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Doubting the Faith Can Be a Good Thing, Pope Francis Says

Seeking to overcome doubts helps us to grow, assures Francis at audience, and doubts indicate a desire to know God better

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Doubting the faith is not necessarily a bad thing, Pope Francis suggested, since doubts can be a sign that we “want to know God, Jesus, and His love better and deeper.”
The Pope dedicated his address at the general audience today to two more works of mercy, which were not covered during the jubilee year: counseling the doubtful and instructing the ignorant.
After discussing the rich history of the Church in supporting the education of all peoples, especially the poor, the Holy Father turned specifically to the issue of education in the faith, and the trials of doubts about the faith. The Pontiff acknowledged that people tell him: “Father, but I have so many doubts about the faith, what must I do?
“Do you ever have doubts?” the Pope asked those present. “I have so many,” he admitted personally, saying, “Certainly doubts come to everyone in some moments!”
Doubts that touch the faith, in a positive sense, the Pope explained, are a sign that we want to know God, Jesus, and His love better and deeper.
Continuing to recount the difficulties people entrust to him, he said that people approach, saying, “But, I have this doubt. I seek, study, see or ask advice on what to do.”
The Holy Father assured that “these are doubts that make one grow! Therefore, it is good that we ask ourselves questions about the faith, because in this way we are pushed to deepen it. In any case, doubts can be overcome.”

Living it

Given this, he said, it is necessary to listen to the Word of God, and to understand what He teaches us. An important way to do this, he said, is through studying the Catechism, but also, importantly, putting faith into action.
Stressing we must make faith our lives, he urged all the faithful to serve our brothers and sisters, especially the most needy.
“And then so many doubts vanish, because we feel God’s presence and the truth of the Gospel of love that, without our merit, dwells in us and we share with others.”
The Pontiff urged those present to realize that these two works of mercy need not be far from our lives.
“Each one of us can commit himself in living them to put into practice the Lord’s Word when He says that the mystery of the love of God was not revealed to the wise and the intelligent, but to the little ones,” he pointed out.
“God never takes back His love,” Pope Francis concluded. “He always goes ahead and waits; He gives His love forever, for which we must feel a great responsibility, namely that of being its witnesses of it and His mercy.”
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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