I am nearing the end of reading a really
beautiful book, called
and right now I am reading the letters he wrote his wife
from his first place of imprisonment;
we already know, from reading the book before the letters,
that he is later sent to Dora,
where he is forced to work in horrid extreme conditions,
ages very quickly, becomes very ill
and at the end, speaks of feeling the abandonment of God,
and the next day he dies, with
a man kind enough to move Fr. Dimitri's hand
to cross himself, right before he dies.
He is now a Saint of the Orthodox Church,
as he was in the camps because of his work to save
Jews and others during the Nazi regime in Paris.
Mother Teresa suffered, after having very close, real, felt
intimacy with God, a deep sense of God's absence,
abandonment; yet she radiated such joy and peace to others;
it's as if she was submerged in God so much that others
received the light by being near to her,
while she felt herself in darkness.
I have read about this before,
also in Eizabeth Goudge's book
the Dean's Watch
and other books....
Where by God's will, by physical illness and exhaustion,
or by a season in life,
we may still be quite near to God, as in God is everywhere present,
filling all things,
but we may not sense God's presence,
we may, who were once sustained by His Presence in difficult afflictions,
later be cut off from the sense of His Presence, even when the situation gets
Met. Anthony Bloom writes of a woman
who wrote him (she had cancer, was dying) that she was sustained
by His Presence, but later she only found God's absence
and her only prayer was not to try to create/fabricate a sense of God's
Presence when He choose to only give a sense of His absence to her.
Did not Christ Himself cry out to God about such
a sense of abandonment,
right before He filled Hades with His light, His Divinity,
and the next day rose from the dead, Resurrected, with a new body
and hope for everyone?
To me this tells me to be persistence in prayer,
not give up no matter if I feel God's Absence or even a deep sense of
abandonment from God
and not to give up hope, but to trust that God is still near;
in the end to me it means,
do not be afraid...