July the 3rd is the Feast of St. Thomas the apostle. Sometimes known as ‘doubting’ Thomas, but maybe honest Thomas, courageous Thomas, even Tenacious Thomas would be nearer the mark!
I thank God for St. Thomas, the one disciple who had the courage to say what everyone else was thinking but didnt dare say, the courage to ask the awkward questions that drew from Jesus some of the most beautiful and profoundly comforting of all his sayings. “We dont know where you’re going, how can we know the way”? asked Thomas, and because he had the courage to confess his ignorance, we were given that beautiful saying “I am the way the Truth and the Life” Here is the poem I have written for St. Thomas, and also a sermon called ‘Touching the Wounds’ which I preached at St. Edwards.
This sonnet is drawn from my collection Sounding the Seasons, published by Canterbury Press here in England. The book is now back in stock on both Amazon UK and USA . The book is now also out on Kindle. Please feel free to make use of these sonnets in church services and to copy and share them. If you can mention the book from which they are taken that would be great.
I am greateful to Margot Krebs Neale for the thought-provoking image above, you can hear the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button below or on the title of the poem and you can hear the sermon on my podcast site by clicking here: Touching The Wounds
St. Thomas the Apostle
“We do not know… how can we know the way?”
Courageous master of the awkward question,
You spoke the words the others dared not say
And cut through their evasion and abstraction.
Oh doubting Thomas, father of my faith,
You put your finger on the nub of things
We cannot love some disembodied wraith,
But flesh and blood must be our king of kings.
Your teaching is to touch, embrace, anoint,
Feel after Him and find Him in the flesh.
Because He loved your awkward counter-point
The Word has heard and granted you your wish.
Oh place my hands with yours, help me divine
The wounded God whose wounds are healing mine.
If you are enjoying these posts, you might like, on occasion, (not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish. But please do not feel any obligation!
15 responses to “Thank God for ‘Doubting’ Thomas!”
Dear Malcolm Guite,
thank you for your sonnets! Several have really touched me in recent days.
But, please, why do you recommend that people buy your books through Amazon?
We know the damage they are doing – through their working conditions, through putting other suppliers out of business, and through not contributing to the Common Good through the taxes they should pay on their enormous profits.
There are so many small independent book sellers struggling to keep going who gladly order from publishers and post to any of us ordering.
Thanks I would indeed much prefer that people bought them from local bookshops so I’ll add that in next time. I am also investigating the possibility of selling them myself
Thinking of you and hoping all goes well!
I liked his conclusion of Thomas touching the wounds of Christ whose wounds are healing mine.
We are continuing several times daily supporting and upholding you all in prayer.
Thanks that’s much appreciated
Oh this is one of my absolute favourites! It’s been printed out, laminated and hangs on the bedroom wall so my husband and I can enjoy reading it over and over again. We’re so blessed by your poetic gifting. Thank you, Malcolm. 😊
I’m honoured to have my poem on your wall!
The honour is all ours, Malcolm! 😊
But if you are needed, can you return and fill in as a Priest?
Oh yes. I always remain a priest and will doubtless ‘fill in’ all over the place. I just won’t be employed as such
Thank you Malcolm. God used this poem mightily in my life on a spiritual pilgrimage in 2017 to Iona. I’m facing an enormous, unknown health condition right now, and need a CAT scan in hospital (in a pandemic)! Praying that I can take all doubt to the Lord, and that the wounded Lord’s wounds heal mine. Truly needed to read today. Bless you.
Lynn (St. Louis MO)
Thanks for sharing Lynn I am praying that you may be given trust, courage and peace
Thank you, I love Thomas; I was ordained Deacon 27 years ago today. This is a fine anniversary gift.