Fr. Barron on Faith and Reason –

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  1. Dear Fr. Barron:

    Father, I think you offend St. Thomas. He is a foundation of the Church. I think you are reading a peevishness into the Lord’s statement which is unfair. I suggest rather what the Lord meant is that those who “do not see” are blessed by and precisely because of St. Thomas.

    Thomas was an “aggressive” empiricist, if you want to put it that way. The Lord accommodated (and thereby validated) that approach by choosing St. Thomas and allowing this passage to be preserved in the Scriptures. Empiricists demand a physical examination. St. Thomas performed that examination and was convinced. Thus all of us subsequent empiricists are blessed, because we can believe without seeing, since he who demanded to see and probe saw and probed and was convinced.

    St. Thomas is not chastised by the Lord. He served the Lord and the Church by providing this empirical foundation for all subsequent believers who could not directly examine the Lord’s resurrected body.

    Generally, it seems to me this fashion of denigrating the Apostles is ill advised. They were chosen and some of their acts were recorded in the very Scriptures. They did the right thing. They did the reasonable and prudent thing. They were neither foolish nor “negative examples.”

    Faith and reason are part of Tradition because the Lord is the source of both and He accommodated St. Thomas’s enquiry for that very reason. Believe the report, an honest and intelligent man with good sense made the investigation with his eyes and hands. The test was positive. The Lord is risen.

    Spiritus Sapientiae semper nobiscum.

    John Hiner

  2. Is questioning or asking questions directly related to “reason”, because people in the Gospel who also questioned Jesus had sought to entrap, frame, or discredit him (rather, his authority). The church is primarily a “school” just as Jesus and the Apostles – and the Magisterium today – “teach”. We are called into this assembly, to be ‘schooled’ so to speak, of course, not be scolded, but chided sometimes. I think there are groups who want to use your proposition of “questioning” authority in the Church today not because it stems to seek understanding in faith, but rather to discredit it. That happened in the Apostolic times too, as Paul often comments. (cf 2 Tim 1 11-14). Thank you for your lucid examples on our core theology on faith and reason, which was succinct.


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