Today the Catholic Church and the Malabar Church of St. Thomas in India celebrate St. Thomas – the doubter. Sometimes, I think, Thomas is judged too harshly. After all, he is honest with the apostles and, when Jesus appears, he acknowledges Him as “My Lord and my God.”
But maybe doubt is not the opposite of faith, but, as Thomas Merton writes in New Seeds of Contemplation, faith and doubt both play their role in the spiritual life:
Let no one hope to find in contemplation an escape from conflict, from anguish or from doubt. On the contrary, the deep, inexpressible certitude of the contemplative experience awakens a tragic anguish and opens many questions in the depths of the heart like wounds that cannot stop bleeding. For every gain in deep certitude there is a corresponding growth of superficial “doubt.” This doubt is by no means opposed to genuine faith, but it mercilessly examines and questions the spurious ‘faith’ of everyday life, the human faith which is nothing but the passive acceptance of conventional opinion.