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The secrets of Mother Teresa's interior darkness

2016-09-03

The fact that Mother Teresa suffered deep, interior darkness for close to 50 years, is now a commonly known fact. However, it wasn't always so. Shortly after Mother Teresa's death, there were Jesuit priests who managed to preserve certain parts of her writings and interior life

SR THERESE MAGDALA
Missionaries of Charity
"Sometime after she died, documents that had been kept by the Jesuit seniority were released to us as we began to do the process of her beatification. So in that way, we began to find out the things that we'd never known. Nobody in the congregation knew that for 50 years she passed through such darkness.” 

Mother Teresa was a very private person, wanting her prayer life to be kept between her and Jesus alone. She experienced the ultimate pain, feeling rejected by the Lord, the one to whom she had dedicated her life. 

SR THERESE MAGDALA
Missionaries of Charity
"When she prayed it was empty and it caused a great pain. And it took her a while in a sense to really understand what God was doing through that. This darkness is something that happens at times in the spiritual life; this purification of helping us to come to love God for his own sake, not for what we may receive.” 

In this way, she was able to personally connect and experience the same light the homeless experienced each day: abandonment, feeling unloved and unwanted. Her love grew not only for God, but for neighbor, as she gave from her heart, not expecting anything in return. 

SR THERESE MAGDALA
Missionaries of Charity
"Then I think she entered deeper into this and began to see that this darkness that she was passing through, that this feeling unloved, and unwanted was sharing in the abandonment of the poor. In their feeling unloved, and abandoned, rejected. And she herself, expressed it like that.” 

It was perhaps, because of these feelings, her faith flourished daily through her interactions with the poor. Mother Teresa truly challenged the sisters to do more than simply satisfy the needs of the flesh: hunger, thirst and need for shelter. She desired each personal encounter to be a real meeting with the living God

SR THERESE MAGDALA
Missionaries of Charity
"She used to tell us also, you're not called to be social workers, not to do social work, good and helpful as it may be. But to take on to ourselves something of the suffering of the poor. To take it on to ourself, to make it part of redemption. And I think that's what she began to see, that side of her life. She said to herself, I see it as a spiritual side of my life, entering into this suffering of the poor.” 

Entering into this part of life, a place where few people trod, is one of the reasons she made such a big impact on not only the poor, but the whole world


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