Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light – Book Review

Originally posted on January 3, 2008

Kolodiejchuk, M.C. (2007). Mother Teresa: Come be my light, The private writings of the “Saint of Calcutta.” New York: Doubleday. I read this right after reading Claiborne’s, Irrisistible Revolution, so I felt in some ways that I had a one two punch regarding Christian life and sacrifice. The book is obviously sympathetic to Mother Teresa because it is written by those who are promoting her elevation to Sainthood within the Roman Catholic tradition. However, even though one knows it is being written with a sympathetic view, it is still powerful. What struck me is Mother Teresa’s continuing devotion even when she could no longer feel the presence of God. She exemplifies what it means to perservere in the midst of spiritual darkness knowing that God is faithful and present each step of the way.  Some express being disturbed to find out that Mother Teresa experienced spiritual darkness. What they demonstrate, in being disturbed, is their own lack of understanding about the spiritual journey. Every leader in the faith, including Luther, experienced deep bouts of both depression and spiritual darkness and yet knew that God was fully present. The ministry of Mother Teresa, amongst the poor, is another expression of the radical ministry to which we are called. Each of us is called to our own expression of radical faith but we can be inspired by those who clearly accept their calling. We cannot all go to the slums of Calcutta (although Claiborne did) but we can seek to serve the marginalized around us. Mother Teresa was led by the Holy Spirit as she continued in Word and prayer. Mother Teresa’s response to the call of God was an act of love that led the way. I am struck by the fact that Mother Teresa began her ministry at the same time that Brother Roger was founding the Taize community and John Paul II was beginning his ministry in Poland. God raised mighty leaders to begin incredible ministries.

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