Disbelief with Faith
As a part of the Catholic Church, we are members of an extraordinary community. We routinely have miracles happen within our group. We have relics that not only share our story, but also facilitate God’s grace. Sometimes, it’s almost too incredible for our minds to comprehend.
This blog, for me, is an exercise in both contemplation and humility. Part of the way that I process concepts is through writing. On many of the topics I write, I’m a novice. I write about the ideal, but am usually only experimenting at the beginners level. I’m sad to say that my initial reaction to hearing an incredible (and I daresay miraculous) story is disbelief. I’m a regular Doubting Thomas.
I have the most difficulty with events that relate to history. For example, in Italy is the childhood home of Mary. It was brought there in the fourth century. It’s hard for me to understand how it would at all be possible for anyone to have found such a home and then, above all else, transported it to Italy. Her house was nondescript, like any other in her town. How could they have possibly found the one?
A few weeks ago, on the Feast of the Exultation of the Cross, our pastor addressed my doubts in his homily. He had in his possession a relic of the True Cross. He rhetorically asked how it was possible that, after 300 years, St. Helen could have possibly found THE Cross. He then said something that was a game changer for me. “I have a harder time believing that God would have left the True Cross to be lost to history."
When I meet a miraculous story with disbelief, that is partly good sense. However, when I meet a miraculous story that has been duly verified by the Church, I’m suffering from a lack of faith. Why couldn’t God do those things? Why wouldn’t something amazing happen to the physical relics of men and women whom the Church has declared to be in Heaven?
When you start to take that stance on miracles, when you understand the strenuous vetting that the Church puts any miracle through, it starts to really sink in. This is an amazing faith. This is an amazing Church. How can you not feel a great zeal and love knowing that you’re part of a living body that has these experiences on a regular basis?
It’s human to meet extraordinary events and stories with doubt. Be sure enough in your faith to consider the fact that such stories might actually be true.