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.

Did You Ever Wonder

Have you ever felt this way? I'll bet a lot of us one time or another. I have.

Sometimes, I wonder what it's all about. What is this dissatisfaction I feel, even in the midst of what some think of as the good life? What is that which keeps nipping and tugging at the back of my mind--never quite letting me get the feel of, or really get caught up in, all that's going on around me?

Why this feeling of detachment, of not being with it--as if I'm standing back, watching myself, and others perform? I sometimes feel as if that's exactly what it is--a perfomance, a roll we've been assigned to play. Worst of all, I wonder which roll I'm playing, because I don't really know who I am--and I wonder if we make what or who we are, or does what we are, make us?Have we the choice to become what we really want to be--regardless of how others view us--or do we conform to the way they think we should be?

To whom do we owe the responsibility of what we are, or shall become? To ourselves, or to others who are totally without concept of the way we feel--of what we are really feeling? Is all this the reason why someone, long ago, was compelled to say "To thine ownself be true," and yet, how can I be true to the self I do not know? And how do I find out who I really am? Will I ever know, or am I supposed to go on playing the roll--on, and on, and on-- until Someone,
finally, calls "Curtain!"

I know that there are times of confusion about the people and events in our lives. We will always have our times of sorrow, and anguish, and we feel as if life might as well be over, because there is no hope. There are times when happiness seems to elude us like a flitting butterfly, but try to look at it all in perspective. Just keep reaching for tomorrow. It's still there.