Saints and Poets

I'm swamped. And I'm sorry I did not post the next segment in our study of Matthew's gospel last week. I may not be able to do it this week, either. A deadline is fast approaching on Winter Haven, my next novel, and I've found it difficult to think of anything else. (You can read a teaser on the story and see the beautiful cover my publisher created here, and read a quote and see an illustration of the story here.) But I must make time to tell you about two wonderful things that crossed my path this week.

A mighty faith . . .
You may be familiar with the phenomenon St. John of the Cross called the “dark night of the soul." It is a phase most Christians must suffer through to grow in faith, a time when God seems to withdraw, when He cannot be sensed as one senses a dear friend or lover, when we feel spiritually alone. Most of us eventually pass through this trial and return into the glow of divine love more secure in the knowledge that "He is there and He is not silent," as Francis Shaeffer put it. But did you know that Mother Teresa lived in this darkness without relief for the last fifty years of her life?

Incredible as it seems, almost from the moment she began her ministry to the poor in India, Teresa lost touch with Jesus emotionally, and she never felt His love again. Yet she persevered, she did agape love to her neighbors in most amazing, miraculous ways as we all know, and in her letters to her closest friends and confessors, over and over again she reaffirmed her love for Christ, even as she wrote with the same ink of her abiding sense that God had left her utterly alone. “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see,” (Hebrews 11:1) but for Teresa, faith was also an unshakable belief in what she did not even feel. What a holy woman she truly was.

You may want to read this summary of a new book about her spiritual trials. It brought me to tears of awe at this sister’s monumental faith, which was far weaker, and thus far stronger, than we ever knew.

Wonderful news if you love poetry . . .
Gary Brown is finally on-line! Check out his new blog. And if you haven't read his brilliant work, consider this amazing little sample:

Horrific Glory, Spare Us Not

I sometimes wish... God would just
dispatch his justice, stop the noise,
stack up all the bodies,
sort out souls.
If He would squeeze time and earth
through sieve, sifting scent of Lucifer
from spent eternal dust...
Why not now?
Prolonging wound and injury
suffered by the human flaw,
man’s ignorance prompts us
speak aloud.
Graced not to find the questions which
are proper known and asked,
I rant, without the shame
which I should own.
If God would but shut me up
and every human tongue which wags;
rip flesh from well worn world
by spirit law;
and as cord wood,
pile humanity,
then weigh the lot in balance hung
on Armageddon’s porch,
before the throne.
I do not know nor ever will,
why He tarries midst the filth
we dine and serve each other,
feigning love.
No better than another one
whom is,
has passed
or yet to come,
I, simply yearn for end
of grace abused.
But God, in his sagacious wit,
extends his hand to spill himself
on angry infants
at His ear.

Copyright (c) 2004 by Gary Brown. All Rights Reserved. used By Permission

Posted byAthol Dickson at 8:15 AM  


Anonymous said... August 26, 2007 at 5:43 AM  

This is beautiful work. How wonderfully captured is the fatigue of watching human suffering...but God, He tarries for good reason.

gb said... September 3, 2007 at 7:59 AM  

Thank you for your gracious comments.

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