Her Story

I ran across this fascinating article about the faith of Mother Teresa. I always hear Christians say they feel guilty about their faith struggles. Her letters, which this article and new book are based on, look like something we'd read in the book of Psalms. This is a great reminder that you are not alone in the way you feel.

Letters Reveal Mother Teresa's Secret
CBS News

(Aug. 24) In life, she was an icon for believers of God's work on Earth. Her ministry to the poor of Calcutta was a world-renowned symbol of religious compassion. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mother Teresa had a calling, she told CBS News in a rare interview, based on unquestioned faith.

"They are all children of God, loved and created by the same heart of God."

But now, it emerges that Mother Teresa was so doubtful of her own faith that she feared she was being a hypocrite, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips. In a new book that compiles letters she wrote to friends, superiors and confessors, her doubts are obvious.

Shortly after beginning work in Calcutta's slums, the spirit leaves her.

"Where is my faith?" she writes. "Even deep down … there is nothing but emptiness and darkness. ... If there be God — please forgive me."

Eight years later, she's still looking for the belief she's lost. "Such deep longing for God," she writes. "… repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal." As her fame increased, her faith refused to return. Her smile, she says, is a mask. "What do I labor for?" she asks. "If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true." "These are letters that were kept in the archbishop's house," says the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk.

The letters were gathered by Rev. Kolodiejchuk, the priest who's making the case to the Vatican for Mother Teresa's proposed sainthood. He says her obvious spiritual torment actually helps her cause. "Now we have this new understanding, this new window into her interior life, and for me this seems to be the most heroic," says Rev. Kolodiejchuk. According to her letters, Mother Teresa died with her doubts. She had even stopped praying, she once said.

The church decided to keep her letters, even though one of her dying wishes was that they be destroyed. Perhaps now we know why.


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