Mother Teresa's Redemption

Rick Phillips
By now, many will have heard about the recent revelations concerning Mother Teresa of Calcutta's crisis of faith.  The book version is now out, containing her private correspondence with her spiritual mentors, titled Come Be My Light.  The caption quote to the TIME magazine article sums up Mother Teresa's spiritual testimony over the last 66 years of her life: "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."

I will not be surprised if some conservative Protestants respond almost with glee, mocking her spiritual darkness as a classic instance of the futility of salvation by works.  This may be right, though any delight over it is both tasteless and callous; her testimony certainly is disheartening from an evangelical view of the Christian faith.  But this is not what is on my mind concerning Mother Teresa.  What most fascinates me is the eagerness of the Roman Catholic Church to publicize a testimony of spiritual despair and darkness from one of its leading heroines of recent years.  Were Mother Teresa an evangelical missionary leader, such private writings would in all probability be supressed.  But Rome cannot publish them quickly enough.  This reality is very revealing, in my opinion, and worthy of reflection.