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​DARK NIGHTS and TROUBLED DAYS: “STILL SERVING GOD"- SERIES INTRODUCTION

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INTRODUCTION TO OUR NEW SERIES:

DARK NIGHTS and TROUBLED DAYS

 “STILL SERVING GOD"

This series focuses on St. (Mother)Teresa’s experiences and struggles, and how it relates to our own lives.

Feast Day for St. Teresa of Calcutta: September 5th 


SERIES INTRODUCTION

There are Christians and Catholics who are presently experiencing some real and troubling feelings regarding their faith as they see and hear some of the current religious news headlines. Feelings of grief, shock, betrayal and anger are being felt, along with thoughts that question how disturbing things can happen in the church. Others have moved on to probing for reasons and responses. This include those who are deeply questioning faith and wondering about trust and—just what to believe.

None of these questions or feelings are easy to go through or process. There are no magic pills to take to make the pain go away, nor are there quick and easy answers. It is fitting and perhaps helpful that we are celebrating some outstanding saints this time of year—saints who may shed some light or comfort on what we are going through. They each happen to represent some connection with what is going on in our times.

Some of these saints have had the experience of the troubling thoughts and emotions and religious dark nights ( particularly St. Teresa of Calcutta), the pain—or have helped others through it (St. Jean Vianney; St Maximillian Kolbe). Almost all experienced abuse (mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually) themselves or suffered the emotional torment of knowing those they loved were suffering. These saints are powerful intercessors for prayer, ready to pray alongside of us for many of our needs. We are covering aspects of their lives in our blogs in August and in September. We look forward to the inspiration that they can bring into our lives. These saints include:

St. Jean-Marie Vianney

St. Maximillian Kolbe

St. (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta

Our Lady of Sorrows

St. (Padre) Pio of Pietrelcina

St. Michael the Archangel


ARTICLES ON THE SAINTS

We have already published blog articles on “ST. JOHN-MARIE VIANNEY” (patron saint of priests) and “ST. MAXIMILLIAN KOLBE” (priest and martyr) earlier this month of August. The others mentioned will follow.

The first blog article in ourSTILL SERVING GODseries, will take a look at “SHAKEN FAITH AND TESTED LOVE”. Our series focuses on wrestling with peace and faith, which is sometimes called the ‘dark night of the soul’. Part I captures some of the general struggles that many people have experienced when wrestling with faith and love.

In Part I we will prepare to look at Mother Teresa’s life while considering some underlying issues regarding feelings of darkness as it affects our own faith and love walk. We will consider what all this could mean for us. We will look at what can bring life to these struggles, and what we can still do during trying times. This includes ways that encourage our own upbuilding in faith. In general, it prepares a foundation for St. Teresa of Calcutta’s own interior struggles in Part II. Part I captures and describes some of the troubling elements that can be experienced so we get a clearer picture of what “the dark night” feels like to many people.

We follow that up with “Part II” of the series “STILL SERVING GOD”, called,PASSIONATE LOVE: LIGHT AMID DARK NIGHTS”.

Part II will continue with particular details of Mother Teresa’s life and call, and some interior wrestling with her own peace and faith. We will learn of some heart and mind-wrenching conflicts within her soul. St. Teresa of Calcutta had expressed them to a priest-friend/confessor in conversations and letters, which were released after her death in 1997.

These letters reveal some internal struggles and pain that Mother Teresa suffered silently. She still chose to love God and others. We will particularly examine the “darkness” that Mother Teresa felt for so many years, as she expressed in these letters.

St. Teresa of Calcutta was canonized on September 4th in 2016. In that year, we reprinted a brief but concise commentary on her life from Our Sunday Visitor in 2016. (The OSV catalog encouraged its re-publication on bookstore internet sites.) For decades the world has known of her self-sacrificing service to the poor, sick and abandoned in the streets of Calcutta, India. 

We look forward to sharing the inspiration that comes from the life of St. Teresa of Calcutta and the other saints we present this month.


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