The Crisis of Mother Teresa
|by Jason Bruce|
In the current cover story of Time Magazine and a new book that compiles letters of Mother Teresa to her superiors, we learn that in her entire life as a nun, while being celebrated for her work, she experienced "darkness," "dryness," and "loneliness" of spirit. In fact at one point she questioned the existence of God. Mother Teresa believed in and loved God, she just couldn't feel or hear Him. She confessed in 1979 at the time she received the Nobel Prize, “Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.”
Just like her, all of us and all the great saints in the Bible and history experienced some kind of spiritual dryness. It has become part of our journey and finding God the highlight of our testimonies.
A sense of distance from the Lord hurts but it’s a demonstration of God’s love to let us feel broken and move us to daily pursue Him. Dryness is also God’s way of testing and refining our faith. To teach us that faithfulness is not because we “feel” God but because we trust God. Despite Mother Teresa’s inner struggles, she did not depend on her feelings but pressed on to do what she was called to do. She said, “You don’t have to be a saint to do good… you need willing hands not clean ones… If we wait for our souls to be totally clean, our time on earth will be swept away.” And finally she said, “When I finally see Jesus, I will tell Him that I loved Him in the darkness.”
What an excellent example of faith in the trustworthiness of God.