21 November 2001

Abandoned for Union

It was both affirming and empowering for me when I read the rare but poignant article in CNN, 'Mother Teresa's Letters Reveal Doubts.'

Quoted much, one saying of Mother Teresa's that I hold on to goes, 'Words that do not give light, only add to darkness.' It reminds me to shut up when I haven't anything particularly life-giving to say.

For me, she has every right to pontificate like that, because what few words she has spoken, does precisely that - give light, and birth new desire to love God, love man, and all for the sake of God alone.

But the world has never heard the sound of her heart break. Nor entered into the darkness of her loneliness. We've been captivated by her saint-like intimacy with Jesus and bottomless love for the suffering, but we don't realize that she got there by being vulnerably human.

That article made me listen to her again, --
'Love -- the word -- it brings nothing.'
'In my soul, I can't tell you how dark it is, how painful, how terrible'
'The reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.'

Her words of brokenness so far unknown, are the words that we need the most. Words that tell us it's OK to have pain so deep we can't get at, so vast there's no beginning, no end. That when God wants to unite us so closely to Himself, he allows us, like Jesus, to feel completely abandoned.

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