Mother Teresa Endured God's Silence, Says Pope
Comments on Nun's "Dark Night" to Youth
| 835 hits
VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 4, 2007 (Zenit.org).- God speaks even when he doesn't say anything, Benedict XVI told 500,000 young people in reference to the "dark night" of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
Mother Teresa's spiritual suffering was one of the topics covered by the Pope on Saturday night, during his question-and-answer session with 500,000 youth in Loreto, Italy.
The Vatican released the transcript of the questions and answers today.
The session, held in the esplanade of Montorso, was part of a two-day encounter of Italian youth with the Holy Father.
A young Italian woman, Sara Simonetta, explained to the Pontiff that she believed "in the God that had touched my heart, but I feel a lot of insecurity, questions, fear."
"I feel human solitude, and I would like to feel God close. Holiness, in this silence, 'Where is God?'" she asked.
Benedict XVI responded that "we all, even though we believe, experience this silence of God."
"A book was just published on the spiritual experiences of Mother Teresa, and what we have known is now more openly presented: With all her charity, her strength of faith, Mother Teresa suffered the silence of God," he said.
The Pope was referring to the book "Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light," written by Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator for the cause of canonization of the founder of the Missionaries of Charity. The book, published 10 years after the nun's death, is a compilation of her letters and writings.
Benedict XVI continued: "On one hand, we have to endure this silence of God, partly in order to understand our brethren who don't know God."
On the other, he said, "we can always yell out again to God: 'Talk, show yourself!' And without a doubt, if the heart is open, we can discover the great moments of our life in which the presence of God is truly perceptible, even to us."
The Pope explained how it is possible to see God.
Before all, the Pontiff said, "the beauty of creation is one of the sources in which we can touch the beauty of God, we can see that the Creator exists and is good, that it is true what sacred Scripture says in the creation account."
Second, he explained, it is possible to perceive the divine presence "listening to the word of God in the great liturgical celebrations, in the great music of faith."
Benedict XVI then told the story of a woman who converted to Christianity after having listened to the music of Bach, Handel and Mozart.
Third, the Pope told the assembly of youth, one can discover God through "personal dialogue with Christ."
"He doesn't always respond, but there are moments in which he really responds," the Pontiff said.
A last way of discovering God, according to the Holy Father, is "friendship, companionship in the faith."
Benedict XVI continued: "Now, here, gathered in Loreto, we see how faith unites, how friendship creates a companionship of journeying persons.
"And we experience that all of this does not come from nothing, but has a source, that the silent God is also a God who speaks, who reveals himself, and above all, that we can be witnesses of his presence, that our faith truly brings about light, even for others."
The Pope added: "On one hand, we have to accept that in this world, God is silent, but we shouldn't make ourselves deaf when he speaks, when he manifests his presence on so many occasions, above all in Creation, in the liturgy, in friendship within the Church. And, full of his presence, we can also give light to others."