Thursday, September 06, 2007

The encouragement of Mother Teresa’s dark night

Recently, much ado has been made about Mother Teresa’s experience of doubting God. It’s largely been portrayed as a discouragement to the faithful. This article makes a good argument that we should see it otherwise:

“The dark night of Mother Teresa presents us with an even greater interpretive challenge than her visions and locutions. It means that the missionary foundress who called herself “God’s pencil” was not the God-intoxicated saint many of us had assumed her to be. We may prefer to think that she spent her days in a state of ecstatic mystical union with God, because that would get us ordinary worldlings off the hook.”


Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

"God-intoxication" as a descriptive term belongs more properly to such cults as the Hare Krishnas, or if applied to Christianity, to the earliest stages of being "born again."

All the Christian saints (heroes) that I'm familiar with, including Ma Theresa, were anything but "intoxicated".

We Greek Orthodox have a term for what people like these have—NEPSIS, the kind of sober-minded vigilance that characterises the ascetic life.

The world shows itself to be very, very dumb when it makes a big deal out of things like Mother Theresa's letters. They know the title of a book like "Dark Night of the Soul," but they've never bothered to read it.

Kenny said...

Amen - thank you for being willing to use the phrase "very, very dumb."