Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith

The following are excerpts from letters written by Mother Teresa over the course of her life. What's striking about what we read is how DIFFERENT her "jesus" was from the one I worship. My Jesus is anything but absent. I sense His presence continually. As for the inner darkness, one of the greatest and most important benefits of loving and being loved by the true son of God is an abiding, continual PEACE and inner light. Sure we have trials and tribulations, but those are external, what counts is what's inside. Mother Teresa's inner world was one of torment, darkness, hopelessness and abandon. WOW. Can you say spiritual bankruptcy. Yea, the catholic church is trying to spin it in a positive light, but they can't, know why? There was no light. It's all about darkness. If Mother Teresa's darkness was this great and she is held up as an icon of all that this world's religions hold out to those who hope in them, what does that say? This world and it's religions are empty, manmade organizations, not the living, vibrant organism I know as the true body of Christ. Protestant's should'nt think that somehow they are any bettter. They are simply daughters who descend from the same harlot. Wake up......................

in a letter to a spiritual confidant, the Rev. Michael van der Peet, that is only now being made public, she 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."

Although perpetually cheery in public, the Teresa of the letters lived in a state of deep and abiding spiritual pain. In more than 40 communications, many of which have never before been published, she bemoans the "dryness," "darkness," "loneliness" and "torture" she is undergoing. She compares the experience to hell and at one point says it has driven her to doubt the existence of heaven and even of God. 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.??? The more success Teresa had — and half a year later so many young women had joined her society that she needed to move again — the worse she felt. In March 1953, she wrote PĂ©rier, "Please pray specially for me that I may not spoil His work and that Our Lord may show Himself — for there is such terrible darkness within me, as if everything was dead. It has been like this more or less from the time I started 'the work.'" A year later she sounded desolate: "Such deep longing for God — and ... repulsed — empty — no faith — no love — no zeal. — [The saving of] Souls holds no attraction — Heaven means nothing — pray for me please that I keep smiling at Him in spite of everything." For these confessors, she developed a kind of shorthand of pain, referring almost casually to "my darkness" and to Jesus as "the Absent One." I want to love Jesus as he has never been loved before Neuner would later write, "It was the redeeming experience of her life when she realized that the night of her heart was the special share she had in Jesus' passion." And she thanked Neuner profusely: "I can't express in words — the gratitude I owe you for your kindness to me — for the first time in ... years — I have come to love the darkness. "

Come to love the darkness? Whichever jesus this lady worshiped, it absolutely was NOT the Jesus I know.