Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Mother Teresa: My Saint of Darkness and Hope

“If I ever become a saint—I will surely be one of ‘darkness,'” Mother Teresa wrote in September of 1959. “I will continually be absent from heaven—to light the light of those in darkness on earth.”
Two years earlier she wrote this to Archbishop Perier of Calcutta:

There is so much contradiction in my soul.—Such deep longing for God—so deep that it is painful—a suffering continual—and yet not wanted by God—repulsed—empty—no faith—no love—no zeal.—Souls hold no attraction—Heaven means nothing—to me it looks like an empty place—the thought of it means nothing to me and yet this torturing longing for God.—Pray for me please that I keep smiling at Him in spite of everything. For I am only His—so He has ever right over me. I am perfectly happy to be nobody even to God. . . . .


As a person who battles despairing, intrusive thoughts during many of her alert (caffeinated and non-caffeinated) hours, I found great consolation in the personal writings of Mother Teresa included in a compilation entitled “Come Be My Light,” edited by Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C. And I wept many times throughout the book, mostly at her graciousness toward God in her suffering. “I want to smile even at Jesus and so hide if possible the pain and the darkness of my soul even from Him,” she wrote.
I spent a week with Mother Teresa and her Sisters the winter of 1994. I stood beside her for about two hours as we distributed Christmas gifts to orphaned children. I sensed a sadness in her. But her light overshadowed it. Unlike a person wrapped in severe depression, wearing the expression of despair, she exuded light and hope. When she prayed, her deep love for God was visible, even contagious.
This saint of darkness has much to teach me about how to live with inner anguish.
First of all, I should stop referring to my depression and anxiety as the “Black Hole,” (singular and capitalized), and call it, as Mother Teresa described her difficult places, the “dark holes.” Because the darkness is never black, or without any light at all. Her legacy is proof that hope and faith and love prevail, even in the dark night.
And depression isn’t one place of despair with capital letters. It changes every minute we breathe, especially as we enter into deeper communion with God, even if we don’t feel that communion. It’s plural because we always get to try again, the same reason my son David’s pencils don’t have erasers. His kindergarten teacher doesn’t believe in mistakes, just “happy accidents.”
And, most importantly, all of our suffering can be used for the good. I’m not sure how Mother Teresa was able to regard her times of spiritual agony as the meeting place for she and God, or how she appreciated her pain in order to bring souls to God. Because when I’m in that place I can’t stop cussing him out.
I remember my own conversation with God one afternoon over a year ago. I had just flunked out of a six-week outpatient program for depression (“You are in no way ready to be discharged, but your insurance won’t cover you anymore, so goodbye”), having tried 21 different medications, plus every alternative method imaginable (acupuncture, magnets, Chinese herbs, fish oil, vitamins, craniosacral therapy, yoga), counseling, cognitive-behavioral worksheets, gratitude journals, prayer and meditation, and daily six-mile runs. The conversation, which happened while I was swmming laps, went like this:


Okay, God. I’m finally starting to accept the fact that I will live the rest of my life wanting to die. And I’ve already promised you that I won’t take my life. Since enjoyment of life is pretty much ruled out, I’m going to just devote all my time to your cause. In exchange, I’d like you to take me earlier rather than later. Deal?

I was crying so hard that my goggles filled up with tears every two laps (it was better than chlorine, but still). I didn’t appreciate anything about it. Even though I was wearing clear goggles in a fluorescent-lit room (equivalent to at least 15 mammoth HappyLites–the kind sitting on my desk), it was my dark night, and I’m glad Archbishop Perier wasn’t around to talk to.
Because, when Mother Teresa told him about her darkness, this is what he wrote:


With regard to the feeling of loneliness, of abandonment, of not being wanted, of darkness of the soul, it is a state well known by spiritual writers and directors of conscience. This is willed by God in order to attach us to Him alone, an antidote to our external activities, and also, like temptation, a way of keeping us humble in the midst of applauses, publicity, praises, appreciation, etc. and success. To feel that we are nothing, that we can do nothing is the realization of a fact. We know it, we say it, some feel it. That is why stick to God and like the little Bernadette at the end of her last retreat wrote: God alone, God everywhere, God in everybody and in everything, God always.

According to St. John of the Cross, the Carmelite mystic who composed the poem, “The Dark Night,” the deepening of love is the real purpose of the dark night of the soul. The dark night helps us to love more deeply.
And Meister Eckhart once wrote, “Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us.” How appropriate, then, that Mother Teresa’s writings be entitled “Come Be My Light.” This saint of darkness is my light.

  • A seeker

    If we have a “personal” relationship with God, that includes thinking He is not there for us. It includes being utterly angry with God. Some of the best people suffer the greatest injury.
    The most noble of the atheist trade (actually the only “noble” one), are those that cannot believe in a God when there is so much suffering on earth. It may be a childish point of view, but a fair one just the same.
    Doubting God, though, is the exclusive domain of those that believe in God.
    How can God be upset at those that seek God and yet hear, see and feel nothing but the world and its selfish, violent ways.
    Seeing that Mother Teresa had doubts puts her on a much higher plain than those that “think” they know for sure, the mind of God.
    Mother Teresa earned the right to have doubts. When a child dies it is very hard to believe that there is a God that is truly concerned with us. When millions and millions and millions of children die, it is only rational to look to heaven and see nothing but sky. Hear nothing but the wind.
    “But,” if, we are only in a “part” of eternity “right now,” then, by our death we have escaped “time.”
    When we have died and we look around us, we’ll see that every single person that has ever lived, has died at the very same moment, for time will no longer be of any value, nor hold any power.
    Mother Teresa will see that she had (and has) the right perspective.
    Just wait and see.

  • Sandra

    To know that even Mother Teresa had doubts, gives me hope. I have been feeling hopeless in many areas of my life, frozen if you will, trapped. I believe that God has a plan, but I am floundering. All I can do is ask God for the strength that I don’t have myself. I have seen miracles in my life many times. My brother is one of them as am I. So when doubt and fear invade my soul, I know that I am not alone. Even when I don’t feel God’s presence, God is Love and there is Love all around me. Wishing you Peace & Love, S

  • Wonderment

    Atheism is not inconsistent with a life of contemplation, interiority and prayer as lived by Eckhart and other Christian mystics. For a view of this seeming paradox see D. Midbar’s essay at

  • Pattie Churchfield

    I smile when I know that Mother Theresa is with God now … and forever. She lived a true life of sacrifice and compassion, a near-perfect mirror image of our Lord Jesus Christ’s life. I say that because Jesus knew God loved him and us and tried to put that idea forth into our world. A fact that mahy people try to hide or run away from because of the imperfect people in this world and the horrors they impart to the world, and the ramifications thereof.
    But I do wish that Mother Theresa had reached out more to God. I know she would have been comforted by him if she had taken the time for herself. My guess is she spent so much time taking care of other people that she left herself unattended and therefore hurting to the point of mental instability (which was evidenced by her letters to other clergy) and an inability to reach out to our God, who would have comforted her the second after she asked for help. I have had this experience in my own life. I have to cry out to God continually on a daily basis, and he is perfectly patient with me every time.
    God is a depression healer, the best one!

  • Larry Parker

    But to play the devil’s advocate … (literally and figuratively)
    If G-d is a depression healer, why doesn’t he heal it on earth — especially when some people end up taking their own lives?
    Is it a gift (?!?!) or a curse?
    Is it a lesson or a punishment?
    And most importantly, was G-d there all along as we believe (hope) with Mother Teresa — or was G-d intentionally stepping back to let us suffer, as with Job?

  • Marian

    Larry, to (partially) answer your questions: All of the above.
    The Bible says ‘whom G-d loves, He chastens.’ Chastening may not seem like a gift when it happens, but The Lord measures the person and sends a problem just the right size. He never sends more than the person can handle. ‘To whom much is given, much will be required.’
    G-d is the Great Physician, of course; He is quite capable of healing depression, or any other physical or mental malady, with a word. I do not claim to know the mind of Almighty G-d – none of us can. ‘As the stars are high above the earth, so are Your thoughts above the thoughts of man’. He Who spoke the universe into existence can heal depression, just as He said ‘I will; be thou clean’.
    I don’t think G-d “stepped back to let us suffer” – He was, and is, there all the time.

  • cinsu

    I haven’t read Mother Teresa’s book yet, but I have preordered it. Simply reading the advance comments about the book has given me hope. When one goes through some measure of the kind of darkness Mother Teresa went through, there are no platitudes that can possibly be of help. “God is always there” sounds mocking rather than comforting, as does “God loves you.” Advice to search out sin in your life or to “wait on the Lord” only increases the pain.
    There’s are vast differences between true spiritual darkness and depression. Depression drives a person inward, toward self-absorption, while a spiritual “dark night” propells a person toward God, even when he or she seems utterly abandoned by God. Depression is an ailment, something to be healed. A “dark night” is an act of God, intended create the character of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit in the soul. Mother Teresa could never have carried out the vigorous ministry she had or live the kind of life she lived if she were depressed. She never could have exhibited the selfless love or endured the hardships of her minsitry with such grace. If she had been depressed, people would have felt drained being around her rather than uplifted.
    I just wonder if a lot of people of faith who accept a diagnosis of depression may in reality be going through a “dark night” — especially those for whom the usual treatment seems to only deepen their despair. Maybe that one of the greatest and lasting legacies Mother Teresa has left for us is not her work among the poor, but the legacy of hope she has given to people who experience spiritual darkness.

  • Linda M Bemis

    Moods can turn a feeling into an extreme episode. Bipolar is one ailment that effects millions of people of all ages. Let the feeling go through like the sand of the hour glass. It will end.
    Thoughts can be changed with focus on water or toning a tune. You can change the focus and push the unwanted thoughts away or imagine that the problem is solved your way. Bag it and throw it away. But you can’t stuff it in the closet if you don’t have one.
    As a shaman, I know about this. Your thought has some power when you believe it does. Have faith in your self and god above.
    Use the white light of Jesus for protection and the pink blanket of love for pain and healing. The most beautiful pink rose.
    Let your inner light shine and follow a path of light. The dark tunnel has light at the end.

  • Laurielee

    As I’ve read the topic and answering posts displayed, I can feel so much pain and desperate searches for answers. I, myself, was diagnosed with major depression and PTSD. Yes, life has been a struggle. (understatement of the year!)I grew up in a family in which the word disfunctional doesn’t even begin to cover it. I had tried to end my own life repeatedly. I knew the way I was being raised was not quite right, even at a young age. That’s when I found Mother Teresa. I was looking for a good role model. I’d always had a spirituality, but don’t really know where it came from…my family does not believe. Where it came from doesn’t really matter to me, as long as I DO believe. I came to realize that God gives life. It is not up to me to take one…even my own! I’ve recently gone through a total remaking of myself. I have hope and joy where there was none. I want to tell you to hang on! Who was it that said ‘Never, ever, ever give up’? Even though I believed, it didn’t spare me from the ‘dark night of the soul’. I taught myself that no matter how much I wanted to leave this life, I promised myself that I would never attempt anything without waiting at least 48 hours. It worked for ME. I no longer have the desire to end my life. Life is a journey…while I’m on this journey, I help others when I can, (without hurting my own life, as I used to), and I’ve learned to look more closely at those the world easily dismisses. I’ve met so many wonderful people, AND I’ve learned that each and every one of us have some sort of disability…some hide it better than others. We are ALL in this together. We ALL have worth, no matter how broken, poor, mentally or physically ill, or lost. From the oldest to the youngest, poorest to the richest…we ALL count!!! Love one another was not just a suggestion. God bless you ALL…believer or not!

  • ef

    Mother Theresa’s personal thoughts bring hope to those of us who suffer. What it tells me is that this world can never offer me what I long for. God through Jesus offers the hope, consolation and healing that I seek.
    In God’s presence I am fullfilled and lonely no longer. Only in God’s presence can I be filled with the promise of peace forever, love unending. St Francis of Assisi had it right. The dark night of the soul is the place we find poverity, abandonment from self. It leads us to accepting what we say we believe. In the sense of nothingness we are offered the promise of Jesus, life everlasting with God the father. Where else will we go and who else can we follow but Chist alone. In those moments of darkness, we can become stonger in our faithfullness, fidelity to God our father who created us for his purpose not ours and for life everlasting in heaven. We are weaken in the dark night but it is our chance to become stonger in belief which draws us closer to naked truth. That truth is this life is not all there is, but it is all we have for now. So the dark night does draw us to community and reaching out to find out what God wants form us and to whom he calls us.

  • Anonymous

    Each person is a G-d & G-dest that hold attributes of the Almighty. He said, “He lives Within Us….no matter who we are & what we do” This means that our mind, body, & soul has the capability to handle & solve all things & problems “IF” you/we let/allow it. The first key element is “Happy” which we all can’t be because of the positve or negative things/energy we do or release that causes doubt. You see your “Thoughts” (positive or negative) triggers your “Heart” of feelings of emotions that triggers what comes out of your “Mouth” which is the mind, body, and soul. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know these things – Just Do What’s Right! By doing right, if you get hurt in the process Romans 2:29 the last statement reads…..Such a person receives praise from G-d, not from human beings….Good ha because humans will hurt you over & over again! And for the righteous whose heart is circumsized from the inside, we should be glad G-d has chosen to chasten us because otherwise if you’re negative & mischievious in the things you do in this world Romans 1:24 states And so G-d has given those people over to do the filthy things their hearts desire, and they do shameful things with each other. He also states in Proverbs 14:10 that your joy is your own; your bitterness is your own – no one can share them w/you. The second element is “Others” that we put others before us but be not a fool w/what you do. Joy means putting our Father’s son first, helping others, and then yourself. We must care for others like Mother Theresa which is where she got her strength from. This lady was better than Blessed, okay! On that note, just humble yourselves & pray to our heavenly Father first w/o pondering the way you should go & all things become Possible. Any negative ways including depression in action is “ONLY” an evil spirit you/me letting live within us that has broken our heavenly Spirit. We are Capable….Administrator

  • David Raymond

    Perhaps Mother Teresa simply wanted God or needed God for a sense of meaning and that drove her efforts and her despair. Perhaps God had nothing to do with any of it. The apologists for this story are spinning the story to God, but it is a story that can be spun in a variety of non-God ways as convincingly (or as unconvincingly). Why must her charitable life be attached to God?

  • Dorian

    I was fascinated when I read the article, I’m very sure that depression is an illness that can only really be understood by those who have been unfortunate enough to suffer it.
    When I was in school I remember reading an article and asked my teaher in Religious studies what the bible had to say on the subject of depression. He refered to the book of Samuel and described it as a ‘spirit’ which god placed on a person at will. I have to say now that if that was the case I’m sure that God would have his reasons which He, and He alone would know,certainly no human being.
    I do feel that perhaps Mother Teresa may have been approaching this from a spiritual angle, she was certainly from God and did his work with astonishing zeal and love, He worked through her. She must have felt drained as a person, she may have acheived super human results, but she was only human herself.
    Depression is so bebilitating and draining, I can’t see that she could possibly have acheived all she did whilst suffering from the condition.I don’t comprehend it if she did.If it is so, then that is truley proof of the glory of God.
    With regard to myself, I have suffered the condition since childhood. I became a cronic alcoholic and neared death.Depression to me seems as the darkest place that is where God doesn’t seem to be, there is no hope. Emotions are dead, and I think that the word depression is widely mistaken for the word ‘drained’or merely feeling ‘down’.
    I’ve been in recovery for almost a year and have gained 5 stone in weight.I’m in treatment and now for the first time am becoming in tune with my feelings.The depression is leaving me although slowly.It dogged me all my life until I started drinking at the age of 35.
    Someone said God can pull a person out of the condition, yes I agree. In my darkest hour he must have heard me calling him and he responded.I don’t know what God is. That is completely beyond my comprehension, as I’m sure most people would agree with me.Depression is a dark place to be, I do know that while you’re there, you can’t feel your emotions, certainly not the good ones. Mother Teresa was chosen and very special. Whatever she felt God worked through her,I may be ignorant, but I can’t see that a person that selfless would suffer with poor mental health, yet be able to radiate such love.To me it seems to be a contradiction in terms, either that or proof of the power of God.

  • TAA

    This is my first time reading the article about Mother Teresa and with the problems that I face with my family, I thought my problems were major, but Mother Teresa you are the “divine” role model I have ever known. I too have my own dark holes but I would like share them with God first in my own ways.

  • lady of light

    I learned something from reading this = I really didn’t know Mother Teresa at all. You were surely blessed to stand by her side and observe her first hand. I think this all goes back to God’s promise in Romans 8:28: “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” I hope that I can remember this promise even in my darkest moments and you all too.
    Lady of Light

  • Jay

    In Sikh Scriptures I read that Sadness / Depression /Misery is medicine for the soul and Physical enjoyment / Pleasure is a disease for the soul. Just wondering ! Also God or Creater put ego in us when we are created or born . Did he put Depression too? And what purpose? Is it manufacuring defect by the Maker?
    I teach Breath Yoga and Meditation and put a smile on many faces . Many see me as guru with some divine powers. Its their faith. I am mere human and go into depression and need help too. I help my self with the same tools with which I help others but it is not permanent. Did God gave depression for making us humble or one is near the light at the end of the tunnel. Sure so called representatives of God on earth suffer too , some hide to keep the Dignity of the position, some get exposed. How can Pope sleep when he lives like a King when people in Rome are homeless, depressed and without food. I have no answers , I hope we humans find one day, Scriptures offer none for an intelligent and questioning mind.
    Did God write Scriptures? Does he have printing press ? or a language? or favorite people ? Sure I feel he exists but not the way he is represented by humans? We humans created him in our image for our convenience, may be. Sure he do not let us know his secrets , more deeper we go more ignorant we feel. I enjoyed reading this thread.New inputs welcome

  • sandy

    The scriptures are God breathed. They may not have an answer for an “intelligent and questioning mind” but they do for an open heart, even in our weakness and faith, that may be only the weight of a feather, God offers hope to all of us, through His word and through His promises. His word has been around for thousands of years and still outsells every other book out there. We all suffer, have pain but I know where my strength comes from..only in Jesus…only in Jesus. It was His love that started this and it will be His love that saves us. Some may give up on Him, or not even believe but He never gives up on us. Max Lucado wrote “They may be out of God’s will but they will never be out of His reach.” The key is letting go of self and as Mother Teresa wrote “to have a deep longing for God..and to be only His.”

  • Brock

    If depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain only medicine can releave the discomfort. To blame God or life itself is a waste of time and energy. Many people suffer from PMS (poor me syndrom). The Kingdom of God is within you. God is within you. You control your life and you decide what is suffering. There is no good or bad. Life is what you make it. Life is easy. There are only two things you are required to do. Live and die, like in the song “I’m in a hurry and I don’t know why”. Everything else is up to you.

  • Larry Parker

    Since the rest of your post contradicts your first sentence, I have to respond to that:
    If you had bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, I assure you, you would change your tune …

  • Larry Parker

    “He never sends more than the person can handle.”
    Then why do so many people with depression die of suicide?
    “I don’t think G-d ‘stepped back to let us suffer’ – He was, and is, there all the time.”
    Maybe now with the Sacrifice of Christ. Maybe.
    But He wasn’t for Job, that’s for sure.

  • Kathy

    Mother Teresa was suffering form the “dark night of the soul”, which is spiritual darkness– a certain numbness toward God and other matters of faith. Spiritual aridity causes much suffering in that an individual goes form being essentially in love with God, filled with fire in a deep, intimate relationship to no feelings at all–just apathy and emptiness. Not that there isn’t anything in common between the dark night of the soul and depression, but depression is a secular phenomenon, while the dark night of the soul is specifically a spiritual matter.

  • Regina

    I think it’s important to focus our thoughts on positive things, and on being grateful. The more we focus our attention on the negative events around us, the more we will experience negative emotions, and produce more negative things. I used to think it was spiritual to suffer, and would nurse sorrowful thoughts and feelings, even writing poetry to express it. I’ve since understood that we are created in God’s image, and have the power because of that, to create our lives, and influence others with our thoughts and feelings, good or bad. If we believe that suffering draws us closer to God, it will. If we believe that joy, happiness and love does, that will as well. I prefer the latter, and believe now that we can also lift others up toward God, and have a very spiritual life, focusing on the positive. None of us are powerless, or as the above column mentioned, “nothing”. We are all precious, and made in God’s image. We all have his light inside of us, and the power to have complete victory over any situation! God doesn’t want us to be “nothing”, or to disappear, he wants us to shine light in the world, because we are a part of him. We are an expression of him in the flesh. What a miracle we are! Be blessed!

  • Sandy H

    I agree with you about Job. Have you ever read Job’s Answer to God by Carl Jung? I had to put the book down until I felt I was in a stronger place with God. Jung brought up several questions and points of view that I had had through the years. If I ever make it to heaven or whatever the afterlife might hold, that will be my one question for sure (about the suffering of Job).

  • Jen

    If God incarnate died a cruel death out of Love for us, God being all good and loving, must equate suffering as loving. I believe with all my heart and soul it has redemptive qualities. That is why so many saints suffer and are martyred. We have to tell our parents, children, spouses, siblings, coworkers, etc. NO and they feel betrayed and abandoned, but what they may not realize, especially with parents and children, is we say no out of love which they do not understand the motives behind. So it is with our Almighty Father and his children. Suffering and prayers answered in His way on His time, is His way of loving us. Don’t misunderstand, I often ask God not to love me so much!!

  • Jen

    If God incarnate died a cruel death out of Love for us, God being all good and loving, must equate suffering as loving. I believe with all my heart and soul it has redemptive qualities. That is why so many saints suffer and are martyred. We have to tell our parents, children, spouses, siblings, coworkers, etc. NO and they feel betrayed and abandoned, but what they may not realize, especially with parents and children, is we say no out of love which they do not understand the motives behind. So it is with our Almighty Father and his children. Suffering and prayers answered in His way on His time, is His way of loving us. Don’t misunderstand, I often ask God not to love me so much!!

  • Joy

    I truly understand the feelings she must have felt, It is very deep and almost unfulfilling this love for God. I was going to be a nun and never did but have always felt this suffering for God I know it sounds weird but it’s true. and I am a very normal girl just feel like an alien most of the time!? But I do love everyone so much and give love all of the time. and I don’t feel like Im a martyr but just a human.

  • Jerry Holec

    I must admit, after reading the article ,Mother Teresa: My Saint of Darkness & Hope, I was taken back to questions in my own mind about her motivation in doing all the great works of charity, for so many unloved and uncared discarded individualls, as she has so unselfishly demonstrated. I wondered what drove her to physical exhaustion and failing health. I did not fine in her letters about the inner peace that passes all understanding that saint paul writes in his epistles
    about his sufferings he indured for CHRIST’S SEVICE :2 CORINTHIANS 11:16-12:10,And the fact he was able to accomplish as much as he did was not of his own strength, for that ability came from surendering completely to Jesus Christ : Knowning he was a sinner and receiving Gods free gift of eternal life thur the death, burial, and ressurection of Jesus Christ from the dead. John 3:16, Rome 5:8, Eph 2:8-9, Rom 3:23, Rom 6:23, Rom:10-13.Paul has the victory and the purpose and the strenght to go on, thru the darkess and unrewording death defing times. He rested and knew his assurance did not come with in him self, but was from Christ who gave him that inner peace.
    The apostle Paul was able to accomplish and change the world for CHRIST and make a lasting mark in history that many of us enjoy today, almost 2,000 yrs. ago because he knew his Lord and Savior, and he rested in Gods mercys.

  • Kay

    It is encouraging to know that even someone like Mother THeresa had her dark moments. I have many dark moments…..many anxious moments, depressing ones and panicky ones. I feel alone in life. My husband is not with me and everyone around me seems to have their own life to deal with. I miss being hugged. such isolation. At one time i felt a great love and appreciation of life. I am a cancer survivor. I did all I felt it was possible to do and i had a positive outlook on life,,,,and i was immensely lucky to survive that…i still think so. but it is so difficult to live in a world without love, without a partner to say good morning to or good night. Evenings are long and nights are full of fears sometimes.
    Prayers requested.
    Kay x

  • Kay

    Dear Therese…..i am sorry my writing always seems to go off at a tangent from the direct subject. I am struggling to survive and i am making the most of expressing myself here as i dont have other places where to express myself. Its just a reaching out from a place of darkness and your pages have given me this opportunity not to feel alone for the time i am writing here. however if you or the other writers feel that my writing is out of place here i will refrain from doing it as i dont want to spoil your page.
    Kay x

  • cindy

    We are spiritual beings “separated” from the paradise we call home, having a physical experience here on Earth. Oftentimes I feel so very overwhelmed by it all…There is an inner knowing that I am never alone and that I, along with many other souls, have chosen this mission here on Earth. Mainly to experience physicality. Emotion is a hugely powerful one too. I have struggled with depression,unworthiness,self-hate,sadness… for long time. I am only 31 years old and these past few years I have especially been blessed, as I have been guided, guarded, and protected by my non-physical friends. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way, along with LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE!!!!!!! You can never go wrong with love. I wish to stay open and allow the Universal Abundance that is for all of us to enjoy! Intention set forth by thee Visionary, expect your Intentions to Manifest…!!!! Let go of any doubts, fears, or worries out to the omniverse, where they belong. For they are not yours.
    lotsalotsa love,cindy

  • Paul

    “Remember this” she said, “Faith is not a feeling.” This is what a 101 year old nun told me many years ago. What we truly believe in (faith) is shown by what we do and not what we feel.
    Jas 2:18 But someone will say, “One person has faith, another has actions.” My answer is, “Show me how anyone can have faith without actions. I will show you my faith by my actions.”
    Mother Theresa had great faith. So much so that God even removed from her the feelings of His presence so that she was not rewarded in her earthly life but suffered as Jesus suffered for the good.
    1Pe 1:7 Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.
    Jas 2:22 Can’t you see? His faith and his actions worked together; his faith was made perfect through his actions.

  • Jaz

    I have such admiration and am in such awe of Mother Teresa. I never thougt that she had issues with depression – how could she? afterall, she was such a great person! This gives me hope. I am married with 2 adult children & have been living the american dream but feel so alone & unworthy. I am on the surface the woman with everything but inside I feel so unhappy and empty. I don’t know why I feel this way, I should be so gratefull that I have a roof over my head, a husband who provides me with all the material things that we need and good children. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I am so angry with myself.Then to think that Mother Teresa was fighting depression also gives me hope that I can deal with it also. She was such a great role model and if she dealt with it, so can I.

  • Wisdum

    There is a joke about Mother Teresa that goes like this
    Previous to her death, she had died many years before. Upon arriving in Heaven, she was greeted by St. Peter and God… God said to her “Go back, there’s no sick people hewre !”
    LUV 2 ALL

  • Anthony Blackwood

    Thank you so much for sharing Mother Theresa’s struggles. I never would have thought that she those feelings. It helps me to understand as well, if not better, than any message I have ever received. It is also as encouraging, if not more, than any encouragement I have ever received. I consider her as one of the greatest & most selfless saints in history. I have been unhappy for most of my life & suffer from Major Clinical Depression. I have been hospitalized for it a few times, been through several psyche meds, & currently on a few. I also deal with it through every natural means that I am aware of & can use. Over the past few weeks or so, I have dealt with more adversity than I can recall ever having. I have been feeling like I am living in Hell or a nightmare. I have been avoiding my usual time in prayer & bible reading, but I know that god understands & carries me through those difficult times.

  • Wisdum

    I think A. Frenda Mein (who I like to think is the Holy spirit) led me here today. I had been diagnosed as bi-polar, but I had never been depressed in my entire Life , only manic, which turned me into a workaholic. ( bi-polar, does not mean your crazy, it means you drive everybody else crazy, and they want to drug you to keep you quiet !) They prescribed a med for me that put me into deep depression, so bad I couldn’t even write my name, and was embarrassed to accept my pay check , because of my decrease in productivity (hah! I took it anWay, I might be depressed, but not stupid !) AnyWay my point is, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in your system. If they give you drugs to correct it, it may make it worse or cause it. I never understood what women go through every month, and had no compassion for them, until that time. Raging hormones are a major cause of depression. What you need to do is find out what is causing the problem. Unfortunately it is trial and error. Interesting enough, the “laying on of hands” and prayer took it all away from me, like taking a heavy blanket off my brain (this happened in 3 prayer sessions). I no longer take any of those drugs (but I still drive my wife crazy !)
    LUV 2 ALL

  • Miguel de Servet

    In Matthew 25:34-40 we read:

    34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
    37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
    40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

    The righteous are surprised, when Jesus tells them that they have done something for him.
    Mother Theresa, by helping the “poorest of the poor” because, as she claimed, she “saw” Christ in them, might seem more “mystical”, but , in fact she simply turned the Gospel upside down


    i had no idea that she felt the way she did. mother Teresa was full of surprizes in many ways. very complex. im glad i read the passage about her. im going through many sad things to and it helps to read as much as i can about sadness and how to deal with it and why it exist in us. it was a low day for me to day; because i have to sell my home. i cant afford it no longer; sence my husband died in march. sadness has become my new neighbor in life. im sad because its hard to make decision for my life. i feel so alone and the heart break i feel is shocking to me. i feel ashamed for being so angry with god. i too; was ticked off at god and wanted to yell all kinds of things to him. it was ; i think; a first for me. i hope he under stands and forgives me. i can truely relate to all the pain that mother treasa felt in her heart. it,s in mine too.

  • Wisdum

    Re – Miguel de Servet | August 31, 2007 9:37 PM
    “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
    ** It is a bit different in my Bible… it is “Whatever you do to the least of your brethren, you have done unto me” and you can tie that to “Forgive us our trespasses, AS WE FORGIVE, those who trespass against us” And you can include “Whatever you do unto Me, I will repay you a hundred fold” These three things pretty much explains what is going on in the world. Mother Teresa was perceptive enough, to see the Truth, the Light and the Way !
    “… she simply turned the Gospel upside down”
    ** She didn’t turn the Gospel upside down, she saw it rightside up, and lived it !
    LUV 2 ALL

  • Kay

    Thank you therese for your kind words. Thank you for giving me a place i can come to to write my thoughts whatever they might be. most of all thank you for your prayers. I do pray but i am sometimes too upset to do so. and loneliness is a great problem.
    Kay x

  • Doris Pierce

    I always believed Mother Theresa’s dark moments to be proof that her faith was strong. Courage is knowing the danger and persisting in your quest. Reading the comments of others made me weep for their suffering.I am praying for each of them and others who need to be comforted in God’s peace!

  • Lynne

    My turn to say WOW! Sometimes it’s uncanny that someone else has walked almost exactly the same path I have in regards to promising God I would not take my own life! As many times as I felt I could not go another day then things would get a little better. Owen Wilson is NO DIFFERENT from any of us. I think sometimes it’s harder on celebrities. They have apparently everthing going for them in life and yet this creates a chasm between their expectations of happiness and that fact that theres still this void that they can’t fill with success or wealth or popularity. So where does the solution lie?

  • Silvia

    The solution lies in ourself. As long as you give it a chance life can be the light that we all need to get out of our darkness.It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

  • Larry Parker

    “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.”
    While I might disagree with you slightly about the treatment of depression, Silvia, I so appreciate you bringing this up. There is so much truth in the Prayer of St. Francis (St. Francis was my late grandfather’s patron saint).

  • john

    Mother T saw so much suffering during her service to the poorest of the poor, the untouchables if you will, its no wonder she would feel depression. After all she is only human. Jesus Christ himself wept and cried in the garden of Getsemmanie. Jesus also cried out on the Cross ” My God , My God , why have you abandoned me? We know that God never abandons us, its our choice to do God’s will, Love God first and foremost and Love one another ” as I have loved You” quoting Jesus again..Mother T is fine now!! Quite sure she heard the Lord Jesus say ” well done my good and faithful servant”

  • john

    PS Our Choice to do God’s will or not!!! Choose Life!! Be a light for the world to see, shining on through the darkness leading others to Christ and his Father God Almighty..
    Use words only when necessary, Actions, kindness, Love, forgiving others,
    as God forgives us…He sent Jesus

  • Joyce RN

    On Dec 26th 1991,Mother Theresa was brought to a San Diego hospital for evaluation of vomiting and diarrhea.She had been fasting.She was now critcally ill and had fluid in her lungs.For several hours I attended her in her time of need. Even though she had difficulty breathing, she spoke to me about coming to work with her order caring for HIV+ children. I will never forget the loving concern and devotion I felt from this incredibly strong woman, even in her hour dire need. It was an honor to serve her and it has had a huge impact on my life -even years later.We can all learn from her selflessness and strength

  • pauline romero

    thanks for sending this i love to keep in touch with you write some else plases send a piture of you. pauline

  • Daniel G. Palik

    I know these feelings – “the dark holes.” I stumbled upon this article and want to feel it is Mother Teresa guiding me. Even last night I woke and could not sleep so I tried the TV and flicking through the stations, found Mother Teresa giving a talk to a large crowd. But I thought nothing of it. Now I know it was to lead me to read this information. Thank you and thank you Mother Teresa. The darkness is painful. And it does allow the Lord. I feel deeply for others who experience these feelings. Perhaps Teresa’s guiding light will help them as it has helped me to see better although she and I both know the darkness will not go away. It is there for God’s plan. I open my heart and mind. Thank you again for this information.

  • Anita Armstrong

    I am so glad I read this today. I have been going through such a bad time lately with the darkness. I really wanted to have something to read when I noticed this and of course just at the right time I understood that a little sleep lost is not the end of the world. It is just more connection time for prayer and spirtual reading. I appreciate the sharing of this great message and hope to have faith enough to pass it over to our Lord every night from this day forward.
    Thanks again.

  • Lynne

    To live a life without regret is blessed indeed! To dwell upon those past mistakes can serve no need. Each day the sun will rise again, another chance. Who can ask for more than that of life’s brief dance? So LORD please carry me across that bridge. Let me enjoy the promise of your heritage. Live your life like theres no tomorrow. Don’t try to minimize the sorrow. Look beyond yourself, open up your heart. Everyday can bring a brand new start. I know sometimes it’s hard to cope…but as long as you breathe there’s hope!

  • Suzanne Kay

    This revelation of Mother Teresa’s inner struggle simply connects her to many people on a much deeper and more intimate level. When you know of, admire, feel connected to someone, who despite their human frailities is able to do God’s will for their life with total trust and obedience, it gives one hope. Hope, that despite our human limitations, if we turn control over to God, he can take even the deepist anguish and turn it into something beautiful. Mother Teresa spent her daily life surrounded by despair and suffereing. She held dieing children in her arms, she stroked the brow of people whom had been abandoned by those whom they thought loved them. She cleaned wounds that had a foul stench and held buckets for people as they lost the little food that had been offered to nourish their disintegrating bodies. How could she not feel despair? How could she not loose some faith in an omnipotent, benevolent God? How could she not wonder at the mysteries of how the heavens and the earth work together to bring souls to His throne? Yet she continued! Day in and day out she arose at 4AM and bedded at midnight to not only care for, but to LOVE the poorest of the poor. Because despite the torment in her mind, in her logical, intelligent, questioning human mind, the beauty of her soul and the strength of Jesus in her soul won the battle. Although at times she intellectually felt she knew him not, spiritually she connected with Him in a way very few do, in a way only the Saints do.

  • kathy

    thank you for sending this good news …..

  • Ms. V_

    As my journey continues having begun in the christian faith, in a congregation gathered by my maternal grandfather and grandmother I have be on a search for the God of my youth, the God that talks to you and walks with you and never leaves you alone. As I have become more aware of the world that house my small life, my neverending search intensifies.
    I have left the institutional “Church” and it’s slavery, to embark upon my personal search for the God who created the universe. This vast space inwhich our little earth and our insignificant selves and my small life exists. I do believe that God created us all and the earth and the universe(the Heavens)and everything thereof. And have come to Know that, that God lives in me and not somewhere in outerspace. My thoughts and deeds are proof that God lives. My journey in this incredible space in which I occupy is my source. I am comforted throughout this personal journey of my that God is real however not in they way I was introduced, (Through religion).

  • Susan

    Mother Theresa’s words are a comfort to me. I also have a deep longing for God’s presence. Feeling come and go, and are really human emotions. True feeling has nothing to do emotion. I can’t feel the moon but I know its there. I can’t feel the universe but I know its there also. We can not always know God’s presence is with us, but it is. The is faith, not always to feel, but to believe anyway. Mother Theresa has been my spiritial hero for years, she still is.

  • meri namato

    Jesus is the way the truth and the life, no one can come to the father except through him. jesus is the light of the world. let his light shine even in the midst of our darkness..he will indeed shine through us. God bless you

  • Linda

    I have a tumor on my brainstem. Because of it’s specific location, it is inoperable and no biopsy can be taken. To control the pain it causes on my face requires anti-convulsents as well as narcotics.
    Although I still work part-time and still have a great deal of fun with my family and friends (I’m basically a sunny person), I cannot say the words “I have a brain tumor” without dissolving into tears.
    As I heard the words of Mother Teresa’s letters read aloud, I instantly saw a parallel between her sorrow and my own. As she prayed to Jesus that he use her darkness to draw others to him, he answered her prayer. The entire world witnessed it. And many were drawn to him and to his work through her tireless example. Could Jesus not use my own deep suffering for the same purpose?
    I think the Mother has already worked her required miracles for sainthood… all of these through her endless seeking of God and her deep love of Jesus. Had she not suffered and kept on seeking, how many of us would be giving up and giving way to darkenss? Although she is gone, her letters… and the heart they reveal… continue to minister to us, drawing Christ ever nearer.

  • Rebecca McVay

    Thank you for sharing such a personal and beautiful interpretation of the writings of Mother Theresa. She is indeed my saint too when it comes to the dark night of the soul. I know she is with both of us now.
    Much love and prayers,

  • Betty Marshall

    I need to read “Come Be My Light” and other writings of Mother Theresa…to truely try to understand her doubts…But such anquish led her to be of service…to devote herself to the poor, sick and dying…Christian behavior, not merely doctrine. That she felt far from God was perhaps her own deep humility gone to the farthest intensity. How better to shine…while surrounded by an inner darkness…She expected to “feel” illuninated…and could not…she never felt she had done “enough” for Jesus… She was too humble to admit that in her behavior, in her faithful actions…she was Jesus.

  • Veronica Ible

    I believe that true christianity is dying of self for the well being of others. After reading about Mother Teresa’s Crisis of Faith I can truly understand why she was the way she was… caring, giving, loving and kind. She truly exemplified Jesus’ way as a human being. I honestly believe that Jesus was proud of her and He would probably say…”Well done good and faithful servant.”
    Thanks for the hope you have given me. I too seek God’s presence in my life and with Mother Teresa’s testimony of being in darkness, I can move forward and truly believe that “God Still Heals, He makes a way where there seems to be no way and With Him All things are possible.

  • Jennifer Lovins

    Mother Theresa was a wonderful person and is a great saint! I have a disability it is not as severe as some. I was not always disabled but I do believe good things happen from bad. Go bless all and there is always hope in darkness! Mother Theresa is a wonderful example of someone who lived for Christ!

  • snooky325

    Jesus warns us about the leaven of the pharisees, which in classical terms the pollution of Law of God with the applications which serve mens appetites, self-pity, self-promotion, self-anything except selflessness. Now for Mother Theresa to reveal that sorrow about her selflessness in terms of emptiness and separation from God is not acording to the promises of Jesus to Never forget nor forsake us in our distress or indignation. Somebody is being decieved, truth here is Jesus’ promises us support and will give it. 1959 is a long time from the day of her assumption, perhaps her turmoil of spirit then was less of what she had resolved to recieve from Jesus at that time and became for her the picture of the constraints she put on Christ as to what SHE decided what SHE suffered and what SHE wanted from HIM on her terms and not what Jesus was prepared to give her to complete her in Him. Remember we are being conformed to HIS image not him to ours, he already dealt with the flesh and we know what happened at that
    There is much despair for people who refuse the honor God sends to encourage and lift them up. If we refuse the honor for our own sake ok, then recieve it for sake of Christ. How can we be encouraged with out recieving it? What you sensed in Saint Theresa was your sadness that still needs resolution hers had been resolved and she could not but reflect back to you what you brought her. We all have a skewed perspective of others in relation to ourselves, thinking they are just like us except different, the only aspect we all hold in common is our sin, and that is what Jesus addressed on the cross. there are no cookie cutter Christians or a cookie cutter Christ he deals with all of us as the custom creation which we are, different from person to person but the same as to our infirmity [sin].

  • Elbe Barker

    Thank you for such inspirational thoughts through the reading of Mother Theresa’s Crisis of Faith.

  • Connie

    Thank you for presenting the story, “Mother Teresa’s Dark Night”. I have admired Mother Teresa for a long time even before her death. She loved so many and gave without taking. The story has opened an avenue of peace for me to seek while I struggle with depression.

  • NicoleLynn

    Reading this I was struck at the root of my heart because I too have struggeled with depression and I have had many dark nights where I felt an eternity away from God. Reading this gives me a new way to view what the Lord was giving me, His way of getting me to depend on Him alone. I am anxious to get Mother Theresa’s book and read more.

  • New perspective

    Thank you for writing about the saintly Mother Teresa.
    I personally think it’s wonderful that you have connected your distress to the mercy of God as an act to bring you closer to Him! In addition to that however, I have a small and humble comment for our own personal understanding of who we are in comparison to persons like Mother Teresa:
    Truly saintly persons’ hearts are not like ours. They aren’t burdened and influenced by the effects of this world on their bodies and minds as ours are. When such persons are happy, sad, remorseful, etc., it is not due to worldly reasons. Nor do they have “crises of faith” like we do. Our crises of faith are due to our lack of desire to be in a relationship with God, because of which we fall prey to some measure of the Godless illusion, or “Satan.” Their “crises of faith” are due to God’s loving reciprocation with them (as stated by the Archbishop – God withdraws Himself to bring His loving servant even nearer).
    Mother Teresa wrote that she felt “not wanted by God.” This is not our type of low-self-esteem or depression, or lack of faith in God, but rather an overwhelming feeling of humility that only a spiritually advanced person can experience. She appears to feel so humble that even though her every ounce of energy was used for God, still she felt He didn’t want her. According to saintly persons (such as the Archbishop references), this is both her expression of humility as well as the fact of God’s kindness by withdrawing Himself from her to increase her longing for him.
    That said, if we can all take the inspiration from this that whatever happens to us is God’s way of bringing us closer to Him, and we actively endeavor to see His hand behind everything, seeking to be nearer to Him in all such adversities, then the saintly Mother’s “depression” can be spiritually beneficial for us as well as it was for her.
    One last note: Jesus Christ never said that he died to make everyone feel good about themselves. Jesus spent his entire ministry humbling his disciples. It is a disservice that so many years later the prevailing understanding is that Jesus never wanted us to reexamine ourselves in the ligh of God (“Therefore, be ye perfect as your Father in Heave is perfect!”). As a sincere seeker of God, I pray that we don’t feel remorse for our personal shortcomings, for they come with this thing called a body, but that we also don’t fall prey to the self-serving interpretation of Jesus that’s so popular today.
    Hoping you’re well, best wishes always!

  • Ruth

    It is my beleif that those of us who practice turning our will to God,
    are most used by God as he wills. Contradictory, God uses those who are unaware of his will for them, also. Saint Teresa of Calcutta, became a saint because she knew she was nothing, and knew God consumed her whole being. That is why she was so much in darkness throughout her life. The only way for St. Teresa to stop the personal sufferings she felt during her life on earth was to continue to help others who suffered on earth; unjustly. St. Teresa was a “true servant” of God. St. Teresa, I believe, knew she fell short of God’s glory. How could she not? Although she lived her life helping the suffering poor die with God’s grace, we can’t forget that she was human. Wouldn’t Jesus, if on earth today, also help the suffering and those dieing of starvation? I will wait and pray daily that God uses me for his will.

  • Rev. David Williams

    Good thoughts! After reading her book, I’d mused on her darkness a bit myself, and posted my thoughts here:
    If you’ve got a moment or three to take a look at it, I’d certainly appreciate your comments or reflections. Again, thanks so much for your thoughts!

  • Charles Laster

    I find encouragement in her struggle. For any person of faith–if you don’t wake up now and then, and look in the mirror and not know what on earth you’re doing or even if there is anything worth believing in,their faith-life lies on a shallow level. Even Jesus said ‘Abba, father, take this cup from me.’The ‘dark night’ is, as John of the Cross said, a neccessary step in drawing closer to God. You don’t worship God for the pleasant feelings he gives you. You worship God because he is God.

  • Mary Schwartz

    I came onto belief net today to look for some good quotes for my powerpoint for my church on the saints this coming weekend and woundup at your site. I have read your latest blog and watched your self-esteem file video.
    I want to say that I was moved by your openess and willingness to share of your own struggles and where you are in the midst of your work towards non-depressive days. I don’t know if that is a good way to say it but I applaud you for sharing.
    Being from a family where my mom has had depression for over 40 years and finally it is manageable and livable for her and having gone through it myself a number of times in the past, I can more than understand and relate to what you are saying. My fervent prayer is for healing for you and for you to know that joy that you bring to others in your heart.
    I remember once reading in an article that said that people who are depressed have a more realistic picture of the world than those who don’t suffer depression. For some reason, those who don’t suffer from depression have a filter or a system that helps them not take in all of the stuff of the world and themselves and let it get them down. I always remembered that because I believe that is so true and that there is more than enough in the world to be depressed about. I pray that this too shall pass for you and all who suffer from the debilitation of depression.

  • betty

    I see this was posted in 2007 so I hope you’ve left “the dark night of the soul” depression. I’m just coming out of yearlong depression of my own–very similar to what you described in your article–hopeless despair. The new anti-depressant patch, Emsam, seems to be my saving grace and I thank God for it.

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  • Father Bryan Storey

    Many are helped by such open testimony; God is beyond what is in our psyche. We find Him in searching while wanting joy in nothing. What a paradox.

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    It was many years ago we first selected Top Restaurants in the U.S. See it.

  • SAlpFuepe

    Very informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us.

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sami

    My sister, a pastor, who I have been confiding my continuous heart cry (more like pleading) to be home with Father, recently told me she read about Mother Teresa and her depression. My sister is starting to understand. I think my family is worried that I’m going to do something to “rectify” the situation, but that will NEVER happen. I know, without hesitation that God’s will is perfect and I respect that with EVERY fiber He used to make me. I simply want to thank you, Beyond Blue, for your openness and honesty. I do not think I found your story by accident. I am sorry you are suffering, too, but I am so, so grateful to know that I am not in the boat alone. I pray He holds onto us, because we are weak and cannot hold onto him. May His glorious and loving light shine through our darkness. May we embrace where we are today and know that, even in its slightest measure, we bring Him glory and honor by our eyes being focus on Him and His will being done in our lives. I surrender all to Him… even my joy if that is what He is calling for. Amen!

  • Pingback: Mother Teresa, Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the “Saint of Calcutta” by Brian Kolodiejchuk « davesandel

  • Pingback: Mother Teresa, Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the “Saint of Calcutta” by Brian Kolodiejchuk | davesandel

  • Ian Coleman

    Of course I’m just guessing, but I would have been astonished if Mother Theresa had not been depressed. She seemed to have deliberately banished everything from her life that could have brought her pleasure. She didn’t seem even to have any friends. You notice when she died that lost of people said that admired her, but nobody said they liked her personally. She was lonely. Also physically tired most of the time, because she worked too hard. Her faith that she would somehow be filled with joy if she jettisoned all the things that actually cause joy in real human beings was obviously misplaced.

  • Pingback: Mother Teresa Spiritual Darkness | Welcome to Atkhmer

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