Opinions on faith and life

Twisted Sister

2007-08-24

Well, at least they’re being open and honest now. I refer to the news article below, which I will intersperse with my own comments. But let it be known that some of us always knew what is surely a great shock to many around the world: Mother Teresa didn’t know the Gospel. Let’s take a look.

Mother Teresa Did Not Feel Christ’s Presence for Last Half of Her Life, Letters Reveal Friday, August 24, 2007

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who has been put on the “fast track” to sainthood, was so tormented by doubts about her faith that she felt “a hypocrite,” it has emerged from a book of her letters to friends and confessors.

Shortly after beginning her work in the slums of Calcutta, she wrote: “Where is my faith? Even deep down there is nothing but emptiness and darkness. If there be a God — please forgive me.”

In letters eight years later she was still expressing “such deep longing for God,” adding that she felt “repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal.”

“If there be a God”?? How can any truly saved person say this? She felt the emptiness of a lost soul, the darkness of separation from God, even feeling “repulsed”. These are not the words of a believer, one who has the Holy Spirit within them.
Her smile to the world from her familiar weather-beaten face was a “mask” or a “cloak,” she said. “What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.”

Mother Teresa, who died in 1997 and was beatified in record time only six years later, felt abandoned by God from the very start of the work that made her a global figure, in her sandals and blue and white sari. The doubts persisted until her death.

Putting on a smiley mask for that many years has to be a major red flag, even for lost people. How can a continued life of admitted hypocrisy be considered righteous, even for a humanitarian purpose? It reminds me of Jesus’ warning about those who say “Lord, lord” but he “never knew” them (Mt. 7: 21-23).
The nun’s crisis of faith was revealed four years ago by the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, the postutalor or advocate of her cause for sainthood, at the time of her beatification in October 2003. Now he has compiled a new edition of her letters, entitled, “Mother Teresa: Come be My Light,” which reveals the full extent of her long “dark night of the soul.”

“I am told God lives in me — and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul,” she wrote at one point. “I want God with all the power of my soul — and yet between us there is terrible separation.” On another occasion she wrote: “I feel just that terrible pain of loss, of God not wanting me, of God not being God, of God not really existing.”

This is just sad. She was in “a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Tim. 3:5). She was not the typical false teacher portrayed therein, but it was still an external practice, more of a secular worldview than a spiritual reality. Certainly God was reaching out to her, hence her desire to find Him, but she still persisted in doubting even His existence. But Heb. 11:6 tells us, “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” Belief that God exists is the most basic first step to salvation. How could she not know this?

Now we come to the “twisted” part.

Rev. Kolodiejchuk maintains that Mother Teresa did not suffer “a real doubt of faith,” but that, on the contrary, her agonizing demonstrates her faith in God’s reality.
What?? If the words we’ve been reading are not the most desparate “doubt of faith”, I don’t know what is. “God’s reality” is the very thing she did in fact doubt. I don’t know how anyone can say such obvious nonsense with a straight face. Perhaps the Rev. Kolodiejchuk is having a real doubt of logic and reason.
“We cannot long for something that is not intimately close to us ... Now we have this new understanding, this new window into her interior life, and for me this seems to be the most heroic,” he said.
You have got to be kidding me. We long precisely for that which is “not intimately close to us”: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)
The priest said that church authorities had decided to keep her letters even though one of her dying wishes was that they should be destroyed.
Well, isn’t that reassuring. Your dying wish, no matter how much humanitarian aid you gave in your life, is to be ignored by “church authorities”. I suspect they’ve been ignoring a lot more than that.
In one, written to a spiritual adviser, Michael van der Peet, shortly before she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, she wrote that: “Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear. The tongue moves but does not speak.”
Hello, anyone who is a “spiritual advisor” should have been on the next plane to help the poor woman (who really wasn’t poor at all, given that she received the Nobel Prize; I’m speaking of her spiritual condition). The words “look and do not see, listen and do not hear” should have leapt off the letter into his ecclesiastical face, a grim parallel to Jesus’ words in Mt. 13:15: “For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’” A hardened heart is one that has rejected God, rejected Jesus, pushing Him away until He has had enough. Why did this “spiritual advisor” not try to help her? Could it be he didn’t even know there was a problem, much less how to solve it?

Again, this is all very sad. Millions of people think good deeds are what gets a person to heaven, yet doubt that there really is such a place, or a God who lives there. And what’s even sadder is that this kind of blindness can happen among people who consider themselves Christians and their religion the only true means of salvation (remember what the Pope said not long ago?).

Beliefs have consequences, some which don’t surface until it’s too late. Read the Bible yourself and stop trusting fallible human beings for the fate of your eternal soul.

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