Thursday, May 19, 2011



I must admit, that in recent years, I had come to the view that "Doubting"Thomas had been given somewhat of a rough deal over the centuries, because his final affirmation of Faith was so great : "My Lord and my God!"
Rather, I came to believe he ought to have been known as "Believing"Thomas.This was an almost sub-conscious process and not the result of any considered study.

Well, last night, in the course of my daily spiritual reading from Fr. Nicola Avancini S.J. 's  (1612-1686) "MEDITATIONS" I was brought up short!

Avancini gets it right :

"III. "But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails and put my finger into the place of the nails and put my hand into his side, I will not believe"
 Thus he protested, to sustain his point of view. Pride in preferring his own opinion to that of all others, and presumption in dictating to God the method by which He should convert him. Thus far did an Apostle fall. However great or highly placed we may be yet we must walk in fear, and with humility submit our judgement to those to whom we owe authority."(Emphasis added)

Avancini was writing principally for Religious , which explains the final sentence.

 I wonder how many modern writers would so readily identify "obstinacy"and "pride", which are in reality - though masked under other considerations to-day - poisons rampant in our society.Pride is insidious in exerting its influence on our attitudes and ultimately, our actions.So, what is at the heart of the matter is "presumption". Avancini rightly keeps his consideration of the account of events centred on Our Lord, not on Thomas. And that is what we must do in all things. It is too easy to be gradually affected by the tendency of modern preachers to concentrate on the other figures in the Gospel stories almost for their own sake.

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