To many of you, this article may come as a surprise. In his new book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday), her “postulator”, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk shows us her most personal, intimate letters which encompass over 60 years of her life. Though Mother Teresa has been venerated by Catholics and Protestants alike, the man given the task of petitioning her sainthood discloses what appears to be a spiritually vacant soul.
David van Biema of Time magazine writes,
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.”
We read that, Kolodiejchuk, “produced the book as proof of the faith-filled perseverance that he sees as her most spiritually heroic act.”
Are we ever called to persevere on our own strength, apart from trusting in the promises of God? I believe if Mother Teresa had embraced the authority of the epistle to the church at Rome instead of the Roman Catholic church, she could have had a peace and security not in the goodness of her actions in spite of doubt, but on the basis of Christ’s work done in perfect obedience, graciously imputed to her by faith.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)
She wrote of her own effervescent smile, calling it, “…a mask…a cloak that covers everything.”
Contrast that with the words of Peter,
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9, NASB)