26 August 2007

Mother Teresa suffered decades of doubt

A compilation of Mother Teresa's letters, due to be published next month under the title Come Be My Light, reveals that she doubted the existence of God and heaven, and that she found no attraction in "saving souls," that is, converting people to Catholicism. While outwardly every bit the Catholic, she suffered from an intense spiritual drought in her heart.

At her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in 1979, she proclaimed that "Christ is in our hearts, Christ is in the poor we meet, Christ is in the smile we give, and Christ is in the smile we receive." However, writing to Father Michael van der Peet, her spiritual adviser, she admitted that "the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see -- listen and do not hear -- the tongue moves but does not speak."

In fact, Mother Teresa, known after her death as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, believed that she was involved in the "verbal deception" of people who admired her.

While these revelations, which come from letters Mother Teresa wanted burned after her death (they were preserved on the Church's orders), may make her less popular with some, but others are already saying that she is as holy as they thought previously, only more human (Daily Mail).

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