Sunday, September 16, 2007

She Sees God Now

Mother Teresa surely stands face to face with her maker in a place outside of time singing the unending hymn of praise:

"Holy holy holy, Lord God of power and might. Heaven and Earth are full of your glory. Hosanna, Hosanna on high. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna, Hosanna on high."

Or something like that. Or probably something better.

But when she was here, when she lived in flesh and time, this little lady didn't see God face to face. None of us do. She saw babies eaten to death by maggots. She clasped the hands of lepers and joined them in prayer. To the most despised and rejected, she became Mother.

A single gal, she was often lonely and once wrote that "the greatest disease of our day is not AIDS or cancer but cold, human indifference."

Recently, Teresa's private letters to her confessor were made public. These letters describe a long, dark night of the soul where Teresa describes finding no comfort in her 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)

Some folk, Catholics included, think this to be a scandal. They say that our Church's most prized, modern day hero was in fact an Agnostic. I couldn't disagree more.

Teresa just took time to observe the world and ponder its meaning. She didn't numb it's torment. She realized that it is first and foremost by grace that a lowly human is brought into covenant with the Almighty God. So she didn't treat her faith, even in private, like some superstitious charm that if wavered would be her demise.

Teresa's relationship with God was so strong, she could admit when even her faith in Him was lacking.


tiffani said...

And what was greatest about her was that, even in her human doubt, she stretched out her hand in an impossibly strong action of faith every day. She never forsake the Blessed Sacrament even in her greatest moment of grief. She never doubted Him enough to walk away. And, even when she expressed sadness, she never expressed anger or resentment towards Him. This is what made her a mature Catholic and a Saint.

Sarah said...

I couldn't agree more.