A Catholic Monthly Magazine


by Bill Lambert

by Bill Lambert

We are all assailed by doubts from time to time.

They grow in my soul like weeds. At first I hardly notice them, and before you know they have grown to a size that they are hard to pull out.

I know who puts them there – my black guardian imp! For example, the thought sneaks into my mind:- Even if there is no heaven or hell… Even if death ends it all, my life will still have been worthwhile if I have helped people.

An innocent enough thought, so I just brush it aside. And before you know it I find that idea has taken root in my mind and I don’t know what to think. So now I have to make a huge effort to tear it out by the roots.

The only real answer you realise, is that faith is a gift from God. You just know…

Apart from realising the obvious fact that there must be a supreme intelligence behind the instant creation of the expanding universe with its immutable laws of space, time and gravity, or the intricate marvel of our human bodies,  our reason won’t take us much further.  The whole idea of God creating mankind with free will and then dying for us to atone for our sins, simply beggars human commonsense and imagination.

Faith has to be a gift. So ask for it back, and keep asking until you are at peace again.

Another doubt takes its place. How can there be a loving God when I look at all the misery and injustice in the world?

It helps me to remember the parable of the labourers in the vineyard. God pointed out to the complaining labourer that what the others got paid was none of his business. The real question was whether the complaining labourer had been fairly dealt with. “Did we not agree on the going rate for a day’s work?”

So how God treats other people just doesn”t come into it. The only question that I may ask is: “Has God treated me fairly?”

For me, the answer must always be “Yes.”

And so it goes on. We are most of us plagued by doubts. We conquer one, and it is succeeded by another. And only the Holy Spirit and the scriptures can give us the right answers.

Then you know in your heart of hearts that faith is a gift!

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