Doubt is darkness, an emptiness yearning for the light of faith. Jesus said, “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:46).
Faith is born of an encounter with Jesus; an encounter which he initiates.
Faith is God’s gift, freely given, mediated through the faith community. Pope Francis reminds us that, “It is impossible to believe on our own. Faith is not simply an individual decision which takes place in the depths of the believer’s heart.” (Lumen Fidei 39) It is communal by its very nature.
We cannot sow faith where there is doubt, but we can allow ourselves to become a channel through which the Holy Spirit can implant the mustard seed of faith in the heart of another.
Ours is a world that worships certainty, permeated by the belief that science is capable of explaining everything. Yet, there is the inevitable point, the threshold of faith, beyond which science cannot penetrate.
At that point we share the thought of St. Bernard of Clairvaux who wrote: “I believe though I do not comprehend, and I hold by faith what I cannot grasp with the mind.”
So we return to the crux of the prayer of St. Francis, not that we ask for wisdom, but that we ask to be God’s instrument.