St. Lucy finding Light in the Darkness
As we all suffer the on-going effects of this pandemic, which has ravished our lives, I find more and more people questioning their faith- faith in themselves, faith in government, faith in all they once held true, and faith in God. This is not a bad thing, as sometimes doubt can lead us to what is real in our life.
Even the greatest saints doubted. Look at St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a new doctor of the Church, and one of the most prayed to saints in modern times.
“He permitted my soul to be invaded by the thickest darkness, and that the thought of heaven, up until then sweet to me, be no longer anything but the cause of struggle and torment. This trial was to last not a few days or weeks, it was not to be extinguished until the hour set by God himself and this hour has not yet come. I would like to be able to express what I feel, but alas! I believe this is impossible. One would have to travel through this dark tunnel to understand its darkness.”
I think an artist once said, the greater the light, the greater the shadow. Even though we may feel alone, abandoned, at a loss for meaning in our life, there is the Light given to us by the Father- His only Son- and given to us in the Eucharist- a gift beyond comparison. And what separates us from the saints, is the ability to carry on in spite of darkness.
I think also of the great St. Teresa of
She felt so abandoned by God that she was unable to pray and was convinced, despite her ever-present smile, that she was experiencing the “tortures of hell.” For nearly 50 years, Mother Teresa endured a “dark night of the soul” – a period of spiritual doubt, despair and loneliness that many of the great mystics experienced.
“There is so much contradiction in my soul. Such deep longing for God, so deep that it is painful, a suffering continual, and yet not wanted by God, repulsed, empty, no faith, no love no zeal... Souls hold no attraction. Heaven means nothing, to me it looks like an empty place. The thought of it means nothing to me and yet this torturing longing for God.”
Where are you,
Fires that once burned bright?
Your flickering tongue
Of hot orange light
Has coiled back into
The closed mouth of night.
Winter rains continually drench,
Autumn’s glowing embers they quench,
And leave passion’s coals in smoky stench.
And what of the heart
Hope used to ignite?
It gropes for direction,
Too cautious to excite,
And too exhausted
To put up a fight.
So I wonder if faith is real,
And why my emotions just won’t feel.
The same patent answers have lost their appeal.
Rob Wilson, OLR Oblate
Saints tell us that we must enter into that dark night in which it seems we are losing our faith, if we are to hear the voice of God. Faith is nothing more than “unseeing”. Remember Jesus told Thomas, “blessed are they who do not see, but believe”.
Images: St. Teresa- Chas Fagan
left: Elizabeth Wang - Even in the Darkness...