St Thomas

St Thomas

My article for Aleteia this week discusses the difference between genuine doubt and difficulties in the faith.

The English Cardinal and theologian, Blessed John Henry Newman wrote, “Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt.” What he means is that there is a difference between a doubt and a difficulty.

We wouldn’t be thinking through our faith with much depth or attention if we didnhave some difficulties. After all, the things we propose as true in the Catholic faith stretch the human mind and heart.

The way to distinguish between a doubt and a difficulty is that the person with a difficulty says, “How can that be so?” whereas a person who doubts says, “That can’t be so!” The first statement expresses difficulty, but willingness to believe. The second statement expresses cynicism and unwillingness to submit to the Church’s teachings. The person with difficulties says, “I believe, Lord; help my unbelief!” The person with doubts says, “I don’t believe Lord, and don’t bother to help my unbelief!”

Go here to read the full article.