Friday, August 31, 2007

I think I need to subscribe to a new paper, or perhaps it was a fluke. On the day that I left for my vacation, I picked up a copy of the National Post and it was full of articles related to faith and spirituality. The headlining story was about Mother Teresa. Apparently her letters were not destroyed (contrary to her last requests) and are now available in a recently published book, Mother Teresa: Come be My Light. The letters reflect her spiritual walk and show that she doubted her faith on a regular basis and often felt grief and guilt that she did not "feel" the presence of God as she thought she should. Some people are shocked by this "revelation" -- that the woman revered for her work and devotion to the poor should question her faith and place with God. She was seen as a saint even before her death, hence this revelation casts her in a different light and some people have reacted with outrage that these letters were not destroyed as she asked her followers to do. My thinking on this is not one of shock or disappointment, but rather one of curiosity. The image that she had.. the saintly portrait painted to the world, was not by her choice. She sought to follow her God and to to serve His people. The fact that she spent the majority of her life's work with the poorest of India and yet felt some disconnect from her God is not a loss. The letters show that she tried despite her personal struggle. This is what I understand a relationship with God to be. Searching to be closer to God regardless of one's interior relationship with self, this is what spiritual journey is. Seeking God regardless of the ills one is facing (real or perceived) is what spiritual growth is. Often we feel comfortable with our faith and perhaps get lazy, stopping where we are. Other things in life occur, negative events, illness and other hardships and some people are led to turn from God and walk away from their religion and sometimes their faith. Mother Teresa's letters are an example of persistance even when one does not know the outcome, when one may not feel the inner growth on a conscious level or ever....
This is the journey of faith and hope. And those who minister either in office or otherwise (as I believe we are all called to service in some form-- big or small) may never really see results from their service, but continue in the hope that in that some small way we have contributed to the service of God and His people. Results may never be seen by us, but they will be seen by God.

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