April 13, 2015

Losing the Reality Behind the Suffering

I read Mother Teresa's book Come Be My Light when it came out a few years ago, and what was ultimately memorable for me about it was not God's love, or her love, but her suffering.

I don't think she'd like this to be the takeaway from her diaries although admittedly I'm sure others were left with more inspiration. I can hold up the evidence that she herself did not want her notes/journal made public, if possibly for different reasons, but who are you gonna trust more to make that decision: a soon-to-be-saint or her spiritual advisor whom, presumably, is not quite as saintly?

I'm reminded of a line from Raymond Arroyo's marvelous biography of Mother Angelica in which he quoted her as instructing him not to emphasize her suffering lest we miss the reason for it and the motive behind it.

And in Praying the Rosary with Pope Francis, the Holy Father is quoted as saying that "the logic of the Cross is not primarily that of suffering and death, but rather that of love and the gift of self which brings life."


Kevin Hammer said...

I just read "Come Be My Light" during Lent -- seems like a book to ponder for a while. I thought it was remarkable that she was able to continue her mission when all "consolation" and positive spiritual emotion was absent. And she could see God working through her, even if she could no longer sense it. A level of faithfulness that I can't imagine.

TS said...

True, miraculous that she could spiritually perform at that level. A recent post elsewhere makes the case that this differentiates depression from dark night of soul: http://thereseborchardblog.com/2015/04/14/is-it-a-dark-night-of-the-soul-clinical-depression-or-both/