Posted by: vftmom247 | 2012/07/03

Doubting Thomas – Which Side of the Coin to Look At?

Today is the Solemnity of Saint Thomas, the Doubting. He is the one who refused to believe Jesus had arisen, saying “Unless I see the marks of the nails in is hands and put my fingers into the wound, I shall not believe.” A realist.

Now, there are two ways to look at Saint Thomas.

One way is to see him as not able to believe in the unknown, not able to trust. This was pointed out in an online musing on today’s Gospel. It reminded me of how my daughter acts sometimes. The Eucharist, for example. She has no problem believing that the bread and wine are transfigured into Jesus. She has a strong faith that Mary, Jesus, and God are beside her every minute of the day. Don’t get me wrong ; if you assure her her chocolate is untouched and safe, she will double-check. Her child-like faith, though, is unwavering. She expects to see Jesus at times of stress – and does. It is inspirational to me and to others. Seeing her at Adoration and the way she wants to get as close as possible to Jesus makes tears come to my eyes sometimes.

Saint Thomas has always been one of my favorite apostles. The way I see him, though,is not as one not willing to trust, but one who wants to believe, yet wants to make sure he’s fully understanding of what he is believing in. This was me when I was in RCIAclasses (aka the “I Wanna be a Catholic” class) about four years ago. I knew I wanted to be a Catholic, yet, I didn’t want to just pay lip service to what the Church taught. If I was going to join the Church, I wanted to make sure I knew, understood, and could commit to the Church’s teachings. I am a child of the eighties, so such things as the Church’s pro-life commitment took some study, as did the role of women in the Church. I was Saint Thomas, most definitely. And am a stronger Catholic for it.

I think there’s something to be said for both ways of looking at Saint Thomas. The child-like faith of Chelsea echoes that of Saint Therese of Liseaux, the missionary saint. We should strive for that, certainly. The thirst for a full and comprehensive understanding of what you want so badly to believe in; yes, there is an admirable honor in that, also. Saint Thomas was hoping that the reports from the other apostles of the Resurrection were right, yet, he wasn’t going to say he believed when he still had unanswered questions.

At some points in our life, we will be Saint Therese and believe at once with utter faith. At other times, we’ll be Saint Thomas and need to ponder, to come to terms with things for ourselves before fully believing. There’s nothing wrong with either path, as long as we keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting in God to lead us.

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Responses

  1. well said. I love Thomas. Here are my views on him: http://myhopebox.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/the-courage-to-doubt/

    • I really like your Thomas comments too. Thank you for link to the entry.

      Sent from my iPad


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