I was baptized Catholic. I'm immersed in spiritual darkness. I have grave doubts about God. So why can't I become a saint, since Mother Teresa has been canonized by Pope Francis despite her admitted spiritual darkness?
Here's excerpts from an AP story, Mother Teresa: a Saint Despite Spiritual 'Darkness.'
For nearly 50 years, Mother Teresa endured what the church calls a "dark night of the soul" — a period of spiritual doubt, despair and loneliness that many of the great mystics experienced, her namesake St. Therese of Lisieux included. In Mother Teresa's case, the dark night lasted most of her adult life — an almost unheard of trial.
...Take the Feb. 28, 1957 letter she wrote the then-archbishop of Kolkata, Jesuit Archbishop Ferdinand Perier.
"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," she wrote. "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."
At least the part about heaven meaning nothing, looking like an empty place. Also, the no faith part, the lack of love for God.
The big philosophical difference between Mother Teresa and me is that her "tortured longing for God" presupposed the likelihood that God exists, whereas I also long for God -- but in the way that I long to win the MegaBucks Lottery or long to have a secret rich friend buy me a top-of-the-line Tesla and leave it in our driveway.
I'm also tortured by the failure of the cosmos to give me what I want. However, I possess enough scientific-based rationality to know that, as the Rolling Stones sang, "You can't always get what you want."
(For a decidedly non-saintly perspective on Mother Teresa, check out "Sadistic Religious Fanatic: Mother Teresa was no saint.")
Also check out Christopher Hitchens' video "Mother Teresa - Hell's Angel".
Posted by: Martin | September 05, 2016 at 10:26 AM
But if we were just entities made of flesh, why should we bother longing for God? (You wrote that you too long for God but nevertheless you know it is just an imaginary being). As a side note, I love your blog. You give me much food for thought and it is very likely I will post many comments on your old posts browsing the archive.
Posted by: Catacomblib | September 23, 2016 at 03:53 AM
Who wants to be considered as a saint by the roman cathlic church anyway. In my perspective there are many saints right now here on planet earth without even knowing they are saints. They just do their job. For example, I personally consider Christopher Hitchens as a saint (RiP). And also my own mother.
A saint, in my definition, is someone who incarnated here on earth to do a particular job that is beneficial for all sentient beings. That can mean being a medical doctor, an honest investigative journalist, a comedian, a parent, a writer, etc.
Seriously, who cares what the RCC has to offer anyway. Their only message seem to be: Obey theocrasy! Else!
I think the dawn of Reason/Science and the dignity of Humanity can not be supressed for ever.
Anybody who does their job properly in a dedicated and dispassionate but passionate manner, helping humanity becomming wise and being able to think for themselfs, solving problems humanity suffers from, with a little help of all the information we have exess to by now, is considered a saint by me, And exposing what needs to be exposed can also be a part of the saint's job. So, Brian, feel free to be considered a saint.
Posted by: Upsetter | September 26, 2016 at 06:14 AM