This is a guest post by Fr. Eric Werts.
I have a dear friend in Maine who lost his wife to ALS in spring of 2009. He used to email me that she felt abandoned by God. I prayed for her and sent reflections that would gently encourage her. I thought that of course God had not abandoned her. Why would she think that?
It is now a year and half later and my disabilities have grown significantly. In addition in the past weeks I have had additional maladies. And I made a discovery. Overwhelmed by illness I felt abandoned. As a priest, a Master of Divinity, and as a regular reader of spiritual books, I knew in my head that God did not abandon me. I prayed what was in my head. I was suppressing what was in my subconscious. I was not praying what was in my heart, what was in the depths of my soul. I was not telling God that I was in pain, hurting, frightened, and feeling very alone, useless, and a burden on others. I was spiritually toughing it out, rather than being weak in the presence of the one who is strong and loving.
We all at some time in our lives carry burdens that take us to our limits and beyond. Rather than carry them by ourselves, bring them to God who is always present and loves us beyond our comprehension. With God we can be angry, frightened, frustrated, lonely, and in pain. God will assure us of his/her presence, give us comfort, and shower us with love. If we feel abandoned, pour our hearts out to God.
Matthew and Mark tell us that Jesus felt abandoned hanging on the cross, and said so. God’s ultimate response was the Resurrection.