Phil and Brian had been the closest of friends since childhood. They played on the same ball teams. They married sisters in fact. They built homes in the same neighbourhood. Then Phil died suddenly. Brian was devastated.
One evening watching a beautiful sunset Brian was sure he felt the presence of Phil nearby.
“Is that you, Phil?” he asked.
“Yes, Brian, came the reply.”
“What’s it like where you are?”
“Well it’s kind of nice. I get up in the morning and I have some breakfast and I maybe go down for a swim in the lake. And when I encounter one of those lovely ladies I enjoy a romantic interlude. Soon it’s time for lunch and a nap.”
“Wow,” said Brian, “I had no idea heaven was like that.”
“Who says I’m in heaven?” replied Phil. “I’m a bull in Catalunya Spain.
Source | Adapted from a story I heard
Life is full of surprises!
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.
Source | Graham Greene, Monsignor Quixote (1982)
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?