Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mother Teresa’s Mysticism

Appeared first in Salt and Light Media on August 28, 2016

On August 23, 2007, TIME magazine published excerpts of the private journals and letters of Mother Teresa depicting her crisis of faith and her almost 50 years without sensing God’s presence. TIME’s author, David Van Biema, asked: What does her experience teach us about the value of doubt? The late Christopher Hitchens, Mother Teresa’s harsh critic, refers to these letters as “scrawled and desperate documents” from a “troubled and miserable lady” who tried to recruit others “to a blind faith in which she herself had long ceased to believe.” (Newsweek, 8, 28, 2007). To conclude that Mother Teresa was “a crypto-atheist,” who was perfectly knowledgeable that there was no God but lacked the decency to admit it, cannot be farther from the truth. This is to misconstrue the woman and the mystical experiences she underwent. Moreover, it is exactly this doubt and the life-long “thirst” for God that make Mother Teresa become St. Teresa of Kolkatta. Mother Teresa is real, approachable, and earthly as she herself desired to be: “If I ever become a saint—I will surely be one of darkness. I will continually be absent from heaven—to light the light of those in darkness on earth.”

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