There is a famous saying in Zen, “Great Doubt: great awakening. Little Doubt: little awakening. No Doubt: no awakening.”
The doubt is an important element of our faith; especially in our relationship with God. It leads us to a deeper journey with God. For instance, let us examine our own little stories where we have doubted the presence of God. Has it not made our journey of faith stronger?
My memory goes back to an experience in the seminary, where I doubted God. I questioned God for not being with me when I needed Him most. I felt that God is absent in my life. It was a time that I really doubted the presence of God. Yet I never stopped praying as well seeking him always. It’s amazing how those confusing times have helped me to grow in my faith. God was there and He was walking along with me gently, except that I couldn’t recognize him. Certainly, all my doubts and questions have led me to know God better. It has made my faith stronger.
We are familiar with the story of the doubting Thomas. When all the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord”, He responded, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” St. John, brings this story of Thomas to tell us something of our faith in the Risen Lord. Perhaps, Thomas represents John’s community to whom he was writing the Good news and who have lost their faith in the risen Lord. This story of Thomas would have helped them to look-into their own stories of faith in Christ.
This story of Thomas can be our own story of faith in Christ. Perhaps, it is our story of doubt. Our own confusions and questions can lead us to know Jesus intimately. It can bring us to a deeper understanding of Jesus Christ. It is alright to doubt, provided we continue to seek Jesus. We should not lose our thirst and love for Jesus. Look at the response of Thomas at the appearance of Jesus before them, “My Lord and My God”. What a wonderful leap of faith. Thomas has lived with Jesus and walked with Jesus. He believed in Jesus. But it was not enough. Now he needs to embrace the Risen Lord with more trust and confidence. Having realized this, he doesn’t stop saying “My Lord” but Thomas affirms his faith, calling Jesus, “My God” His doubt invites him to recognize that Jesus is God.
Jesus invites us to deepen our faith in Him. We may have lots of confusions and uncertainties, but we should never lose our desire to seek Jesus in our lives. When we have found him, we can firmly say “My Lord and My God”. And Jesus would certainly tell us “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
– Br. Kasun Dananjaya C.Ss.R