"Christ did not come to replace the God of the Hebrews or nullify the need for any further search for God. He did not hand to us the whole solution to the mystery of God. He only pointed to himself and said, 'I am the Way.' In other words, Christ came to show us in his own person, in his own words and his own life and death, how we can find God who is beyond all concepts or images, beyond all human definitions or beliefs: who is unimaginable.

"This is a fundamental principle of our faith that we must never forget. We search for Christ, we long to find him, we enter into a relationship with him not because he is the greatest, the most wonderful, the most kind and loving — and whatever other virtue we may think of — human being who has ever lived. We search for Christ and struggle to know and love him because, and only because, in him we encounter and recognize God. Christ is the Truth at the heart of all reality.

"Christ is also the true and totally sufficient sacrament of the divine presence in us and among us. Christ himself is the greatest, the infinitely holy and powerful 'mystery-event' always happening at the heart of reality. When we believe in him and join our lives with his, we, too, in our small human measure, become sacraments, vessels of the divine presence in the world.

"Eventually, I came to terms with my own inability to understand the mystery of Christ and to be less worried by it. I realized that Christians do not need to be afraid of the fact that it is impossible for us ever to fully understand the nature of Christ in the way that our minds may still be craving: with an absolute certainty that would admit no shadow of doubt.

"Doubt is unavoidable in the life of faith. Without ever questioning or doubting what we know (or think we know) about the teaching of our spiritual tradition, our faith could never grow. We could not clear away the layers of misconception and superficiality that our spiritual laziness — our sloth — has wrapped around the mystery of our salvation.

"Doubt is the price we pay for having a mind, for being made free. For the essence of our faith in Christ lies not in understanding who he is so clearly, so completely, that we are compelled to believe in him: that it becomes impossible for us not to believe. The essence of faith is that it is free, that we choose to believe and trust him whom we cannot understand but whom we have encountered and love."