For nearly two years I’ve been reflecting on something I read in an article by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the papal household. I can’t get it out of my head. The article was provocatively titled “The ‘Atheism’ of Mother Theresa” (National Catholic Register Sep 9-15, 2007). It explored the meaning of Mother Theresa’s extended “dark night” of union with Christ in his cry of abandonment from the cross.
Cantalamessa wrote of a modern phenomenon he called “atheists in good faith” – people who feel abandoned by God. Perhaps they would believe if they encountered God, but they encounter only “the silence of God.” And he observed that the mystics, like Mother Theresa, “exist above all for them; they are their travel and table companions. Like Jesus, they ‘sat down at the table of sinners and ate with them’ (see Luke 15:2).” In other words, Mother Theresa lived in solidarity with those who don’t believe. All the while believing, she “felt” in
Click on link to read Christopher's article.
I like the point about solidarity with the radically different - but it's a very narrow definition of atheism!