It’s surprising how many Christians prefer not to talk about doubt. Some even refuse to think about it. Somehow, admitting to doubt seems to amount to insulting God, calling his integrity into question. . . . Yet one of the reasons why so many Christians have difficulty in coping with doubt is that they confuse it with two quite separate ideas, which at first seem similar but are actually rather different.
We are taught by the slight lack of faith shown by the blessed Thomas that the mystery of the resurrection is effected on our earthly bodies and in Christ as the firstfruits of the human race. He was no phantom or ghost, fashioned in human shape, simulating the features of humanity, nor yet, as others have foolishly surmised, a spiritual body that is compounded of a subtle and ethereal substance different from the flesh. For some attach this meaning to the expression “spiritual body.”
My fever increased, and I was on the verge of passing away and perishing; for, if I had passed away then, where should I have gone but into the fiery torment which my misdeeds deserved, measured by the truth of thy rule? My mother knew nothing of this; yet, far away, she went on praying for me.
What advantage then was it for the immortal to have assumed the mortal? Or what improvement does the everlasting one get by putting on the temporal? How great can any reward be for the everlasting God and King in the bosom of the Father? Don’t you see that this too was done and written because of us and for us?
I want to describe the Bridge for you. It stretches from heaven to earth by reason of my having joined myself with your humanity which I formed in the earth’s clay. This bridge has three stairs. Two of them were built by my Son on the wood of the most holy cross, and the third even as he tasted the bitterness of the gall and vinegar they gave him to drink. You will recognize in these three stairs three spiritual stages.
The resurrection of the Lord was truly the resurrection of a real body, because no other person was raised than he who had been crucified and died. What else was accomplished during that interval of forty days than to make our faith entire and clear of all darkness? For a while, he spoke with his disciples and remained with them, ate with them and allowed himself to be felt with careful and inquisitive touch by those who were under the influence of doubt.