April 17, 2019
The Absence of God
Read Luke 24:13-24
In the book, Come Be My Light, about Mother Teresa’s spiritual journey, we get a glimpse of her struggle over a period of fifty years. She confesses to various spiritual directors, priests, and bishops her sense of the profound absence of God in her life. In one letter to her confessor she offers this prayer:
Lord, my God, who am I that You should forsake me? The Child of your Love–and now become as the most hated one–the one You have thrown away as unwanted–unloved. I call, I cling, I want–and there is no One to answer–no One on Whom I can cling–no, No One.–Alone … Where is my Faith–even deep down right in there is nothing but emptiness & darkness–My God–how painful is this unknown pain–I have no Faith–I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart–& make me suffer untold agony. So many unanswered questions live within me–I’m afraid to uncover them–because of the blasphemy–If there be God–please forgive me…
As you can see from the quote above, the perceived absence of God prompted Mother Teresa to cry out in repentance and beg for His forgiveness. When I was in college I worked as a house sitter for various college professors. It was a difficult time for me financially, emotionally, and spiritually. I was thirsty for God, but afraid because He seemed so distant from me. One night, in a fit of great pain, I cried out asking God why I was so desolate. He clearly responded, “Because in the desert you must grow deep roots.” I broke down in tears and asked Him to forgive me for my doubts and anger toward Him.
Are you experiencing spiritual dryness or desolation? The temptation is to try to “cure” the problem. But can you experience the absence of God as invitation? A gift of repentance?