Friday, August 31, 2007

C.S. LEWIS AND MOTHER TERESA'S DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL

A lot is being written about the spiritual and emotional disconnect from God that Mother Teresa endured for practically her entire ministry to the destitute and dying in Calcutta. Some writers who doubt the reality of God and relevance of faith have jumped on these revelations as proving their point - i.e. even one of the most devout Catholics of our age doubted the existence of God and heaven.

How should the rest of us who struggle to live by faith adjust to this news about Mother Teresa? I recommend the words of Christian author/theologian C.S. Lewis from his great satirical book "The Screwtape Letters." The book is composed as a series of letters from an older devil named Screwtape to a younger devil named Wormwood. In the letters, Screwtape offers Wormwood advice on how to lead people toward hell (and in turn shows readers how to avoid the devil's pitfalls). The following passage is particularly appropriate to Mother Teresa's dark night of the soul and how we can all view her struggles - and our own:

"(God) cannot tempt to virtue as we do to vice. He wants (human beings) to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there, He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks around upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."


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1 comment:

Dennis said...

when God doesn't seem to be there..dark knight of the soul.Another experience ...read the shack...then google it's a new day to view 4 day discussion with the author and his story...understanding a little more on God's character and our relationship with Him.
Book "The Shack" is now being translated into 10 plus languages and was New York Times best seller.
Keep blessed. Dennis Fancy. Winnipeg, Manitoba