Monday, August 27, 2007

Someone Miserable for God

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

When I first got saved mother Teresa won the Nobel Prize having been brought before the public by Malcolm Muggeririge's book Something Beautiful for God. I immediately was inspired by the book and by the image of Mother Teresa.

<So Mather T had doubts? Since the papers have been published atheists all over the net have been buy making denuding saints and debunking perfection while they can. Two major versions of this argument are common.

(1) Religion must be a like if the most religious people have doubts.

(2) Christians can't say atheists have no morals, because mother Teresa counts as an atheist and she's the most moral Christian.

Of course the first argument is just childish gainsaying. I wont even dignify it. Of course people have doubts. Mother T was a human and humans doubt. It's stupid to think they wouldn't. I do have a couple of conversations about it.

First, I think for me the most disappointing thing is that this woman whom I admired and thought of so highly was in an agonizing existence as she struggled with her faith. It makes me feel bad for her. I hope she found resolutions. Now does this shake my faith? No not at all.In a sense it's kind of a relief. If the greatest example of Christian sacrifice in modern times can have agonizing doubt then my own doubt is not so bad. I am not a spiritual failure just because I doubt. Because look at how the most spiritual person doubts! Moreover, her doubts and her agonizing were relay indicative of a very spiritual person, a person of faith. Her doubt was not real doubt. I'm sure it was doubt but it was not skepticism. She was not an atheist she was not poised to become an atheist.

Mother T expressed doubts of the sort expressed by people who believe deeply when their belief is shaken, not skeptical doubt that seeks to tear down the belief of others. This is typified by her longing for God. "where is God how I long for God" these are the kind of things people say when they want more religious experience, not the sort of things people say when they are ready to throw out religion form their lives. That she thougth she was a hypocrite is typical of saints. Saints care. They strive to be perfect and often fail because the are human. The things she says sound just like ST. John of the Cross in the dark night of the soul.

Mother Teresa, who worked for years among the poor of Calcutta, wrote in 1958: "My smile is a great cloak that hides a multitude of pains."

Because she was "forever smiling", people thought "my faith, my hope and my love are overflowing and that my intimacy with God and union with his will fill my heart. If only they knew . . ."

Mother Teresa, who was greatly admired by Diana, Princess of Wales, said in another letter: "The damned of Hell suffer eternal punishment because they experiment with the loss of God.

"In my own soul, I feel the terrible pain of this loss. I feel that God does not want me, that God is not God and that he does not really exist."

Il Messeggero, Rome's popular daily newspaper, said: "The real Mother Teresa was one who for one year had visions and who for the next 50 had doubts - up until her death."

Her years of doubt coincided with the period when, after having visions, she decided to leave her teaching post at a privileged Calcutta school to help India's poor.

Real atheists don't talk about how they long for union with God. This is the plaintive cry of a mystic who has deeply imbibed of the Spirit and wants more. This is a true dark night of the soul. That does not make one a hypocrite or a skeptic it makes one a mystic and a saint.

As for argument 2, about atheist ethics. Anyone rash enough to say that atheists have no morals needs to know something about ethics, and about atheists. Of course atheists have morals, and them because God put them there. That is really a terrible argument. We need to expunge that from the Christian arsenal immediately. We should only argue in terms of the need to ground ethical axioms not the ethical nature of the opposition or lack of same. That really just becomes ad hom argument.

No comments: