Silence can be overwhelming sometimes. When questions arise or problems percolate, we want answers from the Almighty. Clear, concise answers. There are times we may feel a sense of connection and the answers are in front of us. It’s an opportunity for giving thanks. Other times, God seems dreadfully distant and silent, and we may feel very alone.
Even those we perceive to be “close to God” have dark moments of the soul. Mother Teresa, it’s been widely reported lately, wrote of her doubts and distances. It should not disappoint us, really, that we see her frail humanity when what we’re accustomed to seeing is a touch of the divine in her. Perhaps our disappointment stems from our longing to believe someone is in closer touch with God than we are; that someone’s life can confirm the faith in which we struggle. If I don’t feel God’s constant presence, it’s good to know at least that it is possible. When some hear that Mother Teresa had doubts, depressions and worries–that she agonized over the silence of God–it may give them yet another reason to dismiss the notion of faith as hocus-pocus. It makes me want to register my vote for her sainthood. Doubt is divine. It’s not the opposite of faith; it’s a healthy part of the journey of faith. Working through doubts helps confirm my faith. A faith that is never tested with doubt is a rather bland and weak faith.
Sometimes we have to act faithfully to find our faith. We live and act with confidence that the God we cannot see, and sometimes cannot hear, is present with us. And our faith gets stronger.
And to read that Mother Teresa had questions, concerns and doubts helps me to understand that this woman, who was so steadfastly dedicated to the work of God among the sick and poor, is more like me than I first thought.
Maybe there’s a chance for me. Well, not for sainthood…but for continued forward motion in my bumpy journey of faith.
[image from Catholic Exchange]