Oct 15, 2007
Book by Brian Kolodiejchuk.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 19, 2003, is the perfect example of a saint in modern times. This book is a collection of Mother Teresa’s letters which have provoked controversy in the secular press because commentators misunderstood what they read.
The commentators couldn’t understand what Mother Teresa was writing about. How could this nun, who many thought was so close to God, suffer for most of her life from the absence of God? They accused her of being a hypocrite, a concern she had noted in her writings.
Mother Teresa suffered what is called in spirituality according to St. John of the Cross, the “dark night of the soul.” Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, who is a member of Mother Teresa’s priests’ community and is her postulator (promoter), comments that Mother Teresa’s “darkness” was one of the longest known periods of darkness for a person. Mother’s patron saint, St. Therese of Lisieux, had also experienced darkness and had doubts about her faith. Other saints also have endured the dark night of the soul including St. Paul of the Cross.
Mother Teresa from childhood had a close relationship with Jesus. She revealed to her spiritual directors that in the 1940s that she experienced hearing the voice of Jesus and “seeing” a few visions. She heard Jesus’ voice say, “I thirst for souls!” At first Mother Teresa was not sure what to make of this and other comments of Jesus. She discussed this with her spiritual director and realized it was Jesus truly speaking to her, not the devil or her own self. She had these experiences when she felt called on September 10, 1946 to found a new order to help the poor.
A few years after founding the order, she no longer had these experiences – they were replaced with darkness and a feeling of aloneness. She desired to be one with Jesus, but she could not feel or anything of his presence. This went on up to the day of her death.
She continuously desired to experience Jesus’ presence in her soul and in her life by remaining faithful to Jesus and to her calling. She was able to teach others about spirituality and how to become holy, but she herself did not experience any consolations from Jesus.
She was a source of support to others. She always encouraged her community to always “smile” and to especially “smile at Jesus” in the disguise of the poorest of the poor.