Don’t Know

There are days when my uncertainties almost overwhelm me…and I doubt almost everything. But I take comfort that being uncertain is, oddly enough, an act of faith. Conversely, certainty is not a true sign of faith. To question spiritual truths does not mean your faith is weak. To be uncertain means to walk in vulnerability, trusting God in all your steps, both the steady and the unsteady steps. Like Christ, we need to carry our cross; we don’t need to conquer our crosses.

Pema Chödrön, a popular and respected Buddhist nun and author, claims that anxiety doesn’t come from lack of certainty, but from the false assumption that there are certainties. The truth is that not every question has an answer, nor does every problem have a solution.

Everyone can, at times, identify with Thomas, who doubted the resurrection of Jesus without being able to put his finger in the wound on Jesus’ side. I’m a “doubting Thomas” at least a few times a month. That particular story from the Gospel of John makes you wonder if any of the other apostles had similar doubts, but were simply afraid to voice them.

Pope Francis understands the reality of uncertainty. In wide-ranging interview with an Italian journalist, the Pope was asked to comment about certitude and mistakes. He said, “…in this quest to seek and find God in all things there is still an area of uncertainty. There must be. If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good. For me, this is an important key. If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble. Uncertainty is in every true discernment that is open to finding confirmation in spiritual consolation.”

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1 Response to “Don’t Know”


  1. 1 aliceny May 14, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Thank you, Gerry. Your thoughts today resonate with me in so many ways.
    In fact, I just wrote something very similar to a friend. I told her that I believed that each of us has a tile in the mysterious, sacred mosaic that is our faith.


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