I started this post a while ago, and I am sure at that at the time I had something very profound to say about it. Now that the post has been sitting in my draft queue for a while I am not sure what it was. Having said that, I think this statement stands on it’s own pretty well.
Suffering, you don’t need to go in search of it, but embrace it and use it constructively when it does come.
–Michael Voris (or at least that is where I heard it)
Since it is suffering what most often leads us to doubt, be that doubt in ourselves, doubt in others or even doubt in God, it is something that we have to learn to cope with. It can be very difficult. But as the quote from above says you need to embrace the suffering, not because we like it, but because by doing so it will make us stronger.
I know that this is a simplistic approach and that I really have not offered any real advice on how to deal with this kind of suffering of that kind of suffering, I will leave that to the professionals.
However I think This past weekend’s (April 15 2012) Gospel reading that deals with both doubt (the obvious theme) but also suffering, can be a great help. The apostles we hiding and made to suffer for fear of the Jews. But Jesus comes among them and gives them hope, and he can do the same for us.
NOTE: I am not enough of a bible scholar (I am not one at all) to have come up with this on my own, and I owe it all to Father M.N.’s Homily from this past weekend.
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.