We look at pictures of war-torn Aleppo and wonder if we will ever see true peace on earth. But–if we contemplate our own heart condition–we find turmoil toward our fellow man. The lack of peace without and within can cause us to doubt the message of Advent, the prophecy of Isaiah:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
This lack of inward and outward peace can also cause us to doubt what the angels sang in the heavens 2,000 years ago when that child was born:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”
Many people suffer with bouts of doubt, especially during the Advent and Christmas season, when the incongruity of the message “peace on earth and good will toward men” and the reality of tumult and torment seem more manifest. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) has called this the “oppressive power of unbelief.” As he explained to interviewer Peter Seewald in God and the World, faith is a path–a journey–that grows through suffering and seasons of doubt.
Read the rest of my article at The Philos Project