The last in a series on Huffpo.
Here's an often misunderstood and misinterpreted statement: Many people feel drawn to God in times of suffering.
During a serious illness, a family crisis, the loss of a job, or the death of a loved one, many people will say that they've turn to God in new ways. Atheists, agnostics, and those with more skeptical minds usually chalk this up to desperation. The person, they say, has nowhere else to turn, and so turns to God. God is seen, in this light, as a crutch for the foolish, a refuge for the superstitious, or a haven for the gullible.
But in general, people do not turn to God in suffering because we suddenly become irrational. Rather, God is able to reach us because our defenses are lowered. The barriers that we erected to keep out God -- whether pride or fear or lack of interest -- are set aside. We are not less rational. We are more open.
James Martin, SJ