Friday, August 24, 2007

Mother Teresa said some Interesting Things, Lutheran Things

Before I begin, I want to point out that I do not believe Mother Teresa was a Lutheran during her life, she was a Roman catholic. however, this is the second time this year I have read of a prominent Roman Catholic with "Lutheran" difficulties, i.e. they look inside and see a pit of darkness, they despair and they have nothing left but Christ.

Here is an excerpt from the Fox News article:

Shortly after beginning her work in the slums of Calcutta, she wrote: “Where is my faith? Even deep down there is nothing but emptiness and darkness. If there be a God — please forgive me.”

“I am told God lives in me — and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul,” she wrote at one point. “I want God with all the power of my soul — and yet between us there is terrible separation.” On another occasion she wrote: “I feel just that terrible pain of loss, of God not wanting me, of God not being God, of God not really existing.”

This, I dare say, quite Lutheran sounding. As Lutherans, we do not look into ourselves for salvation, for comfort, for assurance. Just like Mother Teresa, when we do look inside ourselves we do not see God, but death and despair. It is precisely at the point of despair that we see our helplessness, in the words of Mother Teresa "Even deep down there is nothing but emptiness and darkness. If there be a God — please forgive me." Here, after looking deep down, she did not find faith--a trust in what God promises in Jesus Christ, but nothingness. And at this point, she cried out for forgiveness. All the aesthetic discipline she endured in her life (and her works certainly dwarf mine, as I sit in my comfortable living room!) were not comfort. Her last refuge was Christ and his forgiveness.

That, in a nutshell, is Lutheranism.