Thursday, December 17, 2009

Faith which does not doubt is dead faith

This quote, by the Spanish philosopher Miguel De Unamuno, is the story of my faith life. I don't pretend to be an expert on spiritual matters. My idea of prayer is to sit on the couch with a cup of coffee and some chewing tobacco and invite God to guide me through the day. I ask God to help me be of service to others. I ask that my own shortcomings be removed, so that I may better be of service to God and my fellow man.

The other day I was overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. Life just seemed too much. I rarely pray on me knees but decided to give it a try. A sense of peace came over me and my mind stopped racing. I thought to myself, "it's kind of calm and relaxing down here." I have prayed on my knees on and off for years, but I sometimes forget the power of that simple act of humility.

So back to the quote, I am filled with doubts. I am an intellectual, and I what to see the proof and know the reasons why. Does God exist? Does God answer our prayers? What is God? Is God made of atoms and particles? Should I go back to the Church of my childhood? Would I find comfort there?

I went to a Catholic priest as a young man after many years absence from mass. We had a long conversation and I still remember what he said. He said, "you are more Catholic than most people I see at mass every Sunday." And he was right. I have a completely Catholic worldview. I am moved by Catholic prayers and rituals. Catholic imagery and archetypes resonate for me. A life defined by Catholic values of Love and Service calm my existential angst.

I doubt my faith, but in doubt, my faith is born.

1 comment:

  1. Hey listen, that priest is right! My impression was that you were a deeply committed Catholic already, given your quotations of the saints and previous blog posts.

    I really do hope you come back to the church of your youth. In some ways, that is a selfish desire on my part. IMO, you would defintely make the Church a better place to be and inspire others by your life and perspective (as you've expressed it here, at least).

    All the best to you on this journey.