Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Dark Night of the Soul

I have been trying to get off obsessively pouring over atheist blogs or anything to do with atheism or skepticism cold turkey. I have had a few lapses, but for the most part, I have managed it.

But in the place of frantic anxiety of colliding into the views of people who not only disagree with the Church, but the very idea of the Church--people who think not only is Christianity false, but it isn't even a good story, and we're better off that its not true--a dull, formless mass of doubt and pain has set into my heart. I wonder if this is what the dark night of the soul of St. John of the Cross is like--I have had this feeling many times before and wondered so every time, but I think that might be a feeling of being cut off from God's presence, not doubting that presence was there in the first place. Maybe it is at least analogous.

There is so much I don't know. Today, I was talking to Dr. Gamble in between my conferences and he, in relating how he had come to be at Arkansas, said something to the effect of "God decides everything." And in my subconscious, the half-formed, not even verbal idea bubbled up, "Maybe God does not even exist." I only realized afterwards I had even had the thought. It was appalling. I have referred in the past to pathetic accounts of former believers who are beset with a persistent shapeless doubt built up from a thousand little pinpricks on their faith who finally realize they are atheists with thoughts like this. How disgusting! I don't want to be like that, no matter what, like a deflated balloon who admits his inflation was simply a delusion against the scientific truth of atmospheric pressure.

God, please help me. If you don't help me, I will try to soldier on. I can't make any demands on You. But help me still. I don't want to worry that percentage chance for the likelihood that You exist might be considerably below 50%. I don't want to read about twins with body parts from their dead twins still stuck to their bodies and wonder if this means You don't exist--if it must make me think of something, let it be pity, however worthless or hypocritical.

Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated

And let my cry come unto Thee.

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