In today’s Gospel (Jn. 20.19-31), the Divine Savior had pity on the tottering faith of the Apostle Thomas – and on ours, too; and Our Lord allowed him not only to see Him, as He had allowed the others, but also to touch Him: Put in thy finger hither, and see My hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into My side (v. 27), thereby permitting Thomas, the incredulous, to do what He had not permitted Mary Magdalen, the most faithful one. From this incident we derive a better understanding of God’s ways.
Whereas He gives sensible consolations and more or less palpable signs of His presence to souls who are still wavering in the Faith, He often leads by very obscure paths those who have irrevocably given themselves to Him and on whose faith He can count. God is a Father. He never denies to any soul who seeks Him in truth and sincerity the necessary props to support its faith, but He often refuses to the strong what He grants to the weak. Is this not the Savior’s own teaching: Blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed? Blessed are they who, in order to believe in God, do not need to see Him or touch Him and do not require sensible signs, but who can unreservedly affirm: Scio cui credidi (I know whom I have believed, 2 Tim. 1.12), and I am sure of Him. Faith such as this is more meritorious for us, because, being founded solely on the word of God, it is entirely supernatural. It shows greater honor to God, because it gives Him full credence, without demanding any proof, and because it perseveres even in obscurity and in the midst of the most disconcerting events – even when it seems that heaven is closed and the Lord is deaf to our groanings.
Such a strong faith as this is certainly the fruit of divine grace, but we must prepare ourselves to receive it, both by asking for it in prayer, and by exercising ourselves in this same faith.
“O Lord, what is it to me whether I feel or do not feel, whether I am in darkness or in light,
whether I have joy or suffering,
when I can be recollected in the light created in me by Your words?
I feel a kind of shame in differentiating between such matters,
and while I feel that I am still affected by them, I heartily despise myself for want of love,
but I quickly turn my gaze upon You, my Divine Master, to be delivered by You…
I will exalt You above Your sweetness and sensible consolations,
for I am resolved to pass by all else in order to be united with You.”
– Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, C.D. of the Teresian Carmel in Dijon, France