Sunday, September 28, 2008


I've started reading Michael Novak's new book "No One Sees God: The Dark Night of Atheists and Believers" in which he refutes the claims made by radical atheists that religion is irrational, and addresses his struggles with doubt during his own faith journey. In light of the fact that this week is the feast of St. Therese, I thought I'd share the following passage:

"The kernel of Saint Therese's teaching is often called 'the little way,' meaning that no Christian is too humble or too insignificant to follow it and no thought or action too negligible to infuse with love. In other words, God cherishes not only great actions of love, but also minor, childlike ones. No matter what spiritual darkness you find yourself in, choose as your North Star a tender love of the persons that life's contingencies have put next to you. Do not go looking for more fascinating neighbors to love. Love those right nearest you.

You cannot see God, even if you try. But you can see your neighbor, the tedious one, who grinds on you: Love him, love her. As Jesus loves them. Give them the tender smile of Jesus, even though your own feelings be like the bottom of a birdcage. Do not ask to see Jesus or to feel Him. That is for children. Love Him in the dark. Love for the invisible divine, not for warm and comfortable human consolation. Love for the sake of love, not in order to feel loved in return."

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