychotherapist during the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia and at the same time was secretly ordained as a Catholic priest and active in the underground church. Since the fall of the regime, he has served as General Secretary to the Czech Conference of Bishops and was an adviser to Václav Havel. He has lectured at many universities throughout the world and is currently a professor of philosophy and sociology at Charles University. His books, which are bestsellers in his own country, have been translated into many languages and have received several literary prizes.
“I think of Tomáš Halík as I think of C.S. Lewis, Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen — a rare combination of intellect along with an uncommon commitment never to betray the gene that unites us all as children of God.”
– Doris Donnelly, professor of religious studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland and director Cardinal Suenens Center for Theology & Church Life