I’m not the best personal example of a devout Catholic. I have my own qualms about God and religion, but since it’s Holy Week, I am re-posting this as a personal reminder to self.
God is silent. According to my philosophy teacher this is the hymn that the unbeliever crosses their unbelief to. The atheist who does not hear Him because he has no reason and experiences to believe otherwise.
But during brunch last Sunday my mother, the devout Catholic, a believer who puts her trust in God and has received enough blessings to believe in His mysterious love, vented. She wonders: “When will He answer my prayers? I know, no, actually I believe and trust that whatever happens is part of His plan.”
God is silent. Even for the Catholic.
Surprisingly, I learned that even Mother Teresa, the embodiment of compassion and goodness was said to have suffered the silence of God. Pope Benedict says that “All believers know about the silence of God. ”
Later that night I attended Mass and for once in a long time genuinely listened (and laughed!) to the priest’s well written and animated sermon. He talked about God (well, obviously), but ironically he preached about that silence we experience when He doesn’t seem to be listening. The silence that frustrates our burdens and echoes within our souls.
The priest continued, saying that only one who is humble and obedient will find spring in the desert. Only those who do not have humility in the heart will be bothered by the circumstances that he can not control.
That’s when I thought back to my earlier conversation with my mother and how society, like my mother and myself, will always encounter God’ silence for as long as there are problems to pray about. And yet, despite the silence, my mother, the believer chooses to believe anyway.
I told my mom shortly after eating brunch that maybe another way to believe in Him is to believe in yourself. Personally I feel that we need to stop leaving our problems just to prayer. I think this inaction is characteristic of most Catholics (and maybe of everyone in general.) What is faith without active commitment? It’s called the unbelief of the believer.
Perhaps it is in the face of God’s silence where humility resides and peace can be found not necessarily just in Him but in ourselves. Do we necessarily need to FEEL his PRESENCE in order to believe? How about believing in his presence even in the absence of it?
TAKE MY YOKE ON YOU, AND LEARN OF ME; FOR I AM MEEK AND LOWLY IN HEART: AND YOU SHALL FIND REST TO YOUR SOULS. MATTHEW 11:29
For a God who is silent, he sure had a lot to say that Sunday.
Original post on July 4, 2011