Jesus: Mother Teresa was a great lady. She was a great and wonderful person. I say this because it makes me sad to see she was not happy.
I guess I knew it. I’d heard her cries in the darkness. She was tortured.
She was tortured by what though? What was it that was eating her up inside?
Host: Audience? I see that Jesus is pausing for us to ponder his question. What do you say, audience? What was Mother Teresa tortured by?
*audience member struggles to his feet*
Yes, you, hold on, here I come.
Audience Member: *out of breath* Yes, I think she was tortured by her doubt. She had lost her belief and was trying to gain it back.
Jesus: Well, that’s what she writes in her letters. But let me ask you… *smiles* because I like asking these questions. In what had she lost her faith? What was this "belief" she was trying to get back? Belief in what?
Audience Member: Ummm
Host: Let’s ask someone else. You there –
Audience Member 2: *grabbing microphone* I, um, think she had lost her faith in you? She wasn’t sure if she believed in God? Maybe she lost her belief in prayer? Maybe Satan had gotten to her.
Jesus: Maybe we’re getting closer, but we’re still a long way off. Let me do my best to answer this question. From what I can tell, all Mother Teresa lost was her belief in orthodoxy. Since orthodoxy was the foundation of her spiritual life, she found that when she lost her way with regard to the objectification of her faith as put forth by the Catholic Church… sure enough, she lost her faith, her belief in the way. It all got tossed by the wayside because she had never stripped it down enough to recognize it in its nakedness.
Orthodoxy is like paint. Sometimes it’s pretty, serves a function and works well enough. But sometimes it covers up some deep rust, scars in the structure and foundations. When we can’t strip away the paint and check out the undercarriage, give it some maintenance, we’re doomed to catastrophic failure. ‘Cause paint, although nice, doesn’t keep the ship from sinking.
I like to be certain about the root of things.
You like to be certain, right?
Audience: *in unison* Yes Lord!
Jesus: *laughing* That just reminded me of a movie. Sorry *stifles guffaw*. Where were we?
An older priest went on a sabbatical to spend some time with the Missionaries of Charity. He had been in a spiritual crisis, and upon meeting Mother Teresa, asked her to pray for his clarity. She laughed at him and walked away, refusing with a flip of her hand. Baffled and confused, the priest asked her why? Why wouldn’t she pray for him. He sought clarity.
I know what she thought. She thought to herself, "clarity is a pipe dream, honey. There is no clarity. Don’t you think if anybody had clarity, I’d have it? Clarity is something I’ve sought my whole life. And it has eluded me."
That is just so sad, my friends. You complicate everything. You complicate and sour those very things that should bring you joy. You codify and organize and arrange – until you’re left with these tasteless, joyless morsels. Ughggg who can eat that stuff.
God = Love
Equal as in the same. What is love, but empathy, caring. Love is not mimickry. Love is not rules. Love is not "going through the motions" out of stubborn devotion, out of some misguided duty to ME. Men, how would it make you feel if you found out your wives were faking orgasms?
Not too good, huh.
Well, I don’t feel very good when you do the same. Do you bear the stench of the homeless old man, because he is Jesus, putting up with him for your chits in heaven. Slog your way through the unpleasantness to get to the creamy filling.
Personally, it doesn’t do a thing for me, and it shouldn’t for you either. It’s a waste. It wastes my time, and it wastes yours.
Love is empathy. Empathy is projecting yourselves, getting outside of your mortal shell and into the hearts of others. I don’t want you to help the dirty, miserable, craven, pathetic, misguided, or criminal. I want you to LOVE them. What does love mean. Love compels you to help them. You should be passionate about that. Love is acceptance. Love doesn’t judge. Love isn’t proud. Love doesn’t despair. Love is a force multiplier. Love is infectious. Love is sincere. Love is binding.
In that connection, that connection of love, within its tendrils as they intertwine amongst you all, between rich and poor, between self-righteous and humble, between the smug and the doubtful is where I dwell.
Let me tell you what you will do, people. Here it is. You will do this because it will make you happy. It will bring you joy.
Connect with each other. Reach out to your enemies and love them, especially those that would hurt you, fear you. Love them more, because they need it. Love them not as a sacrifice, but as a joy. Don’t worry about the outcome. Outcomes will take care of themselves and beside you don’t love for the outcome of it, do you?
And if you’re looking for me, know that I am Love, that it is in your true and sincere devotion to one another that I exist.
And if you fake it, it doesn’t work.
I will still love you though.