The struggle is real.

Yes Lord, the struggle is indeed real.  I just have to keep on.  A couple points today.

1.  Last night I was feeling really down on my decision to return to Catholicism.  I was regretting it.  I was feeling sorrowful for it.  I was thinking once again, I bought the enemies lies.  I woke up and was like “I am not going to Mass”…I searched up the time for my in laws church service.  I debated going to my baptist church.  Then I debated not going anywhere at all.

I sat and checked my email and the Mass readings where there and then I said, I must go to Mass.  I went solo, left the little kids home….I will get back to this after point 2.

2.  I then scrolled through my news feed and saw an anti-Catholic page gripping about the canonization of Saint [Mother] Teresa of Calcutta.  The comments on the page were exclaiming that Mother Teresa was lost and never knew Jesus because for years she talked about the darkness and doubts that filled her soul.

In the darkness . . . 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 . . . Where I try to raise my thoughts to heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul. Love — the word — it brings nothing. 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.

Um….hello….this is me!  I have been seeking The Lord for the past 20 years.  I have been “saved” and yet still was not free.  You know how Jesus says knock and the door will be opened, ask and Ye shall find.  I have done those things.  To the naysayer who says I was never truly saved.  I have seen God work in my life and know He has guided and answered many of my prayers.  He has walked with me through dark times.  But in this specific area, my relationship with Him, he is quiet.  There is a distance, there always has been. 

3.  So I went to Mass.  I am comfortable there.  I enjoy the peace that the sanctuary brings.  Quiet.  Prayers.  I am not good at praying freestyle, so I do use the prayers written in my prayer book.  They are no less prayer than singing hymns written by someone else is worship.  I prayed and participated in the Mass like it was my job.  Every word I uttered I meant deep down.  My mind wandered a little, I got distracted some, but I kept pulling myself back.  Holy communion comes and I receive the Holy Eucharist.  I am praying the prayers in my prayer book and suddenly I just stop.  Tears fill my eyes and warmth washes over me.  He is there.

Saint Teresa and I are going to become friends.  As Father had said to me, this struggle I have he cannot answer.  I have to answer it myself.  With Gods help of course.  Thankfully Saint Teresa has gone through this and will be able to help me.  

I am counting on these words.

“If I ever become a Saint–I will surely be one of ‘darkness.’ I will continually be absent from Heaven–to light the light of those in darkness on earth,” Mother Teresa

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7 thoughts on “The struggle is real.

    • Please forgive me, is your response sarcasm? I am usually good at picking up on that because I am a sarcastic person (though I am trying not to be). Anyway, not sure where I let off the impression that I was a “poor black person living in the inner city”…it wouldn’t be a big deal if I was. Simply unsure of how that came across.

      • Thank you, Jill. No sarcasm, I completely agree with everything in this beautiful post. “The struggle is real” is a message from minorities who have the cards stacked against them. Quite inspiring!

    • Thank you! I am taking comfort in today having a reprieve from the doubts that cloud my mind. Today, there is pure joy, pure peace, no doubts. Today is a gift from my God, my King.

  1. Hi Jill – I sorry that your walk with Jesus has been a struggle and glad that you have a reprieve. Just a thought for you — how you view Mother Theresa is how God views you – but better. The Bible calls each and every one of us Saints — not because we are good and do good deeds, Theresa surely did good things and bad things, she is person just like you and I and we do some good, some bad – all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God — but God views us as perfect shiny awesome and clean because Jesus died to make it so. We don’t get punished because of God’s mercy, we get adopted as God’s children, the saints, because of God’s grace.

    My wife grew up wanting to be one of the saints. She worked really hard, is an awesome hard working mother and is the most wonderful woman in the world, according to me at least. But she had to wrestle through feelings that she was not good enough for God, that God did not love her, that she did not measure up to others that was making her life with Jesus painful rather than joyous — it was getting the doctrine of grace and how it reflects the love of God that changed everything.

    When you understand what grace means you understand that it is true we are truly unworthy of God but He died for us anyway. Because of His decision to do so, I am forever good enough.

    • I believe we agree to the same thing, up until a certain point. I know Mother Teresa is no different than me. You are no different than me, and I am no different than my neighbor. God loves each of us (perfectly, unconditionally, without hesitation), which is why He sent his Son, Jesus, to die for us. I know I am nothing without Him. I look at my own kids, I get mad at them, I lose patience with them, and despite all that, I still love them. I see other people love their children despite horrible things they have done. And then I see God, and I know He is love. His love is perfect because He is perfect, and His love for us far far surpasses any capacity we have to love.

      People have taken the words of Mother Teresa in stating that she felt she was in darkness, coldness and emptiness, etc., to mean that she was an atheist or an unbeliever. Before I go on, let me give you some perspective. I have spent the past 20 years struggling with where God wants me. I was raised Catholic. But at the point of entering my own independent adulthood, rather than owning my own faith, I began to be swayed. I wasn’t strongly rooted. I didn’t take time to really grow and study on my own. So at the slightest questioning of my faith, I ran. In those 20 years I spent most of the time as non-denominational, though I worshipped with the Baptists. At the end of the day, I am a Christian. I have prayed the sinners prayer, I have asked Jesus to become Lord of my life. I have trusted Him, and I do trust Him. The fact that I am returning to my roots as a Catholic does not mean I am not a Christian. Though, there was a great period of time that I had believed it. There was a great period of time that I didn’t think Catholics could be Christian. That is because of my own misconceptions.

      What Mother Teresa has said is no different than the things that David has said in the Psalms (Psalm 13 as an example).

      As for her canonization as a “Saint”. Coming back to the Catholic church has totally solidified my belief in the communion of Saints. When a loved one dies, people say that Grandma is looking down on them from heaven. Or when a woman experiences a pregnancy loss and becomes pregnant again, the woman suggests that her baby sent the new pregnancy to her. Are these just meaningless thoughts we humans use to comfort us in death, or do we really believe there is an afterlife where there are actual people in the presence of our Savior, singing praises to Him in person, face to face? The Catholic church declaring her a Saint simply means that there has been evidence that she actually went to Heaven.

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