Mother Teresa: Just Your Typical Saint or a Woman Crying to God?

Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear. — Mother Teresa to the Rev. Michael Van Der Peet, September 1979

Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa in a Calcutta orphanage, 1979. (Bettmann/Corbis)

This report by Time.com that reveals material from a new book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday), wants to paint Mother Teresa as a conflicted person…even stating that for her “the deity had disappeared.” They use her letters to confidants to illustrate their point. From Time.com story:

Together they suggest a startling portrait in self-contradiction — that one of the great human icons of the past 100 years, whose remarkable deeds seemed inextricably connected to her closeness to God and who was routinely observed in silent and seemingly peaceful prayer by her associates as well as the television camera, was living out a very different spiritual reality privately, an arid landscape from which the deity had disappeared.

My first thought? Read the Psalms. They are filled with people shouting to God in despair. This is not contradictory to her life as the writer of this story seems to be so vividly perplexed about.

It appears to me that this is truly a woman seeking God.

Here’s just one example out of many from the Bible about people being in a “crisis of faith” from Psalms 13 verses 1-3, here is David:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death…

So is Mother Teresa so unusual as the writer might suggest? Not really. However, this is great reading…and will probably get a lot of press.

Full Time.com Story: Mother Teresa’s Crisis of Faith

– Alexander

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