An article in tomorrow’s Time magazine talks about Mother Teresa’s “crisis of faith.”
… [I]n a letter to a spiritual confidant, the Rev. Michael van der Peet, that is only now being made public, [Mother Teresa] wrote with weary familiarity of a different Christ, an absent one. “Jesus has a very special love for you,” she assured Van der Peet. “[But] as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great, that I look and do not see, — Listen and do not hear — the tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak … I want you to pray for me — that I let Him have [a] free hand.”
This is one of the letters featured in Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, a new book “consisting primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years…”
The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever — or, as the book’s compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, “neither in her heart or in the eucharist.”
The book is written (and the letters compiled) by Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, a senior Missionaries of Charity member. He is also the man “responsible for petitioning for her sainthood.”And we can’t talk about Mother Teresa without mentioning the obligatory Christopher Hitchens reference:
Not all atheists and doubters will agree. Both Kolodiejchuk and Martin assume that Teresa’s inability to perceive Christ in her life did not mean he wasn’t there. In fact, they see his absence as part of the divine gift that enabled her to do great work. But to the U.S.’s increasingly assertive cadre of atheists, that argument will seem absurd. They will see the book’s Teresa more like the woman in the archetypal country-and-western song who holds a torch for her husband 30 years after he left to buy a pack of cigarettes and never returned. Says Christopher Hitchens, author of The Missionary Position, a scathing polemic on Teresa, and more recently of the atheist manifesto God Is Not Great: “She was no more exempt from the realization that religion is a human fabrication than any other person, and that her attempted cure was more and more professions of faith could only have deepened the pit that she had dug for herself.”
You can read more excerpts of Mother Teresa’s letters in the full article.
(Thanks to InfidelJoe for the link!)