I’ve written about doubt before, so reading Carol’s recent piece on Mother Teresa was a good refresher and an uplifting expereicne, as it provided a solid baseline for which to address a number of theological questions.
“Yet here is my concern: Why couldn’t Mother Teresa’s God fill her with a sense of his presence so that she could better focus on what she was called to do? Why does this God, if he exists, have to be so distant and watch “his child” suffer so?” - Carol Hoenig
This is often the challenge for persons of faith. For Christians, this lack of connection with God is highlighted in the Bible and is discussed quite often in Christian communities.
In my own faith, there have been moments in which I have felt immensely close to the Lord and others in which I’ve felt something similar to what Mother Teresa experienced – an emptiness so large that it took my heart by storm, side-lining me entirely.
But, when I look for an explanation to the questions that Carol poses above, I cannot help but wonder if this “faith crisis” that Mother Teresa experienced came with intentionality (on God’s part).
I cannot help but wonder if her heart continued its search to regain her deep connection with the Lord, and if that continuation was what motorized her good work – even in the face of feeling “God’s silence.”
I do not believe that God puts individuals through faith crises without purpose. While seemingly simple-minded, God truly is just that — God – a spirit so complex that we, as humans, cannot understand the reasons He makes certain allowances, while standing by as pieces of our lives that we often cherish are taken away. What I do know is this: There are moments when He intentionally separates himself in an effort to make way for personal growth. During my times of doubt or crisis, I’ve come out stronger, my heart more prepared.
I suppose addressing this question, in the least, means delving deeply into the issue of faith, seeing as this was the motivating force behind Mother Teresa’s work; coincidentally, it is also the only force than enabled her to continue her work. While she was in despair, there are many facets to consider; if she truly had no faith left in her, losing her connection to God would have eventually fizzled in terms of importance, yet it didn’t. She continued living her faith, even in despair.
Underneath her anguish, deep within the chambers of her heart, remained a deep faith and a dire connection to her Creator. Who knows why God chose to allow her to feel that pain, but I do believe that there was a method to that seemingly unfair madness.