Saturday, November 17, 2007

In The Dark

I have been doing a great deal of actual "thinking" lately. Take a second and try to remember the last time you settled yourself down and just began to "think." I think bloggers are thinkers. There is one I love to read: Catholic Teacher Musings.
Laura is a "muser" ie a "thinker." So I admire thinkers and am going to try to do more of it myself.

With that as an intro, I was thinking just the other day about our daily journey. Most people do not give it a thought...most do not even realize they are on one.. .a journey and odyssey that has a beginning, a middle and an end. I am a member of the Moore County Choral Society. ( At 66 I am the second youngest in the bass section.) I sit next to the junior member, whose name is Vince. Vince is an MD, a poet, a musician but most of all, he is a thinker. He tells me a great deal about his journey. We have great conversations though I, quite honestly, just do most of the listening.

Some of his musings (my apologies to Laura)reveal the intellectual and spiritual agony that a life's journey can have. He senses that despite all of his talents, he is still unfulfilled..he questions God, his faith, his future. He thinks that God is too arbitrary and capricious in His dealings with man. "Why would He give us rules and regulations that no man can follow?" he observes.

I am no apologist and my feeble responses are less than satisfactory. But I am seeing the deep pain and anguish of a man who is In The Dark. This is not an unusual place to be. Great saints have had darkness..St. John of the Cross, St. Theresa of Avila and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who lived more than 40 years without any sense of the Divine Presence in her life. But in the darkness, God evidently chooses to do wonderful things in souls. I think, however, that I'll take a pass on that.

Again, as I was doing that most dangerous exercise...thinking...I had a thought. Christians give their hearts to Christ and then expect to have an easy time of it. Certain Evangelical preachers blame those in distress as lacking faith...not trusting
enough in God's providence. To those preachers, I say ...humbug!! The Christian life is oftentimes not a walk in the park, but a walk in the dark!!! God has a customized journey for each of us. And for many it includes periods, perhaps long stretches, of darkness. And this is what I hope to share with Vince. I want to say, "Vince, you are a favored soul in the eyes of God. 1000 questions do not make one doubt, as Cardinal Newman said. Question while in the darkness but hope for the light. Vince, Psalm 23 was written just for you: even though I walk in the valley of darkness I will fear no evil...For Thou art with me. Vince, though you don't see Him in these woods of darkness, feel His Hand and repeat over and over again...For Thou Art With Me...."


Laura said...

I have been in, what felt like, pitch darkness several times in my life- in my early adulthood and a time or two in my thirties.But I hung in there- clinging to my faith -and each and every time the LIGHT that I discovered after- was much clearer and brighter than before.
This is going to sound very "Catholic," but I believe the struggle gives it all meaning.

Laura said...

And thank you for the kind reference to my blog.

Sergio David Alvarez said...