Thinking Big

One of the things I like about Catholicism is the Church’s ability to think big. The feast of St Thomas the Apostle, which we celebrate today, reminds us of the Christians in India and the different forms of Catholicism there, e.g. the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. People often forget that the Catholic Church includes several million Eastern Catholics in communion with Rome. Ours is not the rigidly centralised entity many think. The heart of the Church may be in Rome, but her limbs stretch across the globe. Even for a died-in-the-wool European like me, I can’t think of the Church as a European organization. She is too big, too various for that.

St Thomas was surely the original big thinker among the apostles. He was sceptical, asked questions, wanted to test the evidence; and when he did so and realised he was wrong, he let go his own ideas and discovered that Truth was so much bigger and better than his own limited vision had suggested. Sometimes we are anxious to keep God small, to hem him in with our own notions of what is right and proper. Today we should ask the prayers of St Thomas to help us think big: to ask probing questions, to be ready to give up our own ideas if need be, to embrace the Lord as he chooses to come among us.

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