06 December 2018, The Tablet

A Dominican prior meditates on the imprisoned soul of a former sceptic

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A Dominican prior meditates on the imprisoned soul of a former sceptic
 

In the second of our reflections, Thomas McCarthy OP remembers a conversation in Rome with a friend who was beginning to ‘doubt his doubts’

It was, frankly, a surprise to hear a friend share with me, as Christmas approached: “Tom, I’m having a crisis of faith.”

There are men and women with whom I would never associate these words – who seem secure in heart and mind, people whose devotion never seems to be in doubt, nor the relaxed resolve that seems to lie behind their regular practice of the liturgy and mental prayer and deeds of kindness. And I know others who don’t “do” crises of faith any longer: friends and former brothers and sisters in the priesthood or the religious life who no longer darken the chapel door. And it was one of these friends who had texted to say he was in the middle of a crisis.

We went for a walk near my home in Rome. I asked him what had happened. “Putting it in a nutshell,” he said, “I have begun to doubt my doubts.” These doubts had been secure, he told me, and had shielded him from having to entertaining the big questions.

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