Un-doubting Thomas

3 Jul

Today is the Feast of St. Thomas, good ol’ doubting Thomas.  And as Pope St. Gregory the Great points out, we owe a lot to his doubt:

“Thomas’ unbelief has benefited our faith more than the belief of the other disciples; it is because he attained faith through physical touch that we are confirmed in the faith beyond all doubt. Indeed, the Lord permitted the apostle to doubt after the resurrection; but He did not abandon him in doubt. By his doubt and by his touching the sacred wounds the apostle became a witness to the truth of the resurrection.

But it’s not Thomas’ unbelief that interests me, it’s his faith. Pope St. Gregory the Great continues:

When Thomas touches Jesus’ side he believes in the resurrection and cries out “My Lord and my God!” And Jesus said to him: Because you have seen Me, Thomas, you have believed.  Now if Thomas saw and touched the Savior, why did Jesus say: Because you have seen Me, Thomas, you have believed? Because he saw something other than what he believed. For no mortal man can see divinity. Thomas saw the Man Christ and acknowledged His divinity with the words: My Lord and my God. Faith therefore followed upon seeing.

Faith is the theological virtue that goes beyond our normal vision. It is knowing something to be true without being able see or touch it. In a sense, it is seeing with your heart!

Caravaggio’s genius


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