Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta
Mother Teresa, Brian Kolodiejchuk
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“If I ever become a Saint–I will surely be one of “darkness.” I will continually be absent from Heaven–to light the light of those in darkness on earth.”
–Mother Teresa of Calcutta
During her lifelong service to the poorest of the poor, Mother Teresa became an icon of compassion to people of all religions; her extraordinary contributions to the care of the sick, the dying, and thousands of others nobody else was prepared to look after has been recognized and acclaimed throughout the world. Little is known, however, about her own spiritual heights or her struggles. This collection of letters she wrote to her spiritual advisors over decades, almost all of which have never been made public before, sheds light on Mother Teresa's interior life in a way that reveals the depth and intensity of her holiness for the first time. A moving chronicle of her spiritual journey–including moments, indeed years, of utter desolation–these letters reveal the secrets she shared only with her closest confidants. She emerges as a classic mystic whose inner life burned with the fire of charity and whose heart was tested and purified by an intense trial of faith, a true dark night of the soul.
Mother Teresa to Archbishop Périer, Feast of Corpus Christi (June 5), 1947. 11. Mother Teresa to Archbishop Périer, October 23, 1953. 12. Mother Teresa to Archbishop Périer, December 19, 1953. 13. Mother Teresa to Archbishop Périer, February 26, 1954. 14. Mother Teresa to Jacqueline de Decker, March 25, 1954. 15. Cf. John 10:38. 16. Cf. Matthew 1:1–3. 17. Mother Teresa to Jacqueline de Decker, October 17, 1954. 18. The prayer of Cardinal Newman, “Radiating Christ,” prayed daily after mass
Father Picachy, September 3, 1959. 75. According to tradition, Veronica wiped the face of Jesus with her veil as He made His way to Calvary. 76. Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus carry His Cross on the way to Calvary (Luke 23:26). 77. From Mother Teresa’s talks during the Synod of 1980, from The Catholic Leader, dated October 26, 1980. 78. Explanation of the Original Constitutions written by Mother M. Teresa, M.C., undated. 79. Mother Teresa to Father Neuner, December 15, 1980. 80. Ibid. 81.
Your Grace the cause of my wanting to act at once.—In 1942—I wanted to give Jesus something without reserve.—With the permission of my Confessor I made a Vow to God—binding under Mortal Sin—to give to God anything that He may ask—“Not to refuse Him anything.” For these 17 years I have tried—and this is the reason why I want to act at once.—It is for Your Grace to prevent me—and when you say “No” I am certain that my Vow is alright—for then I don’t refuse God my submission.—I have gone and am
M.C.69 Again “on the Verge of Refusing” As soon as she was back in Calcutta, Mother Teresa resumed her regular visits to her mission houses. At this time she had communities in Delhi, Jhansi, and Ranchi.70 Numerous responsibilities, fatigue, and sickness added to her already heavy cross. She shared her struggle with Father Picachy who had been in Calcutta while she was away: Many thanks for your letter of the 12th. I am glad to be back. What an experience.—Thank God it is over—and that every
nun.—Then the call came.—Our Lord asked directly—the voice was clear & full of conviction.—Again & again He asked in 1946.—I knew it was He. Fear & terrible feelings—fear lest I was deceived.—But as I have always lived in obedience—I put the whole thing before my spiritual father—hoping the whole time that he will say—it was all devil’s deception but no—like the voice—he said—It is Jesus who is asking you.—& then you know how it all worked out.—My Superiors sent me to Asansol [in] 1947—and there