by: Fr. John D’Mello
We are living in a culture of “over-belief”. We are often too gullible, we believe everything that comes down the pike; the more weird the news, the better. I know people who believe in crystal balls, people who believe in magic pyramids, people who believe in palmistry and astrology, but there are also people who believe that every item they read in the newspaper or watch on TV is the absolute truth.
Yet we all know that every country of the world often censors, embellishes or gives a positive spin to its stories in the news media to make it look better before the public.
So a good dose of “healthy skepticism” or “critical Thomism” is necessary to distinguish the truth from reality. Thomas is an eternal symbol; he stands for the “skeptic” who doubts so that he can move from doubt to truth.
A certain amount of doubt or insecurity is necessary for us to grow spiritually. Imagine a child who is 100% certain that every time he trips or falls, his father or mother will be there to lift him up, every time he has a problem his parents will be there to solve it….what kind of a child is that? Sheltered? Stunted? Too timid to be self-reliant?
So, yes, its OK to have doubts about the faith. A spiritual writer has said “Unless our faith is shattered by the hammer blows of pain, adversity, doubt, and insecurity” our faith will not grow strong and convincing. The story of Thomas is an invitation to all of us to move from doubt to truth, from insecurity to growth.
Fr. John D’Mello is parochial vicar of St. Patrick Church, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
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