Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith


Keep the joy of loving God in your heart and share this joy with all you meet especially your family. Be holy – let us pray.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.

Jesus has a very special love for you. [But] 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

A new book, "Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light" , consisting primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years, provides the spiritual counterpoint to a life known mostly through its works. 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 neither in her heart or in the eucharist.

All Catholics must cope with "the silence of God". Mother Teresa's spiritual suffering makes her even greater. The dark night of the soul kept her from being a victim of the media age and exalting herself.
America's Martin wants to talk precisely in religious terms. "Everything she's experiencing," he says, "is what average believers experience in their spiritual lives writ large. I have known scores of people who have felt abandoned by God and had doubts about God's existence. And this book expresses that in such a stunning way but shows her full of complete trust at the same time." He takes a breath. "Who would have thought that the person who was considered the most faithful woman in the world struggled like that with her faith?" he asks. "And who would have thought that the one thought to be the most ardent of believers could be a saint to the skeptics?" Martin has long used Teresa as an example to parishioners of self-emptying love. Now, he says, he will use her extraordinary faith in the face of overwhelming silence to illustrate how doubt is a natural part of everyone's life, be it an average believer's or a world-famous saint's.