Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Mother Teresa’s Crisis of Faith

posted by Beyond Blue

Time Magazine recently featured Mother Teresa’s crisis of faith as its cover story. Click here to read the full article by David Van Biema. It begins . . .

On Dec. 11, 1979, Mother Teresa, the “Saint of the Gutters,” went to Oslo. Dressed in her signature blue-bordered sari and shod in sandals despite below-zero temperatures, the former Agnes Bojaxhiu received that ultimate worldly accolade, the Nobel Peace Prize. In her acceptance lecture, Teresa, whose Missionaries of Charity had grown from a one-woman folly in Calcutta in 1948 into a global beacon of self-abnegating care, delivered the kind of message the world had come to expect from her. “It is not enough for us to say, ‘I love God, but I do not love my neighbor,'” she said, since in dying on the Cross, God had “[made] himself the hungry one — the naked one — the homeless one.” Jesus’ hunger, she said, is what “you and I must find” and alleviate. She condemned abortion and bemoaned youthful drug addiction in the West. Finally, she suggested that the upcoming Christmas holiday should remind the world “that radiating joy is real” because Christ is everywhere — “Christ in our hearts, Christ in the poor we meet, Christ in the smile we give and in the smile that we receive.”


Yet less than three months earlier, in a letter to a spiritual confidant, the Rev. Michael van der Peet, that is only now being made public, she wrote with weary familiarity of a different Christ, an absent one. “Jesus has a very special love for you,” she assured Van der Peet. “[But] as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great, that I look and do not see, — Listen and do not hear — the tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak … I want you to pray for me — that I let Him have [a] free hand.”
The two statements, 11 weeks apart, are extravagantly dissonant. The first is typical of the woman the world thought it knew. The second sounds as though it had wandered in from some 1950s existentialist drama. Together they suggest a startling portrait in self-contradiction — that one of the great human icons of the past 100 years, whose remarkable deeds seemed inextricably connected to her closeness to God and who was routinely observed in silent and seemingly peaceful prayer by her associates as well as the television camera, was living out a very different spiritual reality privately, an arid landscape from which the deity had disappeared.
And in fact, that appears to be the case. A new, innocuously titled book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday), 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 — or, as the book’s compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, “neither in her heart or in the eucharist.”
That absence seems to have started at almost precisely the time she began tending the poor and dying in Calcutta, and — except for a five-week break in 1959 — never abated. Although perpetually cheery in public, the Teresa of the letters lived in a state of deep and abiding spiritual pain. In more than 40 communications, many of which have never before been published, she bemoans the “dryness,” “darkness,” “loneliness” and “torture” she is undergoing. She compares the experience to hell and at one point says it has driven her to doubt the existence of heaven and even of God. She is acutely aware of the discrepancy between her inner state and her public demeanor. “The smile,” she writes, is “a mask” or “a cloak that covers everything.” Similarly, she wonders whether she is engaged in verbal deception. “I spoke as if my very heart was in love with God — tender, personal love,” she remarks to an adviser. “If you were [there], you would have said, ‘What hypocrisy.'” Says the Rev. James Martin, an editor at the Jesuit magazine America and the author of My Life with the Saints, a book that dealt with far briefer reports in 2003 of Teresa’s doubts: “I’ve never read a saint’s life where the saint has such an intense spiritual darkness. No one knew she was that tormented.” Recalls Kolodiejchuk, Come Be My Light’s editor: “I read one letter to the Sisters [of Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity], and their mouths just dropped open. It will give a whole new dimension to the way people understand her.”



  • Larry Parker

    I was waiting for this!
    The idea that someone with severe depression (if you think that sounds too reductionist, call it Mother Teresa’s extended “dark night of the soul”) should not or even cannot be religious is ludicrous. And I say that as someone with depression who it not particularly religious!
    As we’ve chatted about earlier today, for years and even decades when Teresa (due to the demands of her work in Calcutta? a crisis in actual faith?) lacked all earthly optimism, she still maintained a modicum of hope in the promise of a new life beyond. (And when she thought she couldn’t even do that, she — in the 12-step term — “faked it until she could make it.”)
    I think that’s admirable, not evidence she was a secret agnostic (!!!!).
    Yet and still …
    There are also references in the various articles hyperlinked to Mother Teresa having a “blind faith,” to her believing that there must be some secret divine purpose to her life that G-d wasn’t telling her, so she would just have to suffer through. “Give G-d permission to use you without consulting you,” I guess was the phrase she used.
    OK, as far as it goes — if there is a benevolent G-d.
    But then I keep thinking of Job. And while Job is an inspiring figure for those of us with depression for his patience and endurance (while still being recognizably human in his suffering), G-d in the Book of Job, frankly, is a monster. I keep imagining G-d and the devil casting poor Job’s fate into a roulette wheel or a craps table in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.
    Is that what G-d did to Mother Teresa? If so, isn’t our lowly fate hope-LESS?
    And I also think of Jorge Luis Borges, my favorite writer. In his story “Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” he spoke in just a few sentences of why it is human nature to resist G-d in a world whose pain seems to lack purpose:
    “It would be futile to reply that reality is also orderly. Perhaps it is, but orderly in accordance with divine laws — read, ‘inhuman laws’ — that we can never quite manage to penetrate.”
    Yet Borges, too, concludes that to go too far along that path is to have a world without “angels” — a fate he refuses to accept.
    And even in my spiritual confusion, I feel sure that Mother Teresa is looking down on us (whether or not we have depression) trying to tell us not to accept that fate, either.

  • Dolores

    People seem to overlook that, although she suffered the “Dark Night of th Soul,” she continued to do God’s will; she did not stop! Every one suffers from some sort of depression during a lifetime. BUT we keep going! That’s faith! We have a Benevolent God, but we need to follow the rules. Remember the Ten Commandments? They were not the Ten Suggestions! The atheists are having a field day, putting their own spin on it. It only shows their ignorance. Kudos to the people who go on, in spite of their depression, confusion. There is a divine purpose to every life. Listen to your inner voice. That’s God talking to you! Have faith!

  • pawpaw7

    Saintly expressions which are interpreted by today’s “Devil’s”
    journalism must be taken by us mortals with “A grain of salt” as it were. I do not trust these interpretations from Journalism grads whose so-called training responds to the the theology of “Get the facts, then “slant” them in any direction which suits your editor’s
    left-wing purpose”. That’s the “Liberalism” we mortals face, so believe very little of that which you read in the Liberal Press.

  • joyce

    mother Teresa has always been a hero to me who lived by faith and did good works. It’s hard to believe in God when we see our world torn apart for money. When we watch politicians say I believe in God so I’m going to kill for money, power, or oil. It’s comforting to know that Jesus was caring for the poor and elderly. Bush isn’t like that or the many corporatios CEO’s. That Mother Teresa was intellegent and had to work with today’s societh with her head doesn’t mean she didn’t feel what was right in her heart and do something to help. She did it by faith and the world is better for it.

  • michael daigle

    very good article god love you

  • Evelyn

    Mother Teresa was a Saint and most of the Saints had very, very difficult lives and some were even killed for their faith. Loving God and being holy is no assurance of an easy life, but we know that this life is temporary and our hope is not in this world but in eternity. I’m always reminded when I go through depression that what else do we have but our faith to keep us going. I’d rather go through life believing there is a wonderful loving God and living for Him, rather then not believe and live like the devil only to die and find out I was wrong.

  • Theresa

    Many of our saints have suffered with this ‘dark night of the soul.’ Mother Teresa probably suffered with this even longer than most. It was a true test of her faith and love of God. Even though she didn’t ‘feel’ it, she still acted upon it. She did what she knew was right even though she was in darkness…the hardest test. Even Christ suffered this as a ‘man’ dying on the cross. “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” Knowing this about Mother Teresa only strengthens my faith in God and helps me to know that she lived her life the way God wanted her to.

  • ROXANNE

    to be amongst such ,poor,dirty,afflicted individuals every day,and clean, love and care for them,,it would take a strong individual,,both in spirit and heart,mother theresa was amongst many who did the same work ,who are still performing greats acts of kindness,,and who are by the way human,,with human emotions,,one could not always be pleased with their work without questioning,why it had to be done in the first place,,why is there suffering and pain,,,but still to trudge on and help those in desperate need,,god bless everyone who helps and not just mother theresa,,,but because of,her undying strength to percevere,,we could all be more like them,,

  • Quantumlibran

    What mother Teresa went through was a suffering like the crisis Christ had, yet she kept on with her life altering work. All of us because we share humanity come up against times in our life , if we are courageous souls, that we must “fake it tll we make it.” This enables us to continue on our choosen path despite our doubts and suffering , to prove what we are made of and to complete our lifes’ task. I dont think it matters that mother Teresa felt like God was abscent, her actions prove he was walking along beside her.God does not abandon anyone, he counts the hairs on the head of us all.By doing Gods work till she died she above all those who are filled with their joy and belief of faith,kept on showing love and compassion under conditions she describes as torture.Some may feel she abandoned God but she faithfully did his work. Who knows what was on the mind of any saint. I am certain being born into humanity they struggled with doubts and depression as we all do at times.

  • smcollier

    At first I was dismayed to read this about Mother Teresa and then I thought: there is no need for faith if there is no struggle. Faith is what you rely on when you have nowhere else to turn. The Lord never promised us life would be easy, but He promised that He would be with us every step of the way. I can think of times in my life when I felt truly alone and none of them can compare to what Mother Teresa dealt with in her missions or what the people she helped with faced as part of their daily lives. And the world continues to be a horrible place that is blessed with people like Mother Teresa who are doing Christ’s work and making his promise true by brining comfort to those whose lives are in turmoil. Knowing she struggled makes my faith stronger, because she continued to act like Christ in the her darkest hours. As someone said even Christ faced the dark but let His faith in His Father be his comfort and guide – for our reward is not here, it is with Him. Let us not forget we are human, we struggle, we fail, but it is our faith that becomes our saving grace and not always in the time or fashion we see fit. “Thy will be done”.

  • Steve Daniels

    It is with great pain that my search for life’s meaning has shown me that everyone misinterprets The Lords true nature and desire of any intellect beings within the universe.
    The TRUTH of TRUTHS for the meaning of life is this:
    The purpose of the universe and intelligent beings born unto the universe is for the sake of the Creator’s experiences and delight.

  • Brenda

    Oh my Beloved and Blessed “Saint” Mother Teresa, I believe she was the most giving and beautiful human being besides JPII, that has ever lived on this earth,(besides Christ Himself). She lived her fears and the darkness of what she chose to do, she did so from her heart, from the depths of her soul, her Faith was shaken due to the horrific state that those lives she touched sustained. My Faith would be shaken as well, had I been chosen to do her work. If only, every one of us would give 1 day for those she loved and cared for, bathe them, feed them love them, what a humbling experience and a much more beautiful world this would be! This would surely bring us all together to respect each other and worship our Lord God without question, without apprehension, without condemnation. May we, the human race be touched, even in the smallest ways, to witness her love for these our brothers and sisters whom she cared for and loved so deeply. I can understand her spiritual crisis because of the intensity and horrific quality of lives lived without any redemption here on earth, however they will be crowned with jewels and live a life in Paradise. That we can be assured.

  • Dr. Joseph Chathaparampil

    I was affirmed by the human reactions of Mother Theresa as I was reading about her doubts and tribulations of faith. This makes her more of a martyr(ed) saint as she was suffering from the crisis of faith. This fact helps us, as mortals, we all have a chance to be saint(?)s, inspite of our human frailties. God accepts us as humans, whom he created with freedom, even to doubt His existance. In spite of all these, just like Mother Theresa, we can continue to be practicing Christians and become saints. This is what I learn from Mother Theresa: we love God above everything and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. She demonstrated it with her (external) life, even though she had her (internal) crisis. We all are entitled to live out our Christian life, even when we have (internal)doubts about the supernatural.

  • LIsa

    Amen, to you all. I couldn’t have expressed my feelings any better than you did. God bless you all, as He does Mother Teresa. May we be prepared when Our Lord returns, ever watchful, ever faithful, ever loving and kind. Let us look up always and be mindful of His Will. Thank You Lord Jesus.

  • SHARON

    WOW! YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, I HAD KNOW IDEA WHAT TORMENT BEFELL HER.
    I TOO, HAVE FELT THAT INSIDE BAD, OUTSIDE GOOD APPEARANCE.
    KIND OF LIKE THAT OF THE MONA LISA; FAR AWAYIT LOOKS GREAT, UP CLOSE; A BIG OLD MESS!
    I HAVE ALWAY KEPT THE QUOTE FROM THE WIZARD OF OZ,”THER’S NOTHING IN THAT BLACK BAG FOR ME”! I KEEP FEELING THAT GOD HEARS EVERYONE, BUT ME. DEPRESSION COME IN MANY LEVELS; I AM BI-POLAR WITH SUICIDAL TENDANCIES. LAST YEAR I FLAT-LINED 3 TIMES; PROMISING OOUR GOD ABOVE THAT I WOULD TRIUMPH IN THIS LIFETIME, ONLY THROUGH HIS GUIDENCE!!!!!!
    I STILL SUFFER WITH DEPRESSION+ FIBROMIALGA, BUT IF JOAB AND MANY OTHERS GOT THROUGH IT; SO CAN I!!!
    LOVE FOREVER AND ONE DAY
    SHARON

  • John Lauria

    I am surprised but not surprised hearing about Mother Teresa’s struggles.I used to thing that I was the only one affected by depression . From reading about Mother Teresa I now understand that we all suffer from depression. Some more than others. I know that the key is to keep the faith and know that we all have a purpose for our lives.
    Some people know what their purpose is, others do not. We need to keep living how Jesus wants us to live and make a positive effect on everyone we meet.Mother Teresa was a wonderful woman and did marvelous things for hurting people. Knowing that she struggled makes me feel better about my struggle and will help me to keep doing what God wants us to do. To love him with all of our heart,and to love our neighbors.If people could do those two things, the world would improve Big Time.
    God Bless

  • pumpkin sparshott

    This story about Mother Theresa really touches me. I am not a Christian, I am Wiccan, and I too feel separated from Deity. And feel guilty about it. Somehow, reading about Mother T. makes me feel less alone. And reminds me I can do useful work with or without faith. Blessed Be.

  • Johnny Blakely

    My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

  • REV FR EDAYIL ITTYCHERIA ABRAHAM

    In the life of every devotee of religious God, crises of faith is a natural cause, that the Mystery of Faith is not in the hands of the devotees, that there is a conflict between the Self and lower knowledge religious God. It is like mother and motherhood in which the Motherhood is the mother. Although angels are agents of God the Mystery is not the angels. Rev Fr Edayil Ittycheria Abraham, Ordained Priest the Roman Catholic Church. http://WWW.GODHEALING.ORG

  • REV FR EDAYIL ITTYCHERIA ABRAHAM

    My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Posted by: Johnny Blakely | August 30, 2007 6:00 PM.
    It was not a crises but was a temptation of natural earthtly position, happened in Jesus too although prayed the Lord’s Prayer.

  • Pam

    This is wonderful insight into the life of a woman who is sometimes deified herself. Jesus promises that He will never leave us or forsake us, but even He, as we’re reminded by Johnny Blakely in an earlier post, had his moment of feeling forsaken by the Father. Having suffered from depression most of my life, and having had some difficult times recently, I’ve wondered why I had to stay on this earth at all. It was made clear to me through a variety of means that I’m still here because I still have a purpose. Mother Theresa spoke of praying that she would let Christ have a “free hand.” That is my prayer for my life, and a realization that makes the pain of depression very bearable. Not my will, but His be done.

  • Tina

    I would have never guessed that Mother Teresa suffered from the same desparate crisis of faith that I have endured often times. Only God seems to appear, disappear, and then reappear in my life. One minute He is with me and listening; and the next I feel the very realness of being alone and unheard; living again in darkness.
    I too pray that I will be used as His instrument and that the real promise is there that having been brought thus far; I will be brought the rest of the way. May God rest her soul.

  • E I Abraham Omalloor

    Was there any great or least person uncrises with religion? Even look at Jesus who said: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?. The holy father pope of Catholic Church is a humanity position. I am telling you the Truth that no one can attain the Salvation unless crossed the religious boundaries. The Self of Mother Theresa too crossed while faithfuly served the humananity. Difference is Jesus said to the Spirit and the other had a religious hierarchy to say.

  • Sharon

    My name is Sharon and I suffered with depression since a small child. What saved me was nature and in nature I always see Spirit, but I don’t always see it inside myself. I move back and forth between feeling betrayed by God but usually it is a betrayal of men and women who hurt me so. Incest kept me from doing the art that I felt was my connection to Great Spirit. I know I walk in the desert this week and I ask for prayers and for God to show me the innocence and strength inside me, thanks Sharon

  • MOTHER NANHI

    In the summer of 1976 in the Civic Center in Philadelphia Mother Teresa washed my feet in a circle of 12 surrounded by 11 other circles in a symbolic footwashing OF 144 Christians. She was quiet. She was very quiet. Deep within her soul she wrestled as King David did in the Psalms and as Christ did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Now I am also doing the same as my husband faces blindness (physical) and loss of vision (spiritual). I ask all of you to pray for me as Mother Teresa would. No one can help you who has not also known doubt and pain. Is that not why Christ came here to suffer as we do so that he could offer us our redemption? No one should advise us on how to walk where we are walking unless they have walked in our shoes, willing to suffer with us. How about you.

  • Bing

    How I wish God will whisper to me and answer every questions that I ask of Him. But because of faith I believe that God answers in so many ways beyond my recognition. In my everyday life that He has given me countless blessings, I believe that my prayers are listened to and may or may not get a response. It is only Him who can question my faith.

  • kay

    Mother Theresa was human, I think somestimes we forget that.
    God Bless her. If we could all do a little of what she did
    everyday, this would be a better world.

  • tin

    What I find most awe-inspiring is that Mother Teresa continued to serve the Lord by tending to the poor and dying despite her doubts, spiritual darkness and torment.

  • Lisa

    Mother Theresa was one of the great people of faith in our lifetime. She was human and humans struggle. Yet, in her humanness she saw what others needed and she was the hands and feet of Jesus to so many. Her faith may have gone through dark nights of the soul, but she never wavered in doing good and doing it in the name of the Lord. None of us are perfect and it is good to see that even she had struggles. I too have held on to my faith through many trials—yet, recently find myself questioning God and his very care for us–yet, I read that even someone who loved so unselfishly faced the same questions that I struggle with right now and you know–suddenly I am not alone. I am glad she was human.

  • Kay

    Ever since learning of Mother Theresa’s doubts, I have prayed that her faith was restored before her death. Because she never stopped doing what she was called to do, in spite of the ‘darkness in her heart’, I feel confident that God lighted the way for her. Maybe it was a test of God or maybe she was testing herself, to see if she could still function as her faith was questioned. If so, she certainly passed the test, as she did most of her greatest work during this time. So that alone assures me that her heart was no longer in darkness at the end.
    I am not Catholic, but I could not admire any other mortal as much as I do Mother Theresa; so I’m praying that her sainthood will soon be announced. God bless and keep her.
    KM

  • Karen

    I feel that if Mother Teresa requested her letters be destroyed, the church certainly did not respect her wishes. It is sad that a woman who lived her life for others does not get the respect she deserved after her death. I know we all think very highly of her, but respect goes beyond thinking highly of someone. It also entails respecting their wishes even after they die. I think the church felt that her letters would be of value to others, but Mother Teresa did not want them read except by her confessor. That is a sacred duty of her confessor to keep her privacy. In this age of tabloid journalism, we seem to think we have a right to the private thoughts of any famous person. We don’t. We need to remember that.

  • sharon

    Mother Theresa is a stunning example that there is an innate good in our hearts if only we allow it to shine through. It is constantly bandied aobut that except a person has some deep spiritual crutch, that person can be no good at all. The phrase “I’m only human” can no longer be used as an excuse for selfishness. ‘Human’ can also mean Selfless. God bless Mother Theresa

  • Skippytreat

    When I really try to feel what it was Mother Teresa must have been experiencing, it feels to me like she must have been overshadowed, or overtaken by the very essence of Jesus. If you look back at his life, he must have felt that way often, too, and I wish I could hold Mother Teresa in my arms and tell her, she only feels what he felt, the oppressive cold darkness of being surrounded by people full of misery and pain, a life of servitude. She was the conduit or passage by which darkness left the earth and light came in, but the conduit itself had no feeling, no reward, no pleasure, only empty, lonely, bitterly backbreaking work. She was a crusader, a soldier in God’s army and a shining example of how people should act and be, even when they don’t feel like it. She was never farther from God or Jesus, she was always closer than she dared to imagine. That darkness is what drove her spirit to try to conquer as much of it as she could, and what compelled her to even aspire to be a saint. Whithout her own person torment, she doubtless wouldn’t have become the Mother Teresa the world remembers. The bibles of the different religions were given to the world in an attempt to change suffering in as many ways as possible, but it will never be completely gone, until we are all once again in the kingdom of heaven.

  • G DEDMON

    BEING A CHILD OF GOD DOES COME WITH A HEAVY PRICE AND IT COULD BE TRUE THAT MOTHER TERESA WAS NOT HEARING FROM GOD. WHY? PERHAPS INWARDLY IN HER “WORK” FOR THE LORD SHE MAY HAVE COMPLAINED BITTERLY IN HER HEART AND NEVER REPENTED FOR HER FEELINGS WHICH IN TERM IS SIN AND SIN SEPERATES US FROM GOD,GOD LOOKS AT THE HEART OF MAN. YET WHILE THE PUBLIC IS ALWAYS SEEKING A SAVIOR(HUMAN FORM)STILL FAILING TO SEEK THE TRUE SAVIOR(CHRIST).MAN IN REALITY MADE HER THIS PHENOMENAL BEING,MAN FELT THAT BECAUSE SHE SHOWED ONLY LOVE FOR MANKIND THAT SHE TRULY ENJOYED HER FATE. WHEN IN REALITY IF THERE HAD BEEN A DOOR FOR HER EXIT I BELIEVE SHE WOULD HAVE TAKEN IT. LET US ALL REMEMBER, TO PUT GOD FIRST, IN EVERYTHING THAT WE DO FOR ONLY WHAT WE DO THAT GOD HAS PURPOSED FOR US ALL WILL LAST.

  • Teresa King

    It is very sad that Mother Teresa felt so far from God. Such dryness and despair. But I know how she felt because I have been stugggling with those same feelings myself. I continually wonder where is God and what is He doing. But the fact that Mother Teresa still kept doing what she did is an encouragement and example to us all. No matter how we feel personally we still must do what is right and care for those around us. If we all followed her example what a difference this world would be.

  • Mary

    I completely agree with Karen (posted 8/30). I cannot image what the confessor was thinking or how he can justify his actions. It is very sad that those people that Mother Teresa trusted betrayed her.

  • Siobhan

    Well Thank God she was human. Mother Teresa started her work because she could not go on teaching God’s love while stepping over the sick and dying in the streets of Calcutta. Look at all the wonderful leaders in our lifetime and you will see people who had great doubts or turmoil. Through their work and conquering their fears came leaders and people we look up to. Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, etc. The list can go on forever. Yet these people can do great work and still have doubts and fears. IT’s wonderful to be HUMAN!

  • Wisdum

    Mother Teresa never lost her faith, what she questioned was the perception of God as the religious professed it (and perception is everything !) She followed the dictates of her heart and not the dictates of her order or her earthly boss, the Pope. The Pope himself warned everybody not to mess with her, and stay out of her Way, or she would tell them all where to get off !
    Luv 2 ALL
    Wisdum

  • Diana

    My view on this is that although Mother Teresa was not feeling on top of the mountain close to God she was entwined with God. Her being selfless and loving God so much only showed how pleasing she was in his eyes because she reflected Jesus his son. She abided in the word as we are told to do. How many of us will ever be as obidient as she was?

  • Betsy

    She tried to envision God as The Church portrays “Him”. But, I think Mother Tereasa was such a “deep” person spiritually that her concept of God went beyond and above the general concept of God. Perhaps she never realized this. If she had allowed herself to think of God maybe as a “force”, or a “presense, or in some other way, she may have found her “peace”. The saying goes, “If you search for happiness you will never find it. But, if you stop searching, it will alight upon you like a butterfly”. I think God is a lot like that!

  • Veronika

    Any saint worth her salt will do some time in dark night of the soul. Even Jesus asked to “let this cup pass from me” knowing well what his fate would be the following day.
    If you study spiritual masters (like the Buddha) you will find that a crisis in faith is a natural part of an authentic spiritual path. An inauthentic path will be contrived to appear something it isn’t. We see plenty of those examples today.
    It is sad that Mother Teresa was judged for feeling this way. This is a major difference between religions of the east and west. The west is a bit too “goal oriented” for me personally.
    We also find that people can seldom hold to ridiculous religious standards that insist that we deny our dark side(s) and pretend that we’re unattainably pure (I think I hear an evangelist falling right now…). None of these ways are working.
    So, can we find a human (flawed) face in the divine? I think so. Because we can see ourselves there struggling with our own faith.
    I’ve been there many times myself.

  • Larry Parker

    pawpaw:
    Be careful who you blithely insult.
    I’m a J-school grad …

  • Jack Bray

    I do not think personally that mother Teresa had any doubt in her belief, her letters are not open to any interpretations like the writings in the bible are not open to any interpretations… so one cannot really tell what she felt or was going through at the times of her correspondences.
    Here is a woman who may have had troubles trying to put into writing what her feeling and torments were at the time, she was not a trained writer who could put his / her words to entertain an audience / the reader… Mother Teresa in her own rights envisioned God in her own ways and in so doing brushed with the same evil one who tempted our lord Jesus Christ the savior.
    I have not seen any saint or writer worthy to cut her down… As catholics / christains we serve our Lord and God by deeds (charity and faith) and she was every inch it without letting religious politics take over.
    She opened our eyes to a new begining by deeds, could we follow in her footsteps please, so we can bring the lord’s kingdom on earth to one another…

  • Geoffrey A Clontz

    Having personally suffered from major clinical depression I can easily relate to Mother Teresa’s suffering for I too have stood on the edge of darkness,the abyss,the depths of HELL! What I discovered was that God was always there to cradle me in his loving arms.To quote C.S.Lewis ” pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf ear”. May God bless you all.

  • Betty

    Shame on the compassionless people who expect others to never experience a crisis of faith. I am sure there are some who would say they have never had a time of darkness or despair but I would suspect that those people are lying.

  • Sauveur Joseph

    There is nothing on this earth that can break the Love of God for the Humanity. When we see the Cross sacrifice by sending Jesus Christ in our place.There nothing in the World that can be equal with the soul of a man (see Marc 8 verse 38) .There is no more condamnation for The man Of God through Jesus Christ.We finish by determine that We are more Expensive more precious and more valueable than whatever the cost thing toward the creation.I God has not been regret to give at our place JESUS, what greatest thing he’ll not refuse us? (see philippians 4 v13).
    Pastor Sauveur Joseph
    Founder of Shalom ministries.

  • Sauveur Joseph

    Jesus is the unique Bigest Boss.
    Endosed for me the Cross.
    Saved me by his Blood.
    Unfinishedly he Securizes unceasedly Oh he is good.
    Salvation he gives me access to preach as freedom food.
    Sauveur joseph the man Of God.

  • Daniel G. Palik

    I have read this story after reading another one by this very site just a few moments ago and I have to say, “I believe I know what Mother Teresa felt.” There is so much darkness in this world and makes a path to our hearts and minds. We feel it and it seems so real, but at the same time our souls know God. Therefore we can say one thing and think it and know it and at the same time turn around and say and feel quite another – happiness, love, light, hope. I want to buy her book very badly to read more of what she experienced here on earth and within her. But I believe I already know. Thank you for this information and I thank you Mother Teresa. In my mind’s eye, I see clearly the darkness that is so vast and great, but there within the void is a beautiful light calling us. And whom do you think has been given the wonderful gift to hold that loving flame and to call us to strength and will? I believe is was given to Mother Teresa. She has helped me today. Thank you again for your story.

  • Millie Sigman

    I think to be human one sees the light and the dark side. Such is life…the peaks and the valleys continue as long as we live. The beauty is that the wrinkles on her face were those of caring and the struggles against the darkness of poverty and man’s inhumanity to man did not stop Mother Teresa. She was human, she doubted, she struggled, she was aware of the depth of man’s inhumanity and the unfairness of life but for those 40 years she showed up and did not quit going to the ghettos to help the downtrodded and the misfortune. We are not supposed to judge another…but for the grace of God there goes I. Even in her human weakness she still tried to help and work to help those who do not make it to the top, those who are marginalized and live on the fringe….the never-ending tide of humanity who are less than perfect and exist now and forever in the ghetto around the globe…there are so few who would have had the stamina of Mother Teresa to last so many years…she was not a fool and realized the futility in the battle against poverty and ignorance…but she never stopped going back, again and again. Millie Co-wee-sta Sigman, Polvadera, NM

  • Anonymous

    One touches the dark side often enough and may not wish to live in such a state and decides there must be a better way. He says I’m now an agnostic and is looked upon as a heretic or worse. he new to keep his month suit. But Mother Teresa says the same thing and her sainthood sky rockets. Go Figure!

  • stacy

    I believe that Mother Teresa is still a Saint. All the good she has done in the world with all the suffering she felt in her own heart just to bring smiles to others hearts. She was a good woman. So she suffered with her faith, who hasn’t I found myself suffering with the struggle everyday with all the world is now. There is soo much darkness and more to come. I feel like her deep thoughts shouldn’t have been made public by no means. I applaud her. May she rest in peace.

  • Mary Williams

    I still have great reguards for her. The work she has already done speaks loud and clear. Anyone with an understanding of what the Christian race truly is , know that there will be struggles along the way. Anyone who says it’s a breeze is a liar, or the devil has them fooled, The greater works you can do for the Lord the more satan will come against you. Remember she was in the flesh the same as you and I.
    Don’t let this contraversy be used to steal the joy that the Lord brought to others through her.
    For everyone who wants to veiw these trying times of hers in a negative way, ask youself how much have you done to show the love of Christ. This may be a test, Will you pass it?

  • kp

    I worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta 1995 in the Home of the Dying. The missionary work and life in India creates a emotional roller coaster of life and death, love and hate, lightness and darkness, greed and helpfulness, trust and lies. This is normal life but at its extreme. If you have even been there, you know…you hate it or love it. I’m sure she felt this array of feeling every day in her work and personal life. Why people have to focus on the darkness of it, is beyond me. She was extrordinary and truly an inspiration and mentor to me and my life.

  • Julie

    It is disappointing to me that mother Theresa’s personal thoughts and struggles with her faith are now going to be making someone a profit. She trusted her superiors to assist her in prayer so as to alleviate doubts and fears she may have had. Instead they have betrayed her by exploiting her letters that are from a place and time few of us can even imagine. I know I struggle with my faith each and every day though still remain devoted to Jesus. I falter, I get back up. She barely faltered in her mission to help the hungry and deprived. Her sacrifice was great and I honor her as our greatest present day saint along with Princess Di. May they both rest in peace, we miss you both and know you were heaven sent

  • christina bonatti

    what a shame…mother teresa was a true example of what christ calls for on earth giving of herself and healing the world…i know of no one who has not at one time or antoher in their life, especially if a prophet of any kind NOT had a crisis of faith

  • Nora

    To believe that her faith was impacted by her own humaness is normal. Yes she was a saint but she like we all have times when we feel lost and disconnected. That doesnt mean we believe less or are faithless but indeed demonstrates greater faith because in spite of it all we continue on.Sometimes I feel like I am lost. I pray all the time for others and this world but it seems like it doesnt matter. Things dont get any better. And yes I feel frustrated like mother teresa but like her I continue to plod on doing what I believe God wants me to do.

  • Tembo

    What a nother beautiful an inspiring story of pilgrimage.
    Why would Jesus have come if such challenges were not to be.
    Would it compare to the Damascus Journey that ends in matrydom? Would it compare to the sorrows of Monica the transformed Agustine. Just keeps me glued on to the spiritual journey.
    Amen Praise The Lord
    Tembo

  • S.Quinn

    I have read the other comments, and I feel exactly the same way. Mother Theresa is an inspiration. I can relate to the how dark life can feel sometimes. Even the most religious can have these moments.
    I hope she is in Heaven.

  • snooky325

    We are all in line for this crisis of faith, Paul: that which I would do, that I do not do, that which I would not do that I do? Who shall save me from this ? She [St. Theresa of Calcutta] is in well company, remember the Baptist question: are you the Christ or do we Look for another? If your passion to experience Jesus Christ stops then your understanding of Him will delay and ‘back up the drains’ of blessings meant to flow thru you by expressing Him. His hunger is for us to explore all there is to know and experience of Him and since he is eternal beyond our discription of such things we will NEVER lack in ways to experience Who he is! I experienced a period of discouragement 14 years long, but hope never died in me, neither in Paul or the Baptist the brightest light of men born of woman, nor St. Theresa. Exercise your faith with prayers of pain and discouragement in your distress, do not let go of the truth, it is in you by the presence of the Spirit of God.

  • dwb

    I met Mother Teresa in Calcutta many years ago. The encounter became one of those impactful and unforgettable moments in my life. I distinctly remember several things about our meeting: her quiet unpretensious dignity, her focused attention and interest, her melancholy words that there was no need to visit Calcutta, or her, but that one could do good wherever they were, anywhere in the world, just by reaching out to the poorest of the poor. Then there was that nagging mixture of love and sadness about her that left me pondering her ethos, her powerful simple presence long after our meeting. I will never forgot this saint of the unfortunate. But the recent article of her private struggles has added a new dimension to her persona for me. Now she is more. She is the encouragement to the strugglers, light to those in darkness, hope for the emotionally hopeless. This other part of her life, brought to the public, only deepens my belief that you don’t have to feel something warm and fuzzy to serve and love God and others. You don’t have to be a spiritual superperson to do good and be good. You can have battles with darkness and internal tumoil and yet be powerfully used. You can be a strugglers and yet be triumphant. You can be a constant warrior in an emotional wilderness and still be a champion. Again, though the year have passed and Mother Teresa is no longer with us, I am inspired, motivated, encouraged by this saint of the unfortunate, and now, by this saint of the strugglers. DWB

  • Edayil Ittycheria Abraham

    Mother Teresa’s Crisis of Faith is a book by which the Church made good money on sold a million copies. Right or wrong that is religions of these days. She experienced the gap in the church between the teaching, doing, seeing, hearing and God. People are in darkness about what is happening within the church. Every one is a prayer of God beyond religious prayers in the person of the Creation. Jesus knew it and appointed a married man Peter with the Keys.

  • dean

    I’m just tring to find a prayer sight,latly I feel a tugging @ me from both ways I have 7 beautyful kids,Had a decent job.Istarted having panic attacks in 1998 for 6 yrs I’ve use vicodin,morphine.methadone oxycotton&heroin it relieved my anxiety so much ,I’ve been clean over a year,I use to take xanax before i became an addict,I used it as prescribed,I havent been back on it and I feel empty,I talked to a pastor one day in the middle of a panic attack,It took alot for me to come to him I’ve always had this strong personality,but I was weeping & praying after everything I told him he replied(I don’t think your damned)because you accepted christ and you realy many don’t care about eternal salvation,but everyone needs to but when I dont have any meds I feel worthless I dont interact w/ my kids much I’d rather be alone &not let anyone see my mysery,I’ve had 6 friends&a brother who died,people need to understand alot of addicts trusted theyre D.R with pain pills I was on methadone wich months afterwards i was sick,emotionaly,physicaly I loaded my 38 one night to get out of pain&I was not the least bit scared @ that time but as I walked to the shed I started crying asking God to stop me.Thats not what I want my children to endure.if I have my neds im ok like my xanax witch i take 2 a day if i miss2 days my day consist of lieing in bed not wanting to face the world it seemes like the world& even my kids are going farther I had a good job til 3 yrs ago now im on disability.I have made mistakes by having children w more than 1 woman(now I know God knows what he’s talking about alot of it is for our own benefit.I’m so anxious its hard to concintrait on this letter,My family@some of my friends dont relize I can barly make a phone call,I dont want to depend on any drugs to get through a day I also want my anxiety to be GONE!I do believe in prayer,Pray 4 me PLEASE!

  • Daniel Palik

    I have read the book and like it. I come back to it and re-read it. She had a darkness after feeling Jesus so close to her. Talking to her. Calling to her. She gave Him her all and never said no. “You did it to me.” Remember that. Everyday. How the Lord suffered! How happy the lost when they are found! Mother Teresa will spend her eternity in darkness as a guiding light to anyone in need. Showing the way to our Lord. What joy! Dear Mother Teresa thank you for every moment you guide. We are a lost people. Only in God’s loving hands are we no longer lost lambs. “I hear your voice today, Lord. Will I follow? Dear Mother Teresa, show me your guiding light.”

  • http://WWW.GODHEALING.ORG Mor Ittycheria Abraham

    No one can rightfully expect everything to own desires, however may be to an extent. Trust no one and trust no human including the self – because no one think the same always and God do not think the way man thinks.

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.