PRAY FROM YOUR DOUBT
In believers, doubt can arise about one or another point of the Christian message. The person asks themselves how they should understand a certain biblical affirmation or a concrete aspect of Christian dogma. They are questions that are asking for greater clarification.
But there are people who experience a more radical doubt, that affects everything. On one hand they feel that they can’t or mustn’t abandon their religion, but on the other hand they’re not capable of sincerely pronouncing the complete «yes» that faith implies.
The one who finds herself thus is accustomed to experience generally an inner discomfort that keeps her from approaching her situation with peace and serenity. She may also feel herself guilty. What could have happened to me to get here? What can I do in these moments? Maybe the first thing is to positively approach this situation before God.
Doubt makes us experience that we aren’t able to «possess» truth. No human being «possesses» the ultimate truth of God. Here don’t work the certainties that we manage in other orders of life. In the face of the ultimate mystery of existence we need to walk with humility and sincerity.
Doubt, on the other hand, puts my freedom to the test. No one can answer in my place. I’m the one who finds myself confronted in my own freedom and who needs to pronounce a «yes» or «no».
That’s why doubt can be the best disturbance to awaken us from an infantile faith and overcome a conventional Christianity. The first thing isn’t to find answers to my concrete questions, but to ask myself what direction I want to give to my life. Do I really desire to find the truth? Am I ready to let myself be questioned by the truth of the Gospel? Do I prefer to go on living without seeking any truth?
Faith springs from a sincere heart that stops to listen to God. As the Catalan theologian E. Vilanova says: «Faith isn’t in our affirmations or in our doubts. It’s beyond that: in the heart…that no one except God knows».
What’s important is to see if our heart is seeking God or instead is avoiding God. In spite of all classes of questions and uncertainties, if we truly seek God, we can always say from the bottom of our heart the prayer of the disciples: «Lord, increase our faith». The one who prays thus is already a believer.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf