Does this statement ring true for you, surfers; doubt is sometimes considered a dirty word? Do you feel that admitting you have doubts about your faith is considered a sign of weakness?
Catholics are particularly vulnerable to these worries because, as you may have been told, Catholicism is all-or-nothing. You will be labeled a “Buffet” or “Cafeteria” Catholic if you are not in lock-step with the Church teachings.
I am certain that when the year of faith began the parish priest told you to take time to read the catechism and become familiar with the teaching of the Catholic Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church has been touted as the answer book for Catholics. While it might not have inspired many to read the catechism, the Year of Faith did inspire all sorts of new catechism reading programs. My favorite is the daily reading schedule. The “catechism-a-day” reading program could not be further from the way it was intended to be read. My apologies to surfers who are still in the midst of the catechism a day reading program.
Unfortunately, these reading programs don’t come with a commentary. Perhaps in reading the catechism you are left with more questions than answers. You are not alone.
With all that said, I have a serious question for you. If you had the opportunity to meet the Pope could you express your fears and doubts about your faith?
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
I have raised three children and if they had doubts about anything they asked about it. They were not shy and I was considered the trusted source for answers, until they became teenagers. Teenagers, what can a parent do? Anyway, consider how a child might express the doubts you feel. How can you change and become like a little child? If you don’t think children have doubts about their faith, you would be mistaken.
You don’t have to wonder what a child might say because I have an example for you. I will ask again, if you had the opportunity to meet the Pope would you have the bravery of a child to express your doubts about your faith?
One teenage boy told the pope that he was trying hard to believe in God and be faithful, but that he often struggled with doubt. “What can you say to help me and others like me?” he asked the pope.
Pope Francis said the journey of life “is an art” that isn’t easy because it requires juggling the need to move forward with the importance of taking time to reflect.
“If we walk too quickly, we’ll get tired and won’t be able to reach our destination,” yet if we stop or take our time “we won’t get there either.”
Life’s journey “is truly the art of looking at the horizon, reflecting on where I want to go, but also putting up with the fatigue from this journey,” he said.
Don’t be afraid of failure,” he insisted. The problem with the journey of life and faith isn’t falling; it’s not getting back up.
“Get right back up, immediately and keep going,” he said.
– Carol Glatz | Catholic News Service
If you are concerned that having doubts is a sin, click the link and read this discussion thread on the subject.
As with all spiritual crises, whether of individuals or communities, we know that the ultimate answer can only be born of a searching, critical and ongoing self-assessment and conversion in the light of Christ”s truth.”
B16 on evangelization
Doubt is a comforting sign of growth in mature faith. Questions can lead a person away from God to be sure but they also lead a person much deeper into the mystery of faith.
Sr. Theresa Noble Positive Post
Need to hear some people like you witness to their doubts? Have a look at Jacob’s blog and consider your doubts.
Take Arrowhead 42’s blog, for example.