The story follows Father Quixote, an aging parish priest in a little town in La Mancha, Spain as he vacations with his best friend, Sancho. Sancho is the retired, ex-mayor of the town and a committed communist. Both characters are men of very different but deep faith. But what ultimately binds them together are the ways in which they share doubt.
At one point, Father Quixote and Sancho have this conversation:
“I hope — friend — that you sometimes doubt too. It’s human to doubt.”
“I try not to doubt,” the Mayor said.
“Oh, so do I. So do I. In that we are certainly alike.”
And then Greene’s narrator explains: “It’s odd … how sharing a sense of doubt can bring men together perhaps even more than sharing a faith. The believer will fight another believer over a shade of difference: the doubter fights only with himself.”
The rest of the novel shows these two characters embracing their doubts, and their doubts causing them to re-imagine their beliefs.
PONDER AND CONSIDER
It was Graham Greene who said about himself late in life: “The trouble is, I don’t believe my unbelief.” He confused a lot of people by saying that. Does it confuse you too? What do you think is Graham Greene trying to say? As I see it, doubt shows a person wrestling God. What could be more important than that?