apologetics ministry dedicated to keeping the "false" out of
Mother Teresa, the Catholic nun whose lifelong work with the downtrodden inspired millions
of people, has been revealed in a new book to have had a near-fifty-year battle with a weak
faith. The book, entitled Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light
, reveals her spiritual
misery through her letters written to confidants: "Where is my faith?" "...why is there so
much pain and darkness in my soul?"
There has been much speculation on how Mother Teresa's outward demeanor was so at odds with
her inner struggle of doubt and pain. Could it be that her doubt and pain were caused by her
own inability to seek God where He promises to be found?
Mother Teresa's passion was based in part on mystical "visions" she had in which she
believed she conversed
with Jesus, and her focus was one of self-sacrifice and personal suffering. While all Christians
are at times confronted with sacrifice for the sake of Jesus, her mission seems to have lost
sight of Jesus' sacrifice for us, in favor of our sacrifice for Him, turning grace
. "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness
could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing" (Galatians 2:21).
See also Romans 3:28, 4:4-5, 11:5-6, and Galatians 5:4.
Catholicism emphasizes the suffering of Jesus as though it is ongoing and
incomplete. Jesus cried out from the cross, "It is finished!" The
price was paid "once for all" (Hebrews 10:10). Jesus paid the enormous
penalty for the sins of the whole human race. To try to add to that
sacrifice is a rejection of it, saying, in effect, it is insufficient.
Related to that doctrinal error, Catholicism puts an un-Scriptural emphasis on
mysticism, approaching God through unbiblical means. With these points in mind, it is not surprising that Mother Teresa's faith
would falter, because she placed her trust not in Jesus, but in herself. The Gospel presents
us with a different picture. In the Gospel, our focus is directed toward the cross:
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son
of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The
work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." [emphasis added] John 6:27-29
Faith is strengthened through frequent contact with the means by which God promises to come to
us, in His Word (the Bible), in Baptism, and in Holy Communion. Mother Teresa's life can be an inspiration
for us, and paradoxically, also a reminder of what can happen if we work for food that spoils.
Written by Scott Diekmann
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