August 26, 2007

A Matter of Faith

Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.- Mother Teresa to the Rev. Michael Van Der Peet, September 1979

The past few days, I have been reading about Mother Teresa's crisis of faith.

Well, it does come, somewhat, as a surprise, but I have my own view of this.

I think she exemplifies the true meaning of faith. In spite of her feeling of the lack of it, and not feeling the Lord's presence, apparently for several years, she continued on in the work that she felt that she had been called to do. I think that is a true test of faith...never feeling His presence, but staying faithful anyway.

Who knows but what she would have become puffed up and proud, considering all of the accolades which she received during her lifetime? She, according to what I have read about her, was one of the most humble people in the world. But maybe, if she had not begun to have doubts about certain aspects of her faith, if she always felt nothing but joy in the presence of the Lord, perhaps she would have lost this humility.

If we are honest, we all will admit to times of doubt, even though we may deny it to ourselves, and others. That usually happens during some awful time in our lives, or in the lives of our loved ones, but then when things get better, our faith returns (it never really left) and we bask in the realization of the goodness of God, and we are okay again.

I think that she may have been suffering from depression, undiagnosed, and not aware of it. She was surrounded by poverty, pain, and suffering on a daily basis. It was something that she could never get away from. She was bombarded with the needs of hurting, and suffering humanity, and I'm sure that she felt overwhelmed with the vastness, and intensity of it, and she must have felt hopeless...but that is not something that she could allow others to see in herself.

I think that the fact that she wrote letters to Jesus, mentioning her lack of faith, spoke volumes about this woman. The fact that she questioned herself, to me, shows just how humble she really was.

Did her faith really leave her? No, I don't think so.


rockync said...

Jan, I think you got it just right. I can't imagine anyone living under those conditions and witnessing daily the poverty and suffering of a people would not at some time or another question the existence of God. Perhaps people should realize, all this sainthood stuff aside, Mother Teresa, like the rest of us was a human being.

Jan said...

Yes..only human.

Sometimes people put others on a pedestal, and then they are surprised to find out that the person was only human, after all.

GUYK said...

I admired the woman for what she was and what she did. She didn't ask for anything for herself and appeared to sincerely believe in what she was doing. It is hard not to admire a person like that even if one does not share the same religious beliefs.

Jan said...

Well said...I am not of the Catholic persuasion, but I admired her very was hard not to.

She was selfless, contributing, always, to the benefit of others..with no thought of receiving anything in return.

Rare, in this day and time.

Morris said...

She was a rare one indeed.

As for the 'not feeling God's presence or hearing anything from him', I think we all go through dark nights of the soul. It's been that way for me for some time now, but I know God is real,and good and faithful, even as I fail in all these areas. It's just as well my salvation doesn't depend on what I feel, or how well I do.

Jan said...

You are so right, Morris. salvation can never be based on what one feels, because feelings are fickle and can deceive us.

It is not how we feel, or what we do, but what He has already done.

We all go through those dark nights of which you speak, but remember, "weeping endureth for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5