Seeing and Believing


A reader writes:

"When Not Seeing is Believing" was eloquently written. If you haven't yet, go see "Doubt", John Patrick Shanley's only play to make it to Broadway, subsequently sweeping the awards and receiving a Pulitzer. It asks what you so persuasively argue: Can anyone know with utter certainty what happened in a room besides those two people in the room? Can anyone know the mind of God, but God?

I too had an Irish grandmother (one of 12 children) who could rattle off the rosary with alarming alacrity; but her piety was never vehement. She was as humble about the church as she was about everything else. Was her faith a crutch at times? Sure. Better that than a sword.

I know it wasn't your intention, but your article reminded me of just how beautifully gentle the practice of Catholicism can be in the right hands; not the hand of a Sister Aloysius (Shanley's nun who is utterly certain that a priest molested a young boy) but the rosary rendering hands of grandmothers like ours, or the humble hands of most of the Christians living in the Middle East today, who cling not to certainty - knowing that it is an illusory trap - but, like you, embrace the fact that there can be no experience of faith without doubt.