My spiritual director advises that when I have doubts, or question an article of faith, until I am certain of my position, then I should just follow the Church's teachings. This has always given me an uneasy feeling. Then recently I read in chapter 15 of Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation, edited by Sue Monk Kidd, that the definition of "faith" has the word doubt in it. IOW, "faith" includes doubt. It is necessary to have doubt to say that you have "faith." Let me quote exactly:

You cannot be a man of faith unless you know how to doubt...Faith is a
decision, a judgment that is fully and deliberately taken in the light of a truth
that cannot be proven. It is not merely the acceptance of a decision that has been made by somebody else.
A "FAITH" that merely confirms us in opinionatedness and
self-complacency may well be an expression of theological doubt. True faith is never merely a source of spiritual comfort. It may bring peace, but before it does so it
must involveus in struggle. a "faith" that avoids this struggle is really a temptation
against true faith.

Well! Well said, and just what I needed. I still have questions and doubts, but I don't want to. So I consciously choose to believe. This is "FAITH."

And according to Merton, the best kind of "faith."

It always bothered me that I had these doubts and also the name, Faith. It didn't seem right. I even felt hypocritical. But now, I'm proud of my doubts. To me, it proves that since I deliberately have chosen to believe, in spite of the doubts, that indeed, I do have faith.


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