A new book from Our Sunday Visitor Press explores the life of Mother Teresa while examining the reports about her spiritual struggles recently released to the public.
Titled Mother Teresa: In the Shadow of Our Lady, the book was written by Father Joseph Langford, MC, who helped Mother Teresa found her religious community of priests.
Father Langford, who knew Mother Teresa for thirty years, described the question he tries to answer in his book: "Who, in reality, was Mother Teresa, beyond headlines and magazine covers, beyond the easy clichés of those who observed her from the outside?"
In Father Langford's view, the key element in Mother Teresa's inner life was the person and presence of Mary, the Mother of God. The spiritual bond between Mother Teresa and Our Lady was noted by all who lived with her. For her it was not a peripheral devotion, but an integral part of her spirituality and mission.
"It was Our Lady who taught her to see in the darkness, Our Lady who had seen through it first, and at its worst, as her Son struggled for his last breath. It was Our Lady whose faith bolstered and directed Mother Teresa's faith, and brought her to stand and not waver, despite the darkness, at the cross planted in her own soul," said Father Langford.
In recent months Mother Teresa's correspondence with her spiritual directors was released to the public, prompting press coverage and speculation that her faith was weak and hypocritical. Father Langford refutes those rumors, saying "While her widely publicized but little understood darkness was indeed a challenge, it never placed her in crisis. Her darkness was a crucible of faith, hope, and love in which Mother Teresa became Saint Teresa."