Monday, December 21, 2009

The feast of St. Thomas

One of the essays in Jesus Girls I read last Thursday included this quotation from Garry Wills:

The great enemy of believing is pretending to believe...the only way is the long way, through indirection, doubt and a faith that survives its own daily death.

Of course I thought of this today when I realized it was the feast of Doubting Thomas, blessed be he for his honesty. And blessed be the rest of the apostles for not requiring Thomas to pretend to believe. I wish our churches were as generous as they.

If you don't believe something, you don't believe it. You can't make yourself or anyone else believe by force of will. Thomas gives us that gift of knowing and being able to acknowledge he doesn't believe.

One of the things I love about belief is that you never know when it will strike. Thomas had his set list of things he needed to believe, but when the moment came, he didn't actually need them. And the thing I suspect from my own experience is that he didn't know until the moment arrived that belief would come upon him.

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