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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mother Teresa & the dark night of the soul

Lord, my God, who am I that You should forsake me? The Child of your Love — and now become as the most hated one — the one — You have thrown away as unwanted — unloved. I call, I cling, I want — and there is no One to answer — no One on Whom I can cling — no, No One. — Alone ... Where is my Faith — even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness — My God — how painful is this unknown pain — I have no Faith — I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart — & make me suffer untold agony.So many unanswered questions live within me afraid to uncover them — because of the blasphemy — If there be God — please forgive me — When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven — there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul. — I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the Call of the Sacred Heart?
— a letter written by Mother Teresa, addressed to Jesus, at the suggestion of a confessor, undated

What is the significance of a sudden and continuing absence of religious experience? The question arises because SusieQ mentioned a recent Time article to me about Mother Teresa and new book that mentions the discrepancy between her private prayer life and the public appearance of the same. Here below is a little of a very long article - Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith ......

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[...] "Christ is everywhere — Christ in our hearts, Christ in the poor we meet, Christ in the smile we give and in the smile that we receive." .....

"Jesus has a very special love for you .... [But] as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great, that I look and do not see, — Listen and do not hear ..."

The two statements, 11 weeks apart, are extravagantly dissonant. The first is typical of the woman the world thought it knew. The second sounds as though it had wandered in from some 1950s existentialist drama. Together they suggest a startling portrait in self-contradiction — that one of the great human icons of the past 100 years, whose remarkable deeds seemed inextricably connected to her closeness to God and who was routinely observed in silent and seemingly peaceful prayer by her associates as well as the television camera, was living out a very different spiritual reality privately, an arid landscape from which the deity had disappeared.

And in fact, that appears to be the case. A new, innocuously titled book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday), consisting primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years, provides the spiritual counterpoint to a life known mostly through its works. The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever — or, as the book's compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, "neither in her heart or in the eucharist." .....

Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross in the 16th century coined the term the "dark night" of the soul to describe a characteristic stage in the growth of some spiritual masters. Teresa's may be the most extensive such case on record .... Yet Kolodiejchuk sees it in St. John's context, as darkness within faith. Teresa found ways, starting in the early 1960s, to live with it and abandoned neither her belief nor her work. Kolodiejchuk produced the book as proof of the faith-filled perseverance that he sees as her most spiritually heroic act ...... [James Martin SJ] of America, a much more liberal institution, calls the book "a new ministry for Mother Teresa, a written ministry of her interior life," and says, "It may be remembered as just as important as her ministry to the poor. It would be a ministry to people who had experienced some doubt, some absence of God in their lives. And you know who that is? Everybody. Atheists, doubters, seekers, believers, everyone."

Not all atheists and doubters will agree. Both Kolodiejchuk and Martin assume that Teresa's inability to perceive Christ in her life did not mean he wasn't there. In fact, they see his absence as part of the divine gift that enabled her to do great work. But to the U.S.'s increasingly assertive cadre of atheists, that argument will seem absurd ..... Says Christopher Hitchens, author of The Missionary Position, a scathing polemic on Teresa, and more recently of the atheist manifesto God Is Not Great: "She was no more exempt from the realization that religion is a human fabrication than any other person, and that her attempted cure was more and more professions of faith could only have deepened the pit that she had dug for herself .....

Kolodiejchuk finds divine purpose in the fact that Teresa's spiritual spigot went dry just as she prevailed over her church's perceived hesitations and saw a successful way to realize Jesus' call for her. "She was a very strong personality," he suggests. "And a strong personality needs stronger purification" as an antidote to pride. As proof that it worked, he cites her written comment after receiving an important prize in the Philippines in the 1960s: "This means nothing to me, because I don't have Him." ......

The atheist position is simpler. In 1948, Hitchens ventures, Teresa finally woke up, although she could not admit it ......

America's Martin wants to talk precisely in religious terms. "Everything she's experiencing," he says, "is what average believers experience in their spiritual lives writ large. I have known scores of people who have felt abandoned by God and had doubts about God's existence. And this book expresses that in such a stunning way but shows her full of complete trust at the same time." He takes a breath. "Who would have thought that the person who was considered the most faithful woman in the world struggled like that with her faith?" he asks. "And who would have thought that the one thought to be the most ardent of believers could be a saint to the skeptics?" .....

**********************************

I wasn't surprised to read this about Mother Teresa, as I'd read of it in My Life With The Saints by James Martin SJ.

Should she have been honest about her prayer life? I don't know the answer to that, but I don't know if I would have done any different .... she may have feared all she had worked for would have suffered if she told about her doubts, and after all, one's prayer life is pretty personal.

This derth of religious experience isn't unheard of - there is the St. John of the Cross tradition of embracing spiritual dryness (the dark night of the soul).

But as someone interested in Ignatian spirituality, the possibility of the continuing absence of religious experience makes my skin crawl, and the assumption that it is actually a positive phase in one's spiritual growth is (to me) repugnant - for Ignatius, experience was paramount, I think, as was a personal relationship with Jesus. On the other hand, he saw God in all things, so perhaps Mother Teresa's work was a form of "contemplation in action".

Ultimately, I don't know what to make of this whole thing. The writer of the book spins it in a religious way, and others may see it as evidence of the opposite conclusion, but I'm not sure what conclusions to draw ... maybe you guys will have some input.


37 Comments:

Blogger SusieQ said...

Crystal, I was away from my computer most of the day. When I returned home tonight and checked your blog, I was amazed that you were able to pull something together about Mother Teresa on such short notice. Thank you.

I won't express my opinion as to what caused this contradiction in her spiritual life or its meaning for the rest of us until some of your other readers, who are more insightful than I, have given theirs. I am looking forward to reading what others have to say about it.

7:28 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi SusieQ,

not many people have been commenting on the blog lately - it may just be the two of us :-)

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Dyan said...

Hi Crystal,
Not just the two of you - I read your blog almost every day!
Interesting post on Mother Teresa. My opinion is based on speculation since I don't know much about her. I think that whatever she was suffering from, she still believed in God and held Jesus as her Lord ("This means nothing to me, because I don't have Him." ......)and she was choosing to walk out her faith through her works. Jesus said, "And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40. It is amazing that she was able to continue on in her calling anyway, would I? I'll have to think on that.
Dyan

9:25 PM  
Blogger Talmida said...

i'm reading too, crystal. :)

I just read something else about the danger of confusing "feelings" with "the spiritual life".

Just because you feel abandoned, does not mean that you ARE abandoned, or that your spiritual life is non-existant. You can (and should) continue to pray, and participate, even if the feeling is not there. Some might suggest ESPECIALLY if the feeling is not there.

I don't feel love for my kids all the time. Some of the time I seriously feel hate towards them. But that doesn't mean that I stop loving them -- I just don't FEEL the love (but I still DO the love -- feed, clothe, pray for, support, look after them, etc.).

So Theresa's statements really don't surprise me at all.

Older generations saw commitment differently. Even if you doubted, you made a commitment to love and stuck with it. Think of arranged marriages -- you married first and then learned to love the person.

I think her doubts make her a far better example, and a more saintly person. Someone who lives in the gutter because she KNOWS God is there and will reward her is no example for my life. But someone who lives in the gutter in doubt, in the hope (but what if she's wrong?) that God exists -- that takes courage, and faith, and trust and hope and all sorts of virtues that I shoudl have more of.

Does that makes sense?

Hitchens might not be able to see that.

I don't think that experience of God is always necessary in order to believe. Can't it be like the Holy Grail? The thing you pursue? If you KNOW (or hope) intellectually that God exists, you can spend the rest of your life in religious action, looking for that experience of God. It might never happen, but you will have lived a religious life, and been an example of a person of faith.

I'm not sure if I'm making sense, but that's how it seems to me.

Bottom line, I never really had much use for Mother T., could find no connection to her, but her doubt and lack of "religious experience" have changed my mind completely. She's someone to whom I could definitely turn.

Didn't someone say that doubt is the first step to faith?

I'm just rambling...

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Mike L said...

Good Morning Crystal.

May not have been commenting, but I also check in and read your blog at least once a day (unless the system I am on has blocked you :-)).

No two people are alike, no two people experience God alike, what God gives you is not what God gives me, nor do you and I both need the same thing.

I describe my year in the seminary at a Benedictine Monastery as listening to the heartbeat of God throbbing through the liturgy. At the end of that year I know that my life was tied to the Catholic Church, or to nothing. No other church would suffice. And then that sense of God all went away.

I also realized that I could not continue to experience God so strongly and still live. I think there is real wisdom in the old testament that says man can look on the face of God and live, it is just to intense and experience.

For me it is obvious that I need more than Mother Teresa, and so from time to time God has briefly visited my life with some experience, some understanding, some consolation, and between those times he did give me a memory so that I could know he is still there.

I think it was Mother Teresa that said "God will never give me more than I can handle. I wish He didn't trust me so much." It sounds like he trusted her far more than anyone knew. I hope she is experiencing Him in His fullness now.

As for proving God does or doesn't exist -- everyone will have their own opinion, but I don't think I can say much more than it happened as it happened. This is just an example of life's experience.

Love and hugs,

Mike L

8:01 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Crystal,

If anything, this article made me admire Mother Teresa even more than I did previously.

As you noted yourself in your post, many of the saints with the greatest of spiritual gifts underwent stretches of dryness and despair. Many of them underwent "dark nights of the soul." St. John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila wrote about it at length. St Therese of the Little Flower felt especially alone as she was ill near the end of her life. Even Jesus suffered the Agony in the Garden, and cried out from the cross, "My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?"

I actually see that as a sign of spiritual maturity. Those whose lives are intimately spent is sincere communion with God, praying at all times, are inevitably going to run into periods where a sense of absence and abandonment creeps in, especially, as in the case of Teresa, so much of their lives are spent looking for hope in seeing God through their work with the poor, and the condition of the poor in the world never seems to improve.

Even with Ignatius in those long months of convalescense and in the long months in the cave at Manresa, this was probably a great struggle for him. Only the simplest of fundamentalists who never question anything can say that they never feel moments of doubt or darkness when God seems far away from them.

This is the cost of discipleship. I think Dyan put it very well - "she was choosing to walk out her faith through her works." In spite of her despair, she kept trusting and saying "yes", never giving up hope, always striving to walk through that narrow door.

10:02 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Dyan,

Thanks for commenting :-) I like your interpretation of her decision - to live her faith through her works.

11:03 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Talmida,

I just read something else about the danger of confusing "feelings" with "the spiritual life" ..... I don't think that experience of God is always necessary in order to believe. Can't it be like the Holy Grail? The thing you pursue?

I'm the person who hates that expression - "love isn't an emotion, it's a decision." I guess I base really everyting in my lfe on feelings and experience, which is probably why I'm going so crazy :-)

I think her doubts make her a far better example, ... that takes courage, and faith, and trust and hope ....

I agree with that - she is trusting her earlier experience, maybe, trusting that God hasn't changed his feelings - but that's so hard and does take courage and hope, as you say.

You've given me some stuff to think about!

11:14 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Mike,

How are you feeling?

I didn't realize you'd been in the seminary.

I need more than Mother Teresa, and so from time to time God has briefly visited my life with some experience ...

I'm like you in this. I have experiences every so often, sort of like Hansel's and Gretel's bread crumbs, but I'm never sure if they're real of just me becoming more demented :-)

As for her thinking God didn't give her more than she could handle, I kind of hate that idea ... if another person treated their loved one that way, it would be an abusive relationship, I think.

11:25 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Jeff,

Yes, I like her better now too - weird how that worked out ... many people admired her for her extreme good works but not many people felt close to her. Now that she seems vulnerable and as fragile as the rest of us, it's maybe easier to rteally like her.

I read that about the other Teresa (little flower) too - that she was so ill towards the end that she felt abandoned.

I think there is some lesson for me in all this, but I'm too dumb to get it :-)

11:33 AM  
Blogger PrickliestPear said...

I'm not sure what to make of this. Some of the interpretations posted here sound plausible, but I wonder. It strikes me as a little odd that her "dark night" lasted so long, and who knows if it ever ended?

But I think we need to resist the temptation to try to understand what is happening in another person's spiritual life, particularly when our access to it is limited to a few writings, and even excerpts of writings.

12:28 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

PrickliestPear,

You make a really important point.

One thing that struck me when I was reading the Time article was how the confessors Teresa saw reacted - it was almost like they had a stake in making everything religiously understandable.

I guess I do that almost every time - squish the phenomena into some form I can accept.

1:31 PM  
Blogger SusieQ said...

I was raised in the Catholic tradition. Consequently I see Mother Teresa's spiritual contradiction with the mind of a Catholic.

The Catholic identifies more with the Jesus who suffers on the cross than with the Jesus who is risen. You see this in the symbol of the crucifix. For the Catholic, suffering is seen as a way of purifying the soul. It is a way to become humble.

The one thing that Mother Teresa wanted above all else for herself was to feel God's presence and love. I believe she unconsciously deprived herself of that in order to humble herself and make herself pure for God. That she would be willing to endure eternity without feeling God's presence and love and still remain the faithful loving servant to God tells me that she achieved this spiritual purity in the end.

There are other ways to look at it which are just as plausible. But this is how I see it and why I have such respect for the woman.

Thanks Crystal for writing this post. I believe it is generating fruitful discussion. Apparently you have many more readers than you suspected. I thought so.

2:49 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi SusieQ,

Devil's advocate that I like to be, I'd have to repeat what someone else once told me ... Jesus spent three hours on the cross, but three years before that preaching.

I think suffering is a bad thing to be avoided and prevented, and I'd rather see Catholicism as not about suffering, even with Jesus, but as celebrating with him. But that's me :-)

Thanks for suggesting writing about this subject, Susie!

7:02 PM  
Blogger Rachi said...

I am not sure, certainly to live through life believing in God, but yet being unable to feel His presence and so doubting...for her to continue is amazing- certainly she stuck to the commitment she had made!

I agree with a lot of what Talmida said:

often I "feel" many things, but am constantly being reminded that they are "just" feelings, nothing more. while they can be hard to deal with, we have to follow the facts rather than our feelings...

sometimes this is hard to reconcile, certainly there have been people with positive feelings who have followed them to great good despite the facts...but one cannot always follow negative feelings, and often we tend to confuse negative feelings for facts when we're in a bad state of mind.

I think Mother Teresa is an inspiration to follow- certainly for me, I doubt a lot, and my feelings can often lead me to grief if I act on them!!

I'm afraid that didn't really say anymore...

drop me an email if you need to talk about the question from the other day!

God Bless
love Rachel xoxo

1:35 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Rachel,

thanks for dropping by. I find it very hard not to go with my feelings, good or bad. Ignatius has people pay attention to their feelings, consolation and desolation, as a way of discerning the spirits, but he does say not to make any important decisions while in desolation .... it's all pretty confusing to me, as usual :-)

1:46 AM  
Anonymous Paula said...

Crystal,
thanks for pointing the article about Mother Theresa. I start to feel closer to her when I read some time ago that she went through a "dark night" but I was not aware it lasted that long...to live the life she lived and to experience that sort of dryness! I think that it was possible only because God gave her strength...and I think that God permit this to happen in order to benefit others: to encourage them to persevere in faith...

I love the concept of "dark night" characteristic to the Carmelite way...it can sustain one through very difficult times.
Anyway, as my friend, the Canusian sister Angelika said (Peter Canisius the patron of her order was Jesuit), we the ordinary believers are not in danger to experience the "dark nights" in such a terrible way...this trial is reserved for the saints.
Sorry for the long rambling.:-)

2:50 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Paula :-)

Thanks for dropping by. As I read what you've written, and what pretty much everyone else has commented, I realize how odd my perspective is.

I don't like the idea that God would give someone such a burden as Teresa had, even for a good reason - that's like the ends justifying the means. And the idea that a perceived distance from God can be a good thing in one's spiritual life seems counter-intuitive.

But I can see that I seem to be alone in this attitude :-)

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Paula said...

dear Crystal...maybe Mother Teresa needed that trial...I know it sounds a bit odd, but you know that God´s perspective is different from ours...the way in which He loves us appears strange to us sometimes...in this post and in many others I see that you wrestle with God, you ask, you ponder etc...:-)...and this is good.

2:02 PM  
Blogger PrickliestPear said...

I've given it some more thought. I thought about the Book of Job, where Satan asks God if Job loves God for God's own sake, or because he gets something out of it. God proves to Satan that it is not because Job gets anything out of it by essentially taking everything away from Job. God becomes, as far as Job is concerned, completely absent. And yet Job does not falter in his faithfulness towards God.

The fact that Mother Teresa continued her missionary work, living for others to an extent that most of us cannot even contemplate, despite feeling abandoned by God, reminds me a little bit of Job.

If the revelations of Mother Teresa's doubts serves any purpose, I think that would be this: it shows that she did not do what she did out of self-interest, or some expectation of a future reward.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Dyan said...

Hi Crystal,

You're not alone - I agree with you! God is Love! John 10:10 says,"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." And James 1:17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."
I believe that Mother Teresa was suffering an attack from Satan and she chose to trust and hold on to Jesus through the midst of it.

My Christian beliefs are simple, "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." Romans 10:9-10
I'm not Catholic so I don't fully understand the belief system that demands so much personal suffering. I believe Jesus wants us to be victorious in our life! To me, being saved includes deliverance and healing as well.

Every day I want to draw closer to my Lord and yes, there are days I don't feel anything either - but who can look up into the night sky, see the millions of stars and not KNOW God is with us. Who can look at the tiniest organism and not marvel at God's handiwork? This is what I do when I don't FEEL Him. I choose to look and know that He is with me and will bring me through this life. I sometimes contemplate the persecution that the apostle Paul faced. Did he have moments of doubt? And yet he says this to Timothy, "persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me." 2 Timothy 3:11.
Instead of saying that God won't give me more than I can handle (which I agree, seems abusive in terms of human relationships), maybe we should look at it this way: God is with me whether or not I can perceive Him and that, "without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6

I'm sure Mother Teresa found God again if she was really looking, because He won't draw away. I could go on and on but I think Isaiah 53-54 are well worth a read to understand our position with God since Jesus rose again.

Thanks for giving of your time ;)
D

4:42 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Paula, :-)


PrickliestPear, interesting that you mention Job. He's a good example of the question of why God seems to have abandoned someone. Didn't really like the answer, though :-)

Dyan, I don't think all Catholics are so into suffering but along with guilt, it does seem to define us to others :-). I guess I'll post how I feel about the whole thing ... not too different from your view, I think.

9:04 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Or, on second thought, I think I'm done thinking about this subject .... time to pay attention to Kermit :-)

10:19 PM  
Anonymous dyan said...

Crystal - just wanted to say thanks again, this was definitely thought provoking!
How is Kermit these days? I'm an animal lover too (I have a small white fluffball of a dog) and have been praying for your little guy.
D

11:17 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Thanks Dyan - Kermit is doing pretty good, considering :-)

1:25 AM  
Blogger SusieQ said...

Personally, I identify with the risen Jesus Christ now, Crystal. But I can remember as a child attending Our Lady's Academy and how much emphasis the nuns placed on the suffering Jesus.

I would not choose suffering for myself in order to progress spiritually. I suppose we each have to work out our own spiritual plan as best we can with inspiration from God.

8:43 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

SusieQ - I didn't mean to disrespect the redemptive power of sharing Jeus' suffering and ours. I actually wrote something about that, but ran out of steam and didn't finiah it. It's my particular baggage-strewn personality that has a problem with (my own) suffering.

1:12 AM  
Blogger Cura Animarum said...

HI Crystal I read this the day you put it up (or maybe the day after) and have been meaning to add my 2 Cents since. I know I'm jumping in pretty late but here goes;

I had known about Teresa's 'Dark Night' awhile ago. It actually surprised me to see the book was making such a big splash. I don't see this dark night or desert experience as a contradiction in faith at all and it's funny because most of those who've commented here don't seem to either. What it does is serve to draw us even closer not only to Mother Teresa, but to each other because we realize now that this is an experience that is common to all of us. This is what it means to be a person of faith, this is what a relationship with God is like. Isn't that what Jesus showed too, that God loves us, and we are called to love God, and that there will be times in our lives (even the times when we need it most) when we don't 'feel' that presence at all. When we feel we're wandering in a desert waste, when every where we turn, we see only isolating darkness. And yet Christ also shows that if we persevere in faith, a faith that believes and yet still needs help with it's unbelief, a faith that knows, but is still fumbling in the dark...that at the center of that great loneliness lies a God who has been there loving us the whole time.

That is not just the experience of Mother Teresa, but the experience of ever single human being who has ever had a relationship with God. every prophet, every mystic, every saint, every store owner or McDonald's employee.

That's what I really believe. I think when you hear someone say that they always feel God intimately present with them all the time, they are living some kind of self-created fantasy world.

God just doesn't work that way, He gets into us and in deep. So deep that it gets hard to find Him. he hides in the darkness and calls us to find him, to slug through the murk and mire that fills those corners of oursleves we'd rather not look into.

Those are the places he dwells, in with and under it all and when we finally find him in one corner, and his divine light fills our world for a few moments and becomes so bright that it burns that particular darkness away, he scurries off to play again in another corner of our selves forcing us to go through the kind of 'soul work' we wouldn't dare to undertake on our own.

Maybe that makes sense to someone, maybe not. But it's how I see it. And it's how I make it through my days and my own dark nights.

3:25 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Cura,

I wasn't able to post the whole Tines article, but it made a point of the difference between Teresa's inner struggle and outward religious demeanor ... they saw a discrepancy.

I had read about last year in James Martin's book, My Life With The Saints so also wasn't surprised.

The way you describe prayer life seems very true to me - that's how mine is, anyway. I didn't realize though that so many people have dry periods. The whole subject of religious experience is very important to me but I'm pretty mixed up about it. I feel like I'm doing something wrong when I can't feel anything but sometimes I actually don't want to feel anything, and then there's the realization that it's not up to me anyway, yet still I have performance anxiety - it's a mess :-)

2:28 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Crystal,

I wouldn't make too much out of that stereotype of Catholics being Good Friday people instead of Easter people. If that was always the case, I wouldn't have remained a Catholic either.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Cura Animarum said...

I would imagine that the article's author is someone who cannot really appreciate the coexisting of belief/un-belief and how that necessary tension helps to fuel spiritual growth in an individual.

I can sure relate to the whole 'performance anxiety' thing you describe, it's a huge obstacle in my own spiritual life too. I'm sure God thinks we're a funny people, getting all worked up over whether or not we've spent time with Him 'the right way'. Like having an anxiety attack over how my wife will feel about the way I look the next time we go out.

LOL! Why do we do this to ourselves?

12:37 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Cura, what is happening with the spiritual direction course?

1:02 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Jeff,

how is the vacation?

If I could choose, I'd be a pre-crucifixion Catholic.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Dyan said...

Crystal, if you have time to answer, why pre-crucifixion?
You challenge me and I'm loving it!

11:49 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

I guess because if I had been a disciple, I'd rather have been hanging around with Jesus, before he ascends and goes away, strange as that probably sounds :-)

12:58 AM  
Blogger Cura Animarum said...

Crystal, It's all a go. Everything starts up in two weeks with a six day live-in orientation retreat. I know a couple of the people leading it and a couple of people I will be taking it with (in a passing kind of way) and they are all pretty great men and women. I'm really quite excited about it but hope it doesn't cause my wife and daughter too much extra stress and anxiety with me having to be gone for these six days and then for three days out of each month. I'll probably put something up about it after the retreat and then keep everyone posted on how things are going each month when the weekend's over.

Thanks for asking. ;o) !

1:59 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

It sounds exciting! :-)

7:14 PM  

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