A while back, I read Come Be My Light, a collection of materials from the life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Many have talked about her extended lack of God’s felt presence for most of her years of ministry among the poorest of the poor. Some have thought she was being hypocritical in proclaiming good news that she wasn’t feeling herself. What a mistaken perspective. Listen to this explanation of her experience by the writer of this collection:
“With regard to the feeling of loneliness, of abandonment, of not being wanted, of darkness of the soul, it is a state well known by spiritual writers and directors of conscience. This is willed by God in order to attach us to Him alone, an antidote to our external activities, and also, like any temptation, a way of keeping us humble in the midst of applauses, publicity, praises, appreciation, etc. and success. To feel that we are nothing, that we can do nothing is the realisation of a fact. We know it, we say it, some feel it.” (Mother Teresa. Come Be My Light. New York: Doubleday, 2007, p. 167.)
Have you found yourself in seasons when you seek God but don’t sense, or feel, or have confidence that He is really present? You would not be alone. How might you see this place in your journey not so much as a loss of faith, but as a refining of your faith?