Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Has doubt ever dogged you, or at least nipped at the edges of your soul? All kinds of doubt, I’m talking about! Doubt yourself. Doubt your loved ones. Doubt the Church, the government, the media. You get the idea.
Some doubt is good. It’s more like “discernment”, and it saves us from misplaced trust. A skill that’s honed through a lifetime, it can eventually be exercised prudentially, without skepticism or aloofness.
But another type of doubt can be crippling. Call it the “not enough” type: I am not good enough, smart enough, good-looking enough, experienced enough, – so on and on – to take on a challenge or make a contribution. Ever felt that kind of doubt?
There is third type of doubt which I call “the flip side of faith”. It’s that fine line where we balance between wanting to believe and wanting to know. This type of doubt whispers things like this in our minds: “You don’t really know if there is a God, so how can you believe?” But isn’t that the whole point of faith? If we really knew, for certain, of God’s existence, we wouldn’t have to believe!
What’s the difference between these flip sides of the coin?
With faith, we give our love and service unreservedly, even though we have not seen. With doubt, we skimp or reserve these until given proof.
So today, we meet “doubting Thomas”. He needed the touch of nail marks and lance wounds before he could believe. And it’s not hard to understand why.
The Resurrection of Jesus was mind-blowing. It changed history for all time to come. It conquered the one unconquerable – DEATH itself. Thomas had not yet seen proof of the Resurrection. The other disciples had. No wonder his coin was spinning between heads and tails!
What about us? Have we seen the Easter Power in our lives? Have we let God win the toss up between our faith and doubt? Today, on this feast of St. Thomas, we might ask his help to let us learn from the wounds of Christ exactly how that Power can assure us.
Music: Blessed Assurance ~ a well-known Christian hymn. The lyrics were written in 1873 by blind hymn writer Fanny Crosby to the music written in 1873 by Phoebe Knapp.