Saturday, January 20, 2007

Meaning in Darkness

When we find that our spiritual lives are plunged into what we call 'darkness' it is really hard. I have only had times when I find reading the Bible uninspiring and at these times I find that my prayer life is dull and like a oneway conversation.

I suppose it is helpful to recognise that these times highlight how real our experience usually is with God.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta suffered with this darkness for much of her life as did Teresa of Avila and Teresa of Lisieux (don't call your daughter Teresa!)
St teresa writes in her journal:

'My smile is a great mantle, which covers a multitude of sufferings. The sisters and people think that my faith, my hope and my love are profoundly fulfilling me, and that intimacy with God and union with His will, live in my heart. If they only knew...only blind faith moves me along, because the truth is that all is darkness for me.' link

St Teresa of Avila said to God 'If you treat your friends like this, it explains why you have so few!'

To finish this post I wanted to use a thought given by Timothy Radcliffe in his book 'Why Go To Church' This is the book which inspired this post (p84).
He writes: If one has waited long for a glimpse of meaning, then one will never be tempted to feel onself superior to people of other faiths or none. One will know that meaning is a gift; it is not granted because of any personal superiority. We just give thanks, whoever shares the gift with us.

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