March 2008


   Been waiting  a long time for today’s Gospel, because it’s one about which I feel rather strongly.  Here are the two things I’ve been wanting to say, one of them new to me this morning, the other has been stewing for a long time, both built on one point.

    The thing that I’ve never heard anyone focus on before* , is that St. Thomas had specific requirements for his belief.   "Unless I see the mark of the nails . . ."  His doubt was not a refusal to believe — it was a rational skepticism.   And once he had the evidence he needed, he believed wholeheartedly.

    In apologetics — all the work of explaining the catholic faith to others — it usually seems to me that the person who is asking me questions doesn’t have Thomas’s  willingness to believe.  I need to remember to ask the question: What evidence would be enough for you, to convince you the claims of the catholic church were true?

    Feelings of doubt:  A lot of us who do believe in Christ, and in the claims of the catholic church, are prone to feeling of doubt all the same.  And Thomas is such a great model for us, because he knew what he needed to believe, and he could be content with that.   Each of us has reasons we believe — good solid reasons based on hard-won knowledge and experience, I should hope.  And when those feelings of doubt come, we can go back, again and again, and remember what it took for us to believe, and let it be enough for us to keep believing.

*perhaps due to my limited experience — forgive me now for unknowingly repeating what someone else has said much better elsewhere

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Didn’t mean to be out all Lent.  Got busy being mortified, and next thing I knew, it was kind of nice to take a little blogging break.   My Lenten summary:

1) The more the Lent, the more the Easter.  One of the pleasures of trying to be good is discovering how hopeless our own efforts are.  Which makes the Resurrection such a relief.

2) My approximate Lenten reading list:  Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light  (Brian Kolodiejchuk); Theology for Beginners  (Frank Sheed); and Story of a Soul  (St. Therese of Lisieux).   All of it more or less on impulse — I almost never read what I plan to read, just like I almost never blog what I plan to blog.

3) Confirmed what we all knew, I have an inordinate attachment to coffee.

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Went to the ever-fabulous, soul-stirring Easter Vigil at the SuperMother-in-Law’s parish again this year.   Because I was well-enough-behaved during Mass, I got to have cake with the godsons (who attend the same parish) afterwards.  And all that staying-up-late left Sunday free for a leisurely breakfast, and a walk in the woods at the Congaree Swamp National Park:

Happy Easter, and yes I do mean to be around and posting  a bit more.