mad in pursuit journal


Mother Teresa

I never gave Mother Teresa much thought -- one of those impossibly good people I'll never be like. Then, years ago, I heard that she had a dark side, that she would cozy up to the devil himself to get what she wanted for her mission.* Now comes the publication of her letters and her spiritual doubts in Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light. It's fascinating.

I give a lot of credit to the Catholic Church for insisting that her letters be published, for acknowledging that the life of faith is complex and full of questioning.

After reading the article in the 9/3/07 Time, I see that it wasn't God's existence that she agonized over. She was more like a jilted lover. She knew God existed. She and Jesus were going to go into this missionary thing together. Then, like a boyfriend before Valentine's Day, he disappears. And she spends the rest of her life in that fabled "dark night of the soul" -- obsessed, angry, humiliated.

It's interesting that, with all her work, she'd make such an issue of her spiritual "dryness." However, on any given morning in Calcutta, she probably woke up wondering what the heck she'd gotten herself into and her strong personality demanded answers, if not from Jesus, then from her spiritual advisors. How nice to have spiritual advisors to share your darkest moments with -- someone who doesn't just brush you off and give you the standard lines about trusting God's wisdom.

It's good to have saints you can learn from


Thumbs Up if you liked this entry.


* Oh, I bet what I read was by that atheist-provocateur Christopher Hitchens. I see here he wrote a "scathing polemic" about her called Missionary Position.