Doubt

 

When the ignorant are taught to doubt they do not know what they may safely believe.

 

Dean Acheson

 

Let no one hope to find in contemplation an escape from conflict, from anguish or doubt.

 

On the contrary, the deep, inexpressible certitude of the contemplative experience awakens a tragic anguish and opens many questions in the depth 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 passive acceptance of conventional opinion . .

 

The worst of it is that even apparently holy conceptions are consumed along with all the rest. It is a terrible breaking and burning of idols, a purification of the sanctuary, so that no graven thing may occupy the place that God has commanded to be left empty: the center, the existential altar which simply "is".

 

Thomas Merton

New Seeds of Contemplation