loneliest time of the year…

November 27, 2007 at 4:50 am (Uncategorized)

Has any one else ever been annoyed or frankly pissed off at the advice for the lonely this time of year?  Have you ever read this advice or paid attention to it?  Have you taken the time to take it apart a bit?

If you are alone during the holidays you are to give more of that single self to the world.  The rest of the world- the “real” world is to bake cookies, give gifts, laugh and bask in each others company in front of a warm and toasty fire with family.  If you are alone, you should go be with the other outcasts at Christmas (or any other holiday).  Give to someone less fortunate than yourself, serve a meal in a shelter, visit a nursing home, etc.  Now these are all very worthwhile things to do, but why, I am asking should the person who is already alone, will recieve few gifts, can’t wait for this time of year to be done, etc. be told to give more of their already deflated self?  Why is the advice not to all the happy and full couples and families to give out of their fullness and thereby satiate all? Again I think we should all be investing in the lives of the least of these, I just think the advice is more a revelation of how unacceptable it is to be single in our society than it is a real belief that we should be more inclusive and thoughtful during the holidays.

I have just always thought it was a boatload of crap and since this cyber world is for the blogging, I thought I would throw it out there.

Speaking of loneliness and darkness, I have been reading the book Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light.  I am quite fascinated by this book and really don’t know what to think about all of it.  I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it all.  Partly because I have not been raised with much awareness of the Catholic faith and so much of that portion is so foreign to me.  To wait for a priest, pope or other church leader to give the ok to and bless a work I knew was from God is something I can’t grasp.  Can any of you who know me see me waiting patiently for an elder to give the green light on a work I knew was from God?!  I chuckle.  I still don’t get that, but it worked for her.  

And as much as I try I can’t relate to the sacred devotion she has to Mary.  I try to understand it, but it eludes me.  I realize most protestants are repulsed by it and find it creepy at best.  I have really tried to grasp it but am unable to understand it.  If someone is Catholic, was Catholic or gets it, I would love to hear about it/gain insight into that area.

That aside I am enthralled by the darkness and loneliness that consumed her.  I had no idea – which is how she wanted it – and its not like we were close.  I know my blog has become quite dark, so it won’t come as a huge surprise why I am so intrigued by Mother Teresa’s dark inner life.  Through out the whole book – ok I haven’t finished it yet but its not written by Nicholas Sparks so I doubt in the last pages the heavens will open, choirs sing and she becomes Sister Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm – she talks about this darkness, emptiness, loneliness and longing for God and the evidence of God all around her and through her but yet she is dark inside. 

She is probably the most amazing woman to ever live on this earth.  She embodies all that God asks of us – feeding the sick, giving cups of cold water, visiting those in prison and taking care of the least of these and being completely in love with Jesus/God.  That was her call, to take care of the lowest of the low, the ones no one but Jesus wanted.  Yet the whole time she feels completely empty, knowing this is what she is called to do, knowing she is pleasing God, fulfilling her calling, etc.  but inside an empty dark cavern. And she keeps going on faith that it is right. Amazing.

How often do we hear that times of trial, spiritual wilderness times, dry times, etc. are our fault – we have sinned, we are not seeking hard enough or praying hard enough, anyone for a round of “read your Bible, pray every day, pray every day and you’ll grow grow grow ” from sunday school?  How many times have people said – “well it wasn’t God that moved” either directly or indirectly stating that obviously you have walked away, turned away etc. or somehow are at fault for the darkness inside you.  but as Mother Teresa’s devotion grows the darkness becomes more pronounced, the loneliness more intense the seeking and longing for a God that seems just out of reach intensifies.  Now of course many in the protestant crowd will say of course, because she’s Catholic and isn’t really a Christian so she is filled with darkness.  I don’t buy that.  So lets get that out of the way and continue.  Because when the fire is called down I would like to be standing next to a lot of the Catholics I know versus a “born again” Benny Hinn and the like.  for once a reason to be proud to live in Iowa- go Grassley…but I am off topic.

The author also references many of the spiritual greats like St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, etc. and similar darkness that consumed them.  I have run out of steam for tonight, but I am perplexed and intrigued as I have said.  Darkness doesn’t actually mean you have lost your faith, it is perhaps a part of the Christian faith.  I had also meant to talk about her not only embracing suffering but craving suffering, asking for more suffering.  Again so anti-American christianity.  I have been taught you should rejoice in it and hope its over soon – not want it and hope for it and view it as a gift to and from God.  We believe in the gifts of houses, happiness and a good 401K.  So I will give this gift of a good nights rest to God and pray for a happy tomorrow while christians in other parts of the world pray to suffer for Christ tomorrow – do we have the same God?

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