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Do you have doubts about life? Are you unsure if it is really worth the trouble? Look at the sky: that is for you. Look at each person’s face as you pass them on the street: those faces are for you. And the street itself, and the ground under the street, and the ball of fire underneath the ground: all these things are for you. They are as much for you as they are for other people. Remember this when you wake up in the morning and think you have nothing. Stand up and face the east. Now praise the sky and praise the light within each person under the sky. It’s okay to be unsure. But praise, praise, praise.

— Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories (via)  <link>

Because If You Can Convince Me

Because if you can convince me, then suddenly your beliefs become more real. Right? The more people you can get to jump on your … train, the more your mission is made. So until you get me to swallow your world and believe what you believe, you’ll never have the kind of faith you want to have. You’ll always have a little bit of doubt. You’ll never know if you’re quite right. You’ll always kind of be wondering if it’s real.

— Henry, movie quote from Henry Poole Is Here  <link>

Both the Believer and the Unbeliever Share Doubt and Belief

Just as the believer is choked by the salt water of doubt constantly washed into his mouth by the ocean of uncertainty, so the non-believer is troubled by doubts about his unbelief, about the real totality of the world which he has made up his mind to explain as a self-contained whole… Both the believer and the unbeliever share, each in his own way, doubt and belief.

— Josef Cardinal Ratzinger  <link>

A Matter of Questioning and Struggle

We too often forget that faith is a matter of questioning and struggle before it becomes one of certitude and peace. You have to doubt and reject everything else in order to believe firmly in Christ, and after you have begun to believe, your faith itself must be tested and purified. Christianity is not merely a set of forgone conclusions. Faith tends to be defeated by the burning presence of God in mystery, and seeks refuge from him, flying to comfortable social forms and safe convictions in which purification is no longer an inner battle but a matter of outward gesture.

— Thomas Merton  <link>

Just Enough Light

Pascal says, “God gives us just enough light so that those who really want to find him can, but not so much light that those who don’t really want to find him don’t have to.” So what decides your salvation is not how smart you are, but your heart, your love. Lovers will see, others won’t.

— Peter Kreeft, from lecture on C.S. Lewis’s “Till We Have Faces”  <link>

A god who lets us prove his existence would be an idol.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer  <link>

Lottery Tickets and God

“The funny thing about lottery tickets,” Mary mused as we waited in line at the cash register, “is that people keep buying them even if they never win. Week after week, month after month, year after year, still they never give up hope. But if they pray for something two or three times, they expect immediate results, and if it doesn’t happen, then they say that God is unfair, disinterested, or dead. Why is it easier to keep believing in the lottery than in God?”

— Diane Schoemperlen, Our Lady of the Lost and Found: A Novel of Mary, Faith, and Friendship  <link>

The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt.

— Paul Tillich, last line of The Courage to Be  <link>

In every question, an element of doubt, the awareness of not having, is implied.

— Paul Tillich, Courage to Be  <link>

The danger is not lest the soul should doubt whether there is any bread, but lest, by a lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry.

— Simone Weil  <link>

The knack of holiness is to keep on looking
where we doubt God is.

— Joan Chittister  <link>

On the thin border
Between faith and doubt walks Christ,
Calling all to trust.

— Mark Woodward  <link>