What Doubting Thomas Can Teach Us All About Faith and Mental Illness

Doubting Thomas

 The story of Doubting Thomas is one we are all, no doubt, familiar with.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+20%3A24-31&version=NIV  

Thomas refused to believe the Apostles had seen the resurrected Lord until he could see him with his own eyes and touch him with his own hands.  Imagine the situation the Apostles found themselves in after the Crucifixion. Their whole world was turned upside down. Nothing seemed believable.  Their friend and teacher had been executed in a most heinous humiliating way; betrayed by one of their own.  They feared for their own lives as well. Then come Sunday morning the tomb was empty, the shroud an empty sheath. No one knew where Jesus had gone.  The confusion and dismay would have been overwhelming; unbelievable. Then imagine Thomas’ shock when his friends told him they had seen the risen Lord in the flesh. How could that be!?  How could anyone believe anything anyone said?     

To doubt is not to have Faith and then not have Faith. Faith is a supernatural grace, one of the three Theological Virtues, given to us by God. We can’t make ourselves “have” Faith, much like Doubting Thomas.       

To doubt is a human weakness, a natural occurrence. 

When things seem far fetched and outlandish or outside of our realm of normal we will inherently be skeptical.  Thomas was not doubting in our Lord but the account the Apostles had given.  How many times have we ourselves heard a story and thought, “Yeah right. I’ll believe it when I see it.”?  Well Jesus gave Thomas that oppurtunity.  He came to him and revealed Himself to Thomas through the wounds of His crucifixion.    

He comes to reveal Himself to us as well.  I would wager that most of us, on our faith journey, have encountered the Risen Christ whether it be in that answered prayer we thought impossible, a moving homily that stirred the Spirit in us, or a moment of particular clarity while reading scripture.  He comes to us and is waiting for us to turn to Him.  The first paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, “God infinitely perfect and blessed in Himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in His own blessed life.  For this reason at every time and in every place, God draws close to man.  He calls man to seek Him, to know Him, to love Him…”   Its ok to have doubts.  Its ok to worry.  It’s ok to be sad as long as we turn to Jesus and look upon His adorable wounds and say, “My Lord and my God.”

-Mary Morgan

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