Monday, August 27, 2007

I have come to love the darkness.


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 afraid to uncover them — because of the blasphemy — If there be God — please forgive me — When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven — there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul. — I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the Call of the Sacred Heart?

— addressed to Jesus, at the suggestion of a confessor, undated.

I can't express in words — the gratitude I owe you for your kindness to me — for the first time in ... years — I have come to love the darkness — for I believe now that it is part of a very, very small part of Jesus' darkness & pain on earth.

— to Neuner, Circa 1961.

"The tendency in our spiritual life but also in our more general attitude toward love is that our feelings are all that is going on," he [Kolodiejchuk] says. "And so to us the totality of love is what we feel. But to really love someone requires commitment, fidelity and vulnerability..."

-Taken from Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith
By David Van Biema
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1655415,00.html

This article didn't interest me because of the possibility or denial of the existence of god, but because it showed- disregarding the sphere of religion for a moment- that god or no god, she was still a great and admirable woman who did a lot of good. I feel that her noble intentions and all the truly astonishing results derived from them cannot be marred by her secret doubts, or the explainations behind them, such as it being the work of god (which many fight and debate and kill each other over now). If anything, her struggles to do what she did only goes to show how powerful passion and the human spirit is.

Over lunch with Sylvia and Siti the other day, we were talking about religion, since all three of us believe in different gods. What striked me was how fortunate I was, how I was able to talk so honestly and sincerely, without any fear of impulsive and sudden attacks of criticisms or condemnations, and how I could learn so much from them. Despite our jarring dissimilarities, somehow, we've managed to become marvellously good friends. I realized that each of us, in our own private ways, readily accommodated and respected the thoughts and beliefs that the others held. But that didn't mean that we agreed to everything that was said, or even had to. It was just that none of us tried to push our values across the table and force the rest to swallow it down. There wasn't any display of self-righteousness or obstinate pride. There was only this atmosphere of tact and genuine kindness that could only come with friends who have spent enough time together to know that no harm or selfishness is being meant.

I wondered why people made such a big deal of religion or religions, if the three of us could get along so well. I wondered if god (whoever he/she/it/fill-in-the-blanks was) would blame us if, as mere human beings, we had chosen the religion which suited us best, which felt 'real' to us, which in the end, wasn't even the 'right' or 'true' religion of this world (that is, if there is a 'right' or 'true' religion to begin with). Would god blame us if we made the wrong decision? Would god say, "I gave you enough signs to let you know that this was the right way" if he was the one who gave us free will (no matter how free it might really be)? Would god blame us if he was the one who gave us our faculties of observation, perception, and conclusion (no matter how narrow-minded they might be)?

Even our emotions, and our personal histories, which may hamper or impair our final choices are, in a sense, beyond our control, so that, depending on it, we might or might not choose to believe in god at all. Would he shun us because of that? If he does, I would rather choose not to believe in god at all. As it is, I don't believe he would. As it is, I don't believe that religion matters as much as others say it does, although it doesn't mean that I feel it doesn't matter at all. Just, not thaat much.

It doesn't matter if people say that religion is only for the weak. It doesn't matter if people only believe in themselves. It doesn't matter where we get our vital source of vigor and vitality from, to go on living, day after day after day. Whatever the source is, no matter how legitimate it is, as long as it motivates and drives us to be the best that we can be, does it really matter?

I read somewhere that when you mix all the skin colours of the human race together, you get the colour of the earth. I think all that matters, is that we do right in our lives, that we do right by the people around us and by ourselves. Some things are very basic yet essential, like the goodness of heart, like compassion or patience. If there is a god, he would see that we tried (to the best of our limited minds and understandings). If there isn't, at least we tried, tried not to be a part of the chaos, and the pain, and the crimes and the tragedies, tried at least, to ease it or to lessen it, somehow.

9 comments:

fianceAnonymous said...

cheemology cheemology cheemology....

haha ok lar, it's interesting! i'm just too proud to admit it

woot!

Faith said...

HAHA. Where got cheem??!! Bleah. And how can you be proud when you just admitted it? Crazyyyyy. Muackserdoodledeee!

Anonymous said...

Think we'd talked about this before, but its ok, I'll just mention it again.

Man are insecure creatures... They want others to join them in a belief/religion to further reinforce the feeling that they are 'right'

Religion is just like a Path, Everybody wants to go to Changi From Boon Lay, but there are just so many ways, paths to go there... Different people like different paths, different paths suit different time, But everyone is lonely on the path there, thats why they want people to join them.

I do not simply believe in myself, I just cannot accept the idea of a superior being, overseeing my life.
If God exists, his just a watcher, and i still can't understand why people want to make prayers to him. Maybe its like identifying your goals, prayers help you identify what you desire, I certainly know what I want without that thou.

atsushi said...

hey that's a very contorted statement! Some overly enthusiastic people may try to force their beliefs onto others but not everyone is like that. The idea over here is to respect and not be blasphemous towards other religions, atheism alike. just like there's no concrete prove that god exist, we can't prove otherwise either. And i truly revere mother Theresa for her undying obligation to humanity.

Faith said...

atsushi:

Totally agree :)

siti* said...

allo allo.

anyway, so i was watching Vertical Limit the other day (it's abt this brother who leads a team to K2 to save his mountaineering sister. oh but that's besides the point. haha.) and there's this guy, obviously a happy atheist who says to his muslim friend:

"You're all bloody the same, aren't you? Born-agains say if I don't believe in Jesus, I'll go to hell. Jews say if I do believe in Jesus, I'll go to Hell. Catholics say if I don't believe in the pope, I'll go to Hell. So any way you look at it, I'm in the shit."

-ahahh. cracks me up everytime. (:

Faith said...

siti:

HAHA. That really is funny!

debx* said...

wah isn't the focus on mother theresa? what's it got to do with god? god or no god, she is fabulous, and she deserves celebration.

Faith said...

ya, thats what i said whattt. haha. and you're right. i think so too. :) but in a sense, the article was about god, because she was most representative of someone who was pious and actively openly doing the work of god, so any doubts she had of his existence became almost scandalous.