Letters reveal Mother Teresa's despair
A book of letters written by Mother Teresa of Calcutta reveals for the first time that she was deeply tormented about her faith and suffered periods of doubt about God.
"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," she wrote to the Reverend Michael van der Peet in September 1979.
The ethnic Albanian Roman Catholic nun, who dedicated her life to poor, sick and dying in India, died in 1997 aged 87.
Mother Teresa had wanted all her letters destroyed, but the Vatican ordered they be preserved as potential relics of a saint, a spokeswoman for the book's publishers Doubleday said.
Mother Teresa has been beatified but not yet canonised.
The first excerpts from the book were published on the website of Time magazine, which has serial rights.
"I spoke as if my very heart was in love with God - tender, personal love," she wrote to one adviser. "If you were (there), you would have said, 'What hypocrisy'."
The letters stand in marked contrast to her public image as a selfless and tireless minister for the poor who was driven by faith.
"I've never read a saint's life where the saint has such an intense spiritual darkness. No one knew she was that tormented," the Reverend James Martin, an editor at Jesuit magazine America and the author of 'My Life with the Saints', told Time.
The writings address numerous topics, but the ones most likely to create a stir are what Doubleday called the "dark letters."
"Please pray specially for me that I may not spoil His work and that Our Lord may show Himself -- for there is such terrible darkness within me, as if everything was dead," she wrote in 1953. "It has been like this more or less from the time I started 'the work'."
Then in 1956: "Such deep longing for God - and ... repulsed - empty - no faith - no love - no zeal. (Saving) souls holds no attraction - Heaven means nothing - pray for me please that I keep smiling at Him in spite of everything."
And then in 1959: "If there be no God - there can be no soul - if there is no Soul then Jesus - You also are not true."
At times she also found it hard to pray.
"I utter words of community prayers - and try my utmost to get out of every word the sweetness it has to give - but my prayer of union is not there any longer - I no longer pray."
As someone said " nothing to be surprised about since the heart and mind can never fully embrace falsehood".
Very sad that the Vatican went against her wishes maybe they had monetary motives , but look how the truth has surfaced about the views of this kind woman, indeed Allah swt is the best planner.
I can understand why doubts crept in regarding her work since instead of reducing poverty and suffering she witnessed increases every year, this is due to the fact that individuals can only alleviate poverty and suffering to a small extent, but states can solve problems comprehensively only a wider scale since they have the resources at their disposal.
I hope Allah swt forgives her sins because I believe she sincerely worked to make the world a better place, but Islam teaches us that deeds based on other than Islam are worthless and anyone who dies after hearing about Islam and the prophethood of Muhammed saw dies sinful.