Sunday, September 02, 2007

Of Faith and God and Mother Teresa

There is a great discussion going on at the Washington Post about the existence of God. Sam Harris, author of the best-selling books "Letter to a Christian Nation" and "The End of Faith" started the dialogue with a post about the irrational faith of ancient civilizations to modern-day Christianity.

From human sacrifices to appease the gods to the Christian belief that Jesus had to die to redeem us from our sins, Harris argues that it's all very "bizarre."

The notion that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that his death constitutes a successful propitiation of a “loving” God is a direct and undisguised inheritance of the scapegoating barbarism that has plagued bewildered people throughout history. Viewed in a modern context, it is an idea at once so depraved and fantastical that it is hard to know where to begin to criticize it. Add to the abject mythology surrounding one man’s death by torture—Christ’s passion—the symbolic cannibalism of the Eucharist. Did I say “symbolic”? Sorry, according to the Vatican it is most assuredly not symbolic. In fact, the opinion of the Council of Trent still stands:
Oh dear. how to make sense of it all??

Howling Latina would posit that the life of the faithful is filled with doubt but when God unmistakably communicates with you, they're occasions of sheer bliss and delight.

Indeed, HL may veer from time to time; and during those in-between stages, she echoes Mother Teresa's moments of "darkness & coldness" in her thoughts but God always brings her back.

To illustrate, about five months ago or so, HL was distraught and praying to God that He please give her a sign of His existence. She was on the right path; he had not forsaken her; she would be alright. And then a thought popped into her mind, she would soon come across a deer and that would be her sign.

Now although she lives in a rural area, she hadn't come across a deer for at least six months or more. But she slowed down, just in case a deer showed up.

A mile or so before her house, sure enough, there was a deer smack in the middle of the road; something unusual since they're usually scurrying to and fro.

Next, she arrived home and the night was pitch black with endless stars in the horizon. She wanted further assurance that the deer sighting wasn't just a quirky coincidence so she prayed that she would look at the sky and see a constellation in the sign of a cross.

After searching the glob of stars in the sky for about 10 minutes, and no cross pattern, she decided to give up. She was already doubting but hanging on to the thought that the deer had been a wink from God.

Just as she turned around to go inside the house, she inexplicably turned and looked at the sky one last time.

And there it was--in the spot that she'd gazed at moments earlier--five stars in the constellation of a cross, with the center one barely discernable, weakly flickering in the Northwestern sky.

Well, this little miracle has sustained her for the last months; and truth be told, she's just about ready for another miracle right about now. But she hangs on to the knowledge of "knowing" and waits for the next time.

Harris scorns tenets of the faith: the passion of Christ where he dies for our sins; and the Eucharist and transubstantiation for Catholics. All red herrings, equal to disbelieving the Good Book because surely Jonah could never survive after a whale ate him; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego could never escape a fiery furnace; Noah never truly escorted every animal species into an arc; Daniel didn't face a lion; and so on.

But this is doctrinal dogma, dear believers and non-believers; and has little to do with one's infinite intimate knowledge (even when doubting) that God exists and has time and again revealed Himself to us.

HL submits to the maxim from Al-Anon: "Take what you want, and throw out the rest." And she joined the Southern Baptist Church when she lived in Manassas because during their worship services she felt closest to God.

We may be doubting Thomases, but during blesssed moments of licidity, we choose faith over distrust -- recalling the many small miracles when God speaks to us.

Surely Mother Teresa understood this. She had moments of light to sustain her in moments of disquiet; and expressing her doubts in writing enabled her to allay -- if not entirely exorcise them.

Go ahead, test the theory of proof in your life. "Seek and YOU SHALL FIND." HL is off to find the constellation of a cross in the sky.

Mate this is a very nice blog here. I wanted to comment & say that I enjoyed reading your posts & they are all very well written out. You make blogging look easy lol I’ll attemp to start a blog later today and I hope it’s half as good as your blog! Much success to you! Sbobet
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