The August 23, 2007 issue of Time magazine featured a lengthy review of a new book documenting Mother Teresa’s long night of the soul. The book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, the Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta, contains heretofore unpublished statements made by the nun to her Catholic confessors and superiors over a period of more 66 years, but the focus is from 1948, when she founded the Missionaries of Charity organization, until 1997, when she died. It is edited by Brian Kolodiejchuk, the Postulator for Mother Teresa’s canonization.
In March 1953 she wrote to her confessor: “... there is such terrible darkness within me, as if everything was dead. It has been like this more or less from the time I started ‘the work.’”
Over the years she had many confessors, and she continually referred to her spiritual condition as “my darkness” and to Jesus as “the Absent One.”
At the suggestion of one confessor she wrote the following to Jesus: “I call, I cling, I want -- and there is no One to answer -- no One on Whom I can cling -- no, No One. -- Alone ... Where is my Faith -- even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness. ... When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven -- there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul. -- I am told God loves me -- and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.”
In 1962 she wrote: “If I ever become a Saint -- I will surely be one of ‘darkness,’” and again, “How cold-how empty -- how painful is my heart. -- Holy communion -- Holy Mass -- all the holy things of spiritual life -- of the life of Christ in me -- are all so empty -- so cold -- so un-wanted. The physical situation of my poor, left in the streets unwanted, unloved, un-claimed -- are the true picture of my own spiritual life, of my love for Jesus” (Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, p. 232).
In 1979 she wrote: “The silence and the emptiness is so great -- that I look and do not see, -- Listen and do not hear.”
Her private statements about her faith and relationship with Christ continued in this vein until her death.
HOPE IN A FALSE GOSPEL IS NO HOPE AT ALL
Mother Teresa’s error was putting her faith in Rome’s false gospel. We have documented this in articles since the 1980s. O Timothy magazine for January 1985 (Volume 2, Issue 1) featured the article “Is Mother Teresa an Evangelical Christian.” We demonstrated that Mother Teresa was a faithful daughter of Rome.
MOTHER TERESA’S JESUS WAS THE WAFER OF THE MASS
In her speech at the Worldwide Retreat for Priests, October 1984, in the Paul VI Audience Hall in Vatican City, Mother Teresa made the following statements:
“At the word of a priest, THAT LITTLE PIECE OF BREAD BECOMES THE BODY OF CHRIST, the Bread of Life. Then you give this living Bread to us, so that we too might live and become holy” (Mother Teresa, cited in Be Holy: God’s First Call to Priests Today, edited by Tom Forrest, C.Ss.R., foreword by Msgr. John Magee, South Bend, Indiana: Greenlawn Press, 1987, p. 108).
“I was so struck with the thought that ONLY WHEN THE PRIEST IS THERE CAN WE HAVE OUR ALTAR AND OUR TABERNACLE AND OUR JESUS. ONLY THE PRIEST CAN PUT JESUS THERE FOR US” (Mother Teresa, Be Holy, pp. 111).
“THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS YOU [PRIESTS] ARE CALLED ‘ANOTHER CHRIST’” (Mother Teresa, Be Holy, p. 112).
MOTHER TERESA’S PROTECTOR WAS MARY
In her speech at the Vatican City in 1984 Mother Teresa said:
“So let us ask the help of our Lady! She is a Mother full of grace, full of God, full of Jesus. Let us ask her to be our Mother, guiding us and protecting us. ... It is true that we are already being helped by our tremendous devotion to Mary. She is our patroness and our Mother, and she is always leading us to Jesus” (Mother Teresa, Be Holy, p. 75).
One of the “voices” that spoke to Mother Teresa and urged her to found the Missionaries of Charity was “Mary.” The following is a vision that she described in a letter to her archbishop in December 1947:
“Again that great crowd -- I could see great sorrow and suffering in their faces -- I was kneeling near Our Lady, who was facing them. -- … I heard her say, ‘Take care of them -- they are mine -- bring them to Jesus -- Carry Jesus to them -- Fear not. Teach them to say the Rosary -- the family Rosary and all will be well. -- Fear not -- Jesus and I will be with you and your children’” (Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, p. 99).
Note that this “Mary” told Mother Teresa to teach idolatrous sinners to pray the Rosary and that all would be well. She taught salvation through works, which is a false gospel. “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Romans 11:6). “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).
MOTHER TERESA’S GOSPEL WAS UNIVERSALISM
Mother Teresa believed that every person is a child of God and that people can find God through any religion.
In her speech before the United Nations in October 1985, she said, “No color, no religion, no nationality should come between us--we are all children of God. ... When we destroy an unborn child, we destroy God” (Christian News, Nov. 11, 1985, p. 17).
Mother Teresa called AIDS sufferers “children of God” and said, “Each one of them is Jesus in a distressing disguise” (Time, Jan. 13, 1986).
In the biography Mother Teresa: Her People and Her Work, she is quoted by Desmond Doig as follows: “If in coming face to face with God we accept Him in our lives, then we ... become a better Hindu, a better Muslim, a better Catholic, a better whatever we are ... What God is in your mind you must accept.”
The April 7-13, 1990, issue of Radio Times told the story of Mother Teresa sheltering an old Hindu priest. “She nursed him with her own hands and helped him to die reconciled with his own gods.”
When Mother Teresa died, her longtime friend and biographer Naveen Chawla said that he once asked her bluntly, “Do you convert?” She replied, “Of course I convert. I convert you to be a better Hindu or a better Muslim or a better Protestant. Once you’ve found God, it’s up to you to decide how to worship him” (“Mother Teresa Touched other Faiths,” Associated Press, Sept. 7, 1997).
In 1984 we discovered that Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity nuns in Nepal teach Hindus to trust in their own gods. In November of that year my wife and I conducted a taped interview with Sister Ann of the Missionaries of Charity in Kathmandu. She was working with aged Hindus who lived in a temple area in the city and were waiting to die by Nepal’s “holiest” river, believing that they would gain spiritual benefits for doing so.
I asked, “Do you believe if the Hindus die believing in Shiva or Ram they will go to heaven.”
Ann replied: “Yes, that is their faith. My own faith will lead me to my God, no? So if they have believed in their god very strongly, if they have faith, surely they will be saved.”
I asked, “You do not believe they are lost, right?”
Ann replied: “No, they are not lost. They are saved according to their faith. If they believe whatever they believe that is their salvation.”
THERE IS NO SECURITY IN ROME’S GOSPEL
The fact is that those who trust Rome’s gospel can never have a true and honest sense of security and confidence in Christ because according to Rome, salvation depends partially upon a man’s works.
Rome’s gospel redefines grace to include works. It views justification NOT AS A ONCE-FOR-ALL LEGAL DECLARATION whereby the sinner is irreversibly declared righteous before God and is granted eternal life as the unmerited gift of God because of Christ’s perfect and completed atonement, BUT AS A PROCESS whereby the sinner is gradually saved through participation in the sacraments.
According to Roman Catholic theology, Christ purchased salvation and gave it to the Catholic Church to be distributed to men through its sacraments, and men are saved through faithful participation in the sacraments. This is not only a false gospel; it is a blasphemous usurpation of Christ’s position as only Lord and Savior and Mediator.
The Vatican Council II in the 1960s stated: “God’s only-begotten Son ... has won a treasure for the militant Church ... he has entrusted it to blessed Peter, the key-bearer of heaven, and to his successors who are Christ’s vicars on earth, so that they may distribute it to the faithful for their salvation” (the ellipses are in the original) (Vatican II, “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,” Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, Chap. 4, 7, p. 80).
Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Encyclopedia, published in 1991, defines justification as “THE PROCESS by which a sinner is made righteous, pure and holy before God.” It says: “Justification in the Catholic Tradition comes about by means of faith in Christ, AND in a life of good works lived in response to God’s invitation to believe. ... That WORKS ARE CLEARLY REQUIRED in the New Testament for union with Christ is seen in the many parables such as the Good Samaritan, Lazarus and Dives, and others” (emphasis added).
Therefore, according to Rome, salvation is by faith in Christ plus good works and participation in the Catholic sacraments, and it is impossible to know for sure that you have ever done enough or done it properly.
Further, Rome has intruded itself between the sinner and Christ. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). But the Catholic Church says, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will load you down with religious burdens so that you will never find rest and I will put priests and sacraments between you and Christ so that you will never reach him.”
This is the hopeless maze through which Mother Teresa roamed for her entire life. She had the Bible, but she did not accept its teaching, and she was doubtless confronted with the gospel of the grace of Christ through other means. She put her faith, rather, in Rome, and hoped vaguely in Mary and the Mass.
That is why she had such a long dark night of the soul.