The following snippets are excerpted from the article, “Toward a Post-Christian Spirituality” by W. Paul Jones in Weavings Jan/Feb 2009 issue.
Background: talking about lack of consolations in modern faith, lack of modern reinforcements for “easy” life of faith, etc. Example given is discovered journals of Mother Teresa’s struggles and doubts, and extended dark night of the soul.
Removed from consolations, caught tautly between longing and emptiness, Teresa became convinced that emotions are both unreliable and deceptive. Never give way to your feelings, she warned her sisters, and never rely on them either for your strength or your conviction. Having lost what she called “the sweetness of presence,” the alternative as a love of intention — an act of sheer will in the face of what emotionally feels impossible. This is the post-Christian spirituality of living heroically “as if,” not “because of” but “in spite of”.
And here’s a better couple of examples of phrasing “fake it till you make it” also found in the same article! How convenient so soon after my recent post on such a thing!
While taking the temptation of unbelief on herself (Teresa), her outward smile bridged others into belief. This was not pretending the untrue to be true, but was more like Augustine’s will to believe in order to understand, and Wesley’s instruction to doubting ministers to preach it until you believe it.
Hmm. On second thought, fake it till you make it is not too far from Wesley’s advice at all, is it?
Heavenly Father, brother incarnate suffering Jesus, help us to be faithful in spite of all that is around us. Console us if you can – cuz you know we’re not as strong as Mother Teresa. But in the final analysis, make us stronger, and bring us to you in the end. Amen.