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De Teresa

Anthony Esolen has written what I think is a masterful piece at Mere Comments on the mushrooming issue of Mother Teresa’s dark night. It seems everyone has an opinion or three on the matter, and those who haven’t a clue what they’re talking about seem the most willing to bleat theirs out. Esolen calmly, and correctly, points out that arguing over this with such people is an exercise in futility and frustration because it is impossible to argue with someone who can spout arbitrary contradictions with a straight face.

The important part of this piece is not that reminder but rather what follows. Esolen reminds us that a dark night, for a believer, is a powerful witness to faith. Believing is easy when confirmation is frequent, but when that obvious confirmation is taken away true faith blooms. That Mother Teresa suffered a dark night should deepen our appreciation of her deep and abiding faith, one that kept her in a place where no one goes, serving the Christ she could now only long to see.

Even if you do not choose to read the whole piece, and there is no reason to do so, his conclusion simply must be read:

In her love of Christ — and the world does not understand Christ, and is not too bright about love, either — Mother Teresa did not merely take up His cross and follow him. She was nailed to that Cross with him. She was one with Him — it was His greatest and most terrible gift — at the moment when he cried out to His Father, and the worldly Jews beneath mistook the name of God for Elijah. We Christians must trust that she is also one with Him now too, sharing in the glory of His triumph over darkness and the grave. “See,” He says, encouraging us to persevere and be fearless, “I have overcome the world.”

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