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Mother Teresa Did Not Feel Christ's Presence for Last Half of Her Life, Letters Reveal
Fox News ^ | 08/24/2007 | Unknown

Posted on 08/24/2007 8:40:01 AM PDT by HarleyD

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who has been put on the “fast track” to sainthood, was so tormented by doubts about her faith that she felt “a hypocrite,” it has emerged from a book of her letters to friends and confessors. Shortly after beginning her work in the slums of Calcutta, she wrote: “Where is my faith? Even deep down there is nothing but emptiness and darkness. If there be a God — please forgive me.” In letters eight years later she was still expressing “such deep longing for God,” adding that she felt “repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal.” Her smile to the world from her familiar weather-beaten face was a “mask” or a “cloak,” she said. “What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.” Mother Teresa, who died in 1997 and was beatified in record time only six years later, felt abandoned by God from the very start of the work that made her a global figure, in her sandals and blue and white sari. The doubts persisted until her death.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: christianity; faith; letters; motherteresa; nohinteresa; pharisees; religion; theusualsuspects
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1 posted on 08/24/2007 8:40:04 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD

The fact that she continued doing her good works are evidence she did have faith.


2 posted on 08/24/2007 8:42:39 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: HarleyD

I don’t see what is so unusual about anyone having doubts, off and on. There are periods of light and periods of darkness because we’re human and until we see Him face to face, doubts are part of the “test”.


3 posted on 08/24/2007 8:43:14 AM PDT by sarasota
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To: HarleyD
Another interesting article at TIMES.
4 posted on 08/24/2007 8:45:18 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD

Mother Theresa was a wonderful servant of God, but she was also human. We all have ebbs and flows in our feelings. Thank God that He has promised He will never leave us or forsake us (not matter how we are feeling).


5 posted on 08/24/2007 8:45:22 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: sarasota

The bible is full of examples of people who questioned or doubted God.


6 posted on 08/24/2007 8:45:44 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: sarasota; cripplecreek

The letters that she left behind indicates that she had doubt half her life, not off and on with periods of lights and darkness. Whatever our emotions are at any time, we rest in God’s faithful promises, not in what we feel.


7 posted on 08/24/2007 8:48:02 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: cripplecreek; sarasota
The bible is full of examples of people who questioned or doubted God.

And God had a lot of things to say to those doubters.

8 posted on 08/24/2007 8:49:24 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD
Faith is not based on feelings.

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."Romans 10:17

9 posted on 08/24/2007 9:00:24 AM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: cripplecreek; sarasota; HarleyD
The bible is full of examples of people who questioned or doubted God.

Mother Teresa's letter are a classic example of a charism given by our Lord to several saints. Here is the writing of St. Faustina. (note red text are words of our Lord).


Periods of Darkness

Toward the first year of my novitiate, darkness began to case its shadow over my soul. I felt no consolation in prayer; I had to make a great effort to meditate; fear began to sweep over me. Going deeper into myself, I could find nothing but great misery. I could also clearly see the great holiness of God. I did not dare to raise my eyes to Him, but reduced myself to dust under His feet and begged for mercy. My soul was in this state for almost six months.(23)
 
The heaviest suffering for me was that it seemed to me that neither my prayers nor my good works were pleasing to God... greater darkness hid God from me... A saintly priest wanted to help me, but I was so miserable that I couldn't even define my trouble, and that vexed me even more. A deathly sadness penetrated my soul to such an extent that I was unable to hide it... I lost hope. The night was growing darker and darker. The priest to whom I went to confession said to me....that in my present situation I was more pleasing to God than if I were filled with the greatest consolations. "It is a very great grace, Sister" he told me, "that in your present condition, with all the torments you are experiencing, you not only do not offend God, but you even try to practice virtues. I am looking into youth soul, and I see God's great plans and special graces there; and seeing this, I give thanks to the Lord." but despite all that, my soul was in a state of torture; and in the midst of unspeakable torments, I imitated the blind man who entrusts himself to his guide. holding his hand firmly, not giving up obedience for a single moment, and this was my only safety in this fiery trial. (68)... When I feel that the suffering is more than I can bear, I take refuge in the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and I speak to Him with profound silence. (73)
 
My mind became dimmed in a strange way; no truth seemed clear to me. When people spoke to me about God, my heart was like a rock. I could not draw from it a single sentiment of love for Him. When I tried, by an act of the will, to remain close to Him, I experienced great torments, and it seemed to me that I was only provoking God to an even greater anger. ... I felt in my soul a great void , and there was nothing with which I could fill it. I began to suffer from a great hunger and yearning for God, but I saw my utter powerlessness. I tried to read slowly, sentence by sentence, and to meditate in this way, but this also was of no avail. (77)
 
he abyss of my misery was constantly before my eyes. Every time I entered the chapel for some spiritual exercise, I experienced even worse torments and temptations. More than once, all through Holy Mass, I had to struggle against blasphemous thoughts which were forcing themselves to my lips. I felt an aversion for the Holy Sacraments, and it seemed to me that I was not profiting from them in any way. It was only out of obedience to my confessor that I frequented them, and this blind obedience was for me the only path I could follow and my very last hope of survival. The priest explained to me that these were trials sent by God and that, in the situation I was in, not only was I not offending God, but I was most pleasing to Him. "This is a sign, " he told me, "that God loves you very much and that He has great confidence in you, since He is sending you such trials." But these words brought me no comfort; it seemed to me that they did not apply to me at all.... [other] thoughts came to me: why strive to acquire virtues and do good works? Why mortify and annihilate yourself? What good is it to take vows? to pray? to sacrifice..? What good is it? (77)
 
Trials sent by God to a soul which is particularly loved by Him. Temptations and darkness; Satan

The soul's love for God is still not such as God would have it. The soul suddenly loses the tangible perception of God's presence. Various defects and imperfections rise up within it, and it must fight them furiously. All her faults lift up their heads, but the soul's vigilance is great. The former awareness of the presence of God gives place to coldness and spiritual dryness; the soul has no taste for spiritual exercises; it cannot pray, either in the old way, or in the manner in which it had just begun to pray. It struggles this way and that, but can find no satisfaction. God has hidden himself from it, and it can find no consolation in creatures, nor can any of these creatures find a way of consoling it. The soul craves passionately for God, but sees its own misery; it begins to sense God's justice; it seems to it that it has lost all the gifts that God had given it; its mind is dimmed, and darkness fills it; unspeakable torment begins. The soul tries to explain its state to the confessor, but it is not understood and is assailed by an even greater unrest. Satan begins his work.

Faith staggers under the impact; the struggle is fierce. The soul tries hard to cling to God by an act of will. With God's permission, Satan goes even further: hope and love are put to the test. These temptations are terrible. God supports the soul in secret, so to speak. The soul is not aware of this, but otherwise it would be impossible to stand firm; and God knows very well how much He can allow to befall a soul. The soul is tempted to unbelief in respect to revealed truths and to insincerity toward the confessor. Satan says to it, "Look, no one understand you; why speak about all this?" Words that terrify it sound in its ears, and it seems to the soul that it is uttering these against God. It sees what it does not want to see. It hears what it does not want to hear.....one should make every effort to find, if it is at all possible, a well-informed confessor....All these trials are heavy and difficult. God does not send them to a soul which has not already been admitted to a deeper intimacy with Him and which has not yet tasted the divine delights. ...... God often prepares a soul in this way for His future designs and great works. He wants to try it as pure gold is tried. But this is not yet the end of the testing; there is still the trial of trials, the complete abandonment of the soul by God. (96 -7)

The Trial of trials, Complete Abandonment - Despair

When the soul comes out victorious from the preceding trials, even though it may stumble here and there, it fights on valiantly, humbly calling upon God, "Save me, I am perishing!" And it is still able to fight on. At this point, however, the soul is engulfed in a horrible night. It sees within itself only sin. It feels terrible. It sees itself completely abandoned by God. It feels itself to be the object of His hatred. It is but one step away from despair....prayer is an even greater torment for it, as this prayer seems to arouse God to an even greater anger. ..The soul is drawn to God, but feels repulsed. All other sufferings and tortures in the world are as nothing compared with this sensation into which it has been plunged; namely, that of being rejected by God. No one can bring it any relief; it finds itself completely alone; there is no one to defend it. It raises its eyes to heaven, but is convinced that this is not for her - for her all is darkness, and it seems to it that it has lost forever the God it used to love so dearly. ...... In the midst of this, the evil spirit adds to the soul's suffering, mocking it: "Will you persist in your faithfulness? This is your reward; you are in our power!" But Satan has only as much influence over the soul as God allows him, and God knows how much we can bear........ The soul no longer looks for help anywhere. It shrinks into itself and loses sight of everything; it is as though it has accepted the torture of being abandoned......This is the agony of the soul..... [Saint Faustina goes on to explain how it ended].

When my soul began to sink into despair, I felt that the end was near. ....... After some time, one of the sisters came into the cell and found me almost dead. She was frightened and went to find the Directress of Novices who.... ordered me to get up...My strength returned immediately , and I got up...[she] recognised .. the state of my soul and spoke to me about the inscrutable mercy of God, saying, "Do not be distressed...I see now... that God is calling you to a high degree of holiness; the Lord wants to draw you very close to Himself since He ahs allowed these things to happen to you so soon. [This] is a sign that He wants you to have a high place in heaven....."When I went into the chapel, I felt as though my soul had been set free from everything, as though I had just come forth from the hand of God. I perceived the inviolability of my soul; I felt that I was a tiny child.

Suddenly I saw the Lord interiorly, and He said to me, Fear not, My daughter; I am with you. In that single moment, all the darkness and torments vanished, my senses were inundated with unspeakable joy, ..the faculties of my soul filled with light. ....What I have written is very poor compared to the reality. I cannot put it in words; it seemed to me that I had come back from the other world. I feel an aversion for everything that is created; I snuggle to the heart of God like a baby to its mother's breast. I see everything differently now..... This is a completely spiritual suffering. (98 - 104)

 
My daughter, even though you do not perceive Me in the secret depths of your heart, you still cannot say that I am not there. I only remove from you the awareness of My presence, and that should not be an obstacle to the carrying out of My will. I do this to achieve My unfathomable ends, which you will know of later on. My daughter, know without doubt, and once and for all, that only mortal sin drives Me out of a soul, and nothing else. (1181)
 
My daughter, during the weeks when you neither saw Me nor felt My presence, I was more profoundly united to you than at times [when you experienced] ecstasy. And the faithfulness and fragrance of your prayer have reached Me. (1246)
 
In times of interior desolation I do not lose my peace, because I know that God never abandons a soul.....I am not frightened at all by my apparent abandonment. I examine myself more profoundly to discover whether this is due to my fault. If this is not the case - then may [the Lord] be blessed! (1315)
 
I have remained on earth to comfort your aching heart and to fortify your soul, so that you will not falter on the way. You say that a dense darkness is obscuring your mind. But why, at such times, do you not come to Me, the light who can in an instant pour into your soul more understanding about holiness than can be found in any books? ..Know, too, that the darkness about which you complain I first endured in the Garden of Olives when My Soul was crushed in mortal anguish. I am giving you a share in those sufferings because of My special love for you and in view of the high degree of holiness I am intending for you in Heaven. A suffering soul is closer to My heart. (Jesus to suffering souls - 1487)
 
When I went, in my thoughts, to the chapel, my spirit was plunged into even greater darkness. Total discouragement came over me. Then I heard Satan's voice; "See how contradictory everything is that Jesus gives to you: He tells you to found a convent, and then He gives you sickness; He tells you to set about establishing this Feast of Mercy while the whole world does not at all want such a feast. Why do you pray for this feast? It is so inopportune." My soul remained silent and, by an act of will, continued to pray without entering into conversation with the Spirit of Darkness. Nevertheless, such an extraordinary disgust with life came over me that I had to make a great act of the will to consent to go on living....And again I heard the tempter's words.... by an act of will, I began to pray, or rather, submitted myself to God, asking Him interiorly not to abandon me at this moment. It was already eleven o'clock at night, and there was silence all around. The sisters were all asleep in their cells, and my soul alone was struggling with great exertion. The tempter went on: "Why should you bother about other souls? You ought to be praying only for yourself. As for sinners, they will be converted without your prayers. I see that you are suffering very much at this moment. I'm going to give you a piece of advice on which your happiness will depend: never speak about God's mercy, because they deserve just punishment..".....Finally the tempter went away and I, exhausted, fell asleep immediately. (1498)
(The next morning) Satan gained nothing by tempting you, because you did not enter into conversation with him. Continue to act in this way. You gave Me great glory by fighting so faithfully. Let it be confirmed and engraved on your heart that I am always with you, even if you don't feel My presence at the time of battle. (1499)
 
February 2, 1938. Darkness of the soul. ...The Lord has hidden Himself, and I am alone, all alone. My mind has become so dimmed that I see only phantasies about me. Not a single ray of light penetrates my soul. I do not understand myself or those who speak to me. Frightful temptations regarding the holy faith assail me. O my Jesus, save me. I cannot say anything more. I cannot describe these things in detail...I am astounded that such torments could befall a soul. O hurricane, what are you doing to the boat of my heart?...I spent the whole night with Jesus in Gethsemane. ...So many times have I seen the radiance of Your face, and now, where are You, Lord?... I believe, I believe, and again I believe in You, Triune God...But the darkness does not recede....At that moment I saw Jesus, and from His heart there issued those same two rays, which enveloped me, whole and entire. At the same moment, all my torments vanished. My daughter, the Lord said, know that of yourself you are just what you have gone through, and it is only by My grace that you are a participant of eternal life and all the gifts I lavish on you....Jesus is giving me a lesson in deep humility and at the same time, one of total trust in Him. (1559)
 
But when your mind is dimmed and your sufferings are great , it is then that you take an active part in My Passion and I am conforming you more fully to Myself. It is your task to submit yourself to My will at such times, more than at others...(1697)
 
 
 

10 posted on 08/24/2007 9:00:42 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: HarleyD

I have a question: after reading your homepage and thinking of what the point is that you may be making about Mother Theresa, is there any way for a person to know whether or not they are among the elect?


11 posted on 08/24/2007 9:02:19 AM PDT by To Hell With Poverty (For evil to win, it is only necessary for Jimmy Carter to be considered a role model.)
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To: HarleyD

All humans have a sinful nature that will cause them to challenge or doubt their faith. In this case, the way she lived proved her faith.

All these letters do is highlight the fact that the idea that you are eternally saved once you declare Christ your Lord is a fiction.

It’s how you live that faith that matters.


12 posted on 08/24/2007 9:03:04 AM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: To Hell With Poverty
"...is there any way for a person to know whether or not they are among the elect?"

Paul knew.

13 posted on 08/24/2007 9:09:45 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: NYer
In times of interior desolation I do not lose my peace, because I know that God never abandons a soul

And that is the difference. Notice your author's correct conclusion compare to Mother Teresa view.

14 posted on 08/24/2007 9:12:42 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD
A personal relationship with YHvH comes from daily reading of the Holy Word of Elohim.

As you read the Word of Elohim, He speaks to your soul and gives you the assurance
that He has provided for you His salvation. His name alone speaks this as
Yah'shua means "YHvH is become my salvation"
Our good works are like used rags.

We must seek the face of Elohim by reading His Holy Word.

NAsbU Exodus 15:2 "YHvH is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him;

NAsbU Psalm 118:14 YHvH is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.

NAsbU Psalm 118:21 I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me,
And You have become my salvation.

NAsbU Isaiah 12:2 "Behold, Elohim is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For YHvH Elohim is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation."

NAsbU Isaiah 60:16 ....; Then you will know that I, YHvH, am your Savior And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

NAsbU Isaiah 64:6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like menstruation rags; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
shalom b'shem Yah'shua HaMashiach


15 posted on 08/24/2007 9:29:58 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (you shall know that I, YHvH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya'aqob. Isaiah 60:16)
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To: HarleyD
she said. “What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.”

Is this thinking a result of believing in a works based justification that in the end causes you to realize you can't do enough and then in despair question GOD's existence?

It's sad to see she didn't believe in the blessed assurances of JESUS. She had really dedicated herself to trying to help the poor.

16 posted on 08/24/2007 9:31:04 AM PDT by wmfights (LUKE 9:49-50 , MARK 9:38-41)
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To: HarleyD; Gamecock; Dr. Eckleburg; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan

WOW!!

The dark despair of no assurance.

That’s the problem with not teaching the All Sufficient Sacrifice of Jesus Christ....not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy HE saved US.


17 posted on 08/24/2007 9:32:09 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: HarleyD

This blog post captures my position exactly. Assurance is grounded in faith in Christ, not in an amount (or lack thereof) of good works.

http://ruminationsandramifications.blogspot.com/2007/02/on-salvation.html

Reformed and Lordship authors teach that assurance comes through subjective experimentation. This is the reason why R.T. Kendall calls Lordship Calvinists “Experimental Predestinarians”, because one must always be about subjective experimentation to ‘verify’ if one truly has believed, and is saved.

R.T. Kendall and John Calvin, and the Free Grace movement do not believe that the assurance that God wants us to have comes from such experimentation, from looking to oneself, to works, affections, feelings, attitudes, etc. Only ‘anxiety’ and ‘despair’ or pride can come from such an experiment.

Imagine, for a moment, Marcia, that growing up, your dad didn’t give you his objective word that you were indeed his daughter. When you got into trouble he would say, “you have every reason to doubt that you are my daughter, because you are not passing the tests.” What kind of dad would that be?

John MacArthur has stated “You may be a spiritual defector who hasn’t defected yet”

This means that you could be doing awesome now in your walk with God (by your own estimation) but at some time, because you are not one of God’s elect, you will defect and show you were never born again.

Kendall, Calvin, and Free Grace theology teach that the only foundation for assurance is not subjective whatsoever. The only bedrock for assurance is the infallible and objective word of God that promises eternal life to all who believ in Christ for it.

We must not look to ourselves for assurance.

We must look only to Christ in His objective promise, and only then can we have the kind of assurance God wants us to have — not some kind of ‘think so’ feeling, but certain, persuaded assurance.


18 posted on 08/24/2007 9:33:21 AM PDT by fishtank ("Amnesty" and "amnesia" are from the same root word !!!)
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To: HarleyD

Note, that Paul said those words at the very end of his life, as he awaited execution, after he had “finished his course”. In other places he warned against being too confident “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”. In fact, the text where Paul says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith ...” really proves the OPPOSITE of eternal security. Implicit in that statement is the idea that some will not fight the fight to the end, will not finish the race, will not keep the faith till the end. But Paul, having reached the end, awaiting death, knew that he had in fact persevered. He did not do his victory dance till he reached the end of the race, unlike many eternal security folks who are doing it halfway through the first lap! No one of us is entitled in the middle of the race to apply St. Paul’s words “I have finished the course” to himself as if they proved that he himself could not possibly not falter or backslide.

Anyway, none of this has any relevance to Mother Teresa. Her “dryness” and experience of God’s absence lasted for many years, not merely intermittently. But that does NOT mean that her doubts of God’s existence lasted continuously for many years. On the contrary, if you read the article, you see that there were only one or two passages in all those those writings where she confessed experiencing a doubt of God’s existence. Those doubts were intermittent, it seems. What WAS continuous and unabating was an anguish, and feeling of spiritual dryness and God’s absence. Doubtless it was the feeling Jesus expressed in his anguished cry from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus was obviously not doubting the existence of God! He was expressing an anguish and sense of foresakenness. Mother Teresa’s “way of the cross” seems to have lasted for decades.


19 posted on 08/24/2007 9:41:14 AM PDT by smpb (smb)
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To: HarleyD
After reading her statements about all the different paths to salvation other than through Christ, I am not at all surprised by this revelation.
20 posted on 08/24/2007 9:54:24 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe

Yep...She was a universalist.


21 posted on 08/24/2007 10:06:18 AM PDT by pby
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To: P-Marlowe
Exactly what I thought.

CC&E

22 posted on 08/24/2007 10:08:04 AM PDT by Calm_Cool_and_Elected (So many books, so little time!)
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To: HarleyD

I’d love to read the sources. Anyone who reads the works lot of extraordinary faith are familiar with a “spirtual dryness” during which the holy people experience a lack of sensory awareness of God’s presence. This is not a lack of faith, but a faith that is so strong it needn’t the constant reminder of sensation. St. Therese Lisieux (”the Little Flower”) was known for such ecstasy during prayer that she seemed to float above the ground. Yet in her very public writings which have become the most-read writings since the Bible and which have inspired so many, she writes of spiritual dryness which would devestate me.

I believe — and I hope — that this is what Mother Therese is writing of, and that she has been taken out of context. Some of St. Therese’s writings, out of context, certainly could be sensationalized in terrible ways.


23 posted on 08/24/2007 10:15:19 AM PDT by dangus
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To: HarleyD

Yes, Paul knew when he wrote to Timothy... but he had finished his course. Previously, he had worked out his salvation with fear and trembling.


24 posted on 08/24/2007 10:17:13 AM PDT by dangus
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To: cripplecreek; HarleyD

It is disturbing though that she leaned toward universalism. That could have certainly caused a lot more doubt than normal.


25 posted on 08/24/2007 10:29:32 AM PDT by Terriergal ("I am ashamed that women are so simple To offer war where they should kneel for peace," Shakespeare)
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To: cripplecreek; HarleyD

And by the way, Billy Graham has been talking Universalist/Inclusivist nonsense for a long time too so it’s not just her. There are many protestants saying the same thing.


26 posted on 08/24/2007 10:30:19 AM PDT by Terriergal ("I am ashamed that women are so simple To offer war where they should kneel for peace," Shakespeare)
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To: HarleyD

“Mother Teresa Did Not Feel Christ’s Presence for Last Half of
Her Life, Letters Reveal”

Big deal.
She got her “marching orders” and stayed the course.
She got no “counter-manding orders” and stayed “on mission”.
GOOD for her!!!

Personally, I’m comforted when some evangelist/preacher/pastor admits
to never having “heard G-d (personally) talking to them”.

One of the prominent examples I can recall is Charles (Chuck) Swindoll.
And yet he remains faithful and engaged into practicing and promoting
the Christian vision.
Maybe that’s the sort of conduct to be expected from a fellow that
graduated from divinity school...then had to do a hitch in the US Marine Corps!
http://www.insight.org


27 posted on 08/24/2007 10:37:41 AM PDT by VOA
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To: smpb
In fact, the text where Paul says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith ...” really proves the OPPOSITE of eternal security.

Really? Paul said this in a moment of dispair, when he felt all had left him. If the Roman government would have given Paul a reprieve, and he lived for another 20 years, what would Paul have said; "DRAT"?

I think Paul's attitute serves in sharp contrasted to Mother Teresa's. Should we all be able to say like Paul that we have fought the good fight instead of doubting whether God exists?

28 posted on 08/24/2007 10:44:02 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD
This article is much better than the Patented Thomas Crapper article by Time Magazine on Mother Theresa and these letters.

The Thomas Crapper was a version of toilet common in Britian during World War I. It is where the term crap comes from -- an abbreviation of Thomas Crapper

29 posted on 08/24/2007 10:46:34 AM PDT by topher (Let us return to old-fashioned morality - morality that has stood the test of time...)
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To: P-Marlowe
After reading her statements about all the different paths to salvation other than through Christ

Where did she say that, and what, exactly, did she say?

30 posted on 08/24/2007 10:58:47 AM PDT by Campion
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To: HarleyD
The TIMES article is the Patented Thomas Crapper version of this story.

The Thomas Crapper is famous in history. It was a instrument in a Water Closet in England at the time of World War I. US Soldiers referred to going to the Water Closet after the war as going to the Thomas Crapper.

(Hmmm... I think I used a sledge hammer to make my point about articles written by Time Magazine and its wonderful CEO or former CEO Ted Turner -- ideas of Ted Turner that is)

31 posted on 08/24/2007 11:00:47 AM PDT by topher (Let us return to old-fashioned morality - morality that has stood the test of time...)
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To: dangus; HarleyD; xzins
Previously, he (Paul) had worked out his salvation with fear and trembling.

One does not fear and tremble at a God one doubts exists.

32 posted on 08/24/2007 11:01:01 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
One does not fear and tremble at a God one doubts exists.

That doesn't follow logically, and I can assure you from personal experience that, in this case, logic does not mislead. If you're not sure of God's existence, how can you be sure of his benevolence?

"Doubting" or "not sure" is not the same as one who denies God's existence (and is fixed in his denial); in the case of that sort of person, I would agree with you.

33 posted on 08/24/2007 11:08:19 AM PDT by Campion
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To: HarleyD

Excerpted from the original article:

Rev. Kolodiejchuk maintains that Mother Teresa did not suffer “a real doubt of faith,” but that, on the contrary, her agonizing demonstrates her faith in God’s reality.

On the other hand, St. Therese of Lisieux quite excellently expounds the futility of doing works to earn salvation. Not having read Mother Therese’s writings myself, For the little I know, it could be that she was heretical, holding some notion that she was trying to earn God’s love. But seeing the fruits of her work, it is hard to fathom that. And by the fruits of her work, I do not even mean all the souls she comforted, but rather the vast numbers who have turned their entire lives over to Christ because of her.


34 posted on 08/24/2007 11:16:07 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Campion; P-Marlowe; HarleyD; xzins
Where did she say that, and what, exactly, did she say?

Many times she talked about Christ not being the only route to heaven. And now we know why. She didn't have much of a clue as to which road to really take. Obviously, her lack of true faith and trust in God's word permitted her to embrace so much error...

A first-up from google...

MOTHER TERESA

""I love all religions. ... If people become better Hindus, better Muslims, better Buddhists by our acts of love, then there is something else growing there." [On another occasion, she again demonstrated her false gospel that 'there are many ways to God': "All is God -- Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, etc., all have access to the same God."]...

In 184 pages, there was nothing stating that salvation was through Jesus alone. She wrote, "I've always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic" (p. 31). There is no attempt to let others know that Jesus is the only way. There is no hint that "Mother" Teresa or her "sisters" believed the narrow way Jesus preached (cf. Matt. 7:13-14)...

In 12/96, a former nun in "Mother" Teresa's order wrote the following letter (Source: FBIS, 2/1/97):

"I myself was in Mother Teresa's order, the Missionaries of Charity. I am now a Christian. I was saved on 3/3/96 ... You are quite right about the pagan influences on the order. When I was a postulant in Rome, we had Hindu-style meditation techniques from a book called "Sadhana" by Father Antony De Mello. Mother Teresa behaves like a Hindu guru. She visits each convent at six monthly to yearly intervals. The sisters seem to live for these visits and sit worshipfully at her feet when she gives one of her talks. On the special occasion when she presented us with our personal rosaries (in the postulancy in Rome) she said, "My words are scripture for you," and of course she was right. All the letters which she writes on "spiritual" matters are kept, printed and copied and bound into volumes. Each convent has a copy of these volumes of her words which are studied daily as Christians study the Bible. Cuttings of Mother Teresa's hair and pieces of her saris are kept in a cupboard in Rome, ready to be made into relics when she is canonized.

"But my main worry was the corporal penances used by the sisters and kept in small hand-made drawstring bags, along with toothbrush, needle and thread, etc. These include a whip made of rope and bracelets and waist-chains made of something similar to gardening wire which pierce the flesh. These penance implements are made by the novices in Rome. This is dangerous to the health, but is kept secret." (Signed, Pamela Hursch, England).


35 posted on 08/24/2007 11:18:02 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Campion

Do you doubt God’s existence?


36 posted on 08/24/2007 11:20:49 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: HarleyD; dangus; Campion
And God had a lot of things to say to those doubters.

Yeah.

A bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
-- Isa. 42:3 [ESV]

Doubt and faith are not antithetical. The opposite of faith is antipathy or hostility, not doubt. It takes incredible resilience of faith to hold on and believe when every fiber of your being cries out how screwed up this world is, and seeks to indict God. But, as in Ps. 73, we may be foolish, myopic, and short-sighted, but God upholds us even through our doubts.

Heck - if doubt were some sort of unforgivable sin, than a large number of the Psalms - which were written in raw doubt - would be sinful, and Christ's cry of "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!?" would be sinful.

The interesting story in Mother Theresa is not that she struggled with doubting God. Frankly, any human who didn't struggle with doubt after seeing what she saw on the streets of Calcutta would be some sort of unfeeling sociopath. Far more intriguing - and uplifting - is how Mother Theresa clung onto her faith in the midst of her doubt, and continued the acts of mercy she felt Christ called her to. Despite deep doubt and despair gnawing at her from within, she pressed on without wavering. That's simply amazing.

Now, as regards the orthodoxy of certain statements of Mother Teresa, I take no position. Too many of those statements are quoted by people with agendas unfriendly to Mother Theresa, wholly divorced from their context. Furthermore, wasn't she Macedonian? Did she speak English well, if at all?

37 posted on 08/24/2007 11:21:51 AM PDT by jude24 (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
None of what you quoted indicates that she thought there was a route to salvation that didn't go through Jesus. That was what I was asking about. What you posted mostly complains about her silence. That's fair, but that's not the same thing.

When I was a postulant in Rome, we had Hindu-style meditation techniques from a book called "Sadhana" by Father Antony De Mello.

I don't think much of this, however.

38 posted on 08/24/2007 11:23:11 AM PDT by Campion
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Do you doubt God’s existence?

Now? Not at all.

Twenty-some years ago, you bet I did.

39 posted on 08/24/2007 11:24:39 AM PDT by Campion
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; Campion; dangus
In 12/96, a former nun in "Mother" Teresa's order wrote the following letter (Source: FBIS, 2/1/97): "I myself was in Mother Teresa's order, the Missionaries of Charity. I am now a Christian. I was saved on 3/3/96

How do we know this isn't another Maria Monk? Anyone can ***claim*** to be an ex-member of Mother Teresa's order.

40 posted on 08/24/2007 11:26:18 AM PDT by jude24 (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Campion
The point of this article says for the entire second half of her life she doubted. That's a long time.

And according to her letters, that's where she ended up, in doubt, not like you and me, who thankfully have ended up in belief.

41 posted on 08/24/2007 11:30:51 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: jude24; dangus; Campion
Doubt and faith are not antithetical.

Now, as regards the orthodoxy of certain statements of Mother Teresa, I take no position. Too many of those statements are quoted by people with agendas unfriendly to Mother Theresa


42 posted on 08/24/2007 11:32:05 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: Terriergal

Yep, more’s the pity.


43 posted on 08/24/2007 11:33:10 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: HarleyD; dangus; Campion
But doubts about your faith is something else.

Read Ps. 73, and get back to me about doubting your faith. It happens to the best of us.

44 posted on 08/24/2007 11:34:51 AM PDT by jude24 (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
But that belief is itself a gift.

And if God chooses to give that gift in a different measure to someone else, should you or I look down on them?

"What do you have, that you have not received?"

45 posted on 08/24/2007 11:42:23 AM PDT by Campion
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To: jude24; dangus; Campion
Funny, I have doubted whether God has acted in my life, doubted whether I was in His will, doubted whether He really cared for me; but I don't ever recall doubting His existence once I came to know Him.


46 posted on 08/24/2007 11:42:32 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: Campion
Where did she say that, and what, exactly, did she say?

From a "Catholic" Source:

“I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic.”

“Some call Him Ishwar, some call Him Allah, some simply God, but we have to acknowledge that it is He who made us for greater things: to love and be loved. What matters is that we love. We cannot love without prayer, and so whatever religion we are, we must pray together.”

47 posted on 08/24/2007 11:45:07 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: jude24; Campion; Dr. Eckleburg

There are many things to consider here, but one of them is NOT how Mother Teresa “ended up”. Her life was in God’s hands and so her judgment is not ours to make and anyone should hesitate to do so. It is God’s mystery, not ours, how things were when she met her God face-to-face.

What I do know is that it isn’t at all uncommon for good and holy Christians to go through periods of spiritual dryness, of darkness and of doubt. Some call it the “desert experience”. Others refer to it as the Dark NIght (both in the sensory sense and in the spiritual sense). It is understood to be time of purification.

We have the Psalms to illustrate that to us—with their times of praise and temple worship and then their times of suffering and seeking God in moments of trial. We all know of the Psalm 23 “valley of darkness”, but so beautifully expressed also is the whole of Psalm 84-—”when they go through the Bitter Valley they make it a place of springs”.

It is the testimony of our lives and how we endure with God’s grace—as St.Paul writes: “all is grace”.

I think now especially of Fr. Walter Czisek as he writes of his 23 years in the Russian Gulag-—and Fr. Van Than as he smuggled his letters out to his people while suffering and imprisoned in Viet Nam.

Each of us is given that measure which God in His mysterious and wonderful will has designed for us. For some, it will be much easier than for others and we don’t know why this is so—we only know that it is.

Mother Teresa may not have had a “mask” or a “cloak” as much as it may have been God’s will to conceal from the world at large the true measure of her holiness—a sort of mini-version of the Mose’ veil.

We poor mortals just don’t know it all. Though we did try it once—in the Garden. It obviously failed.


48 posted on 08/24/2007 11:55:48 AM PDT by Running On Empty (The three sorriest words: "It's too late")
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To: VOA
"Personally, I’m comforted when some evangelist/preacher/pastor admits to never having “heard G-d (personally) talking to them”.

"In Mere Christianity C. S. Lewis tells the story of a man who didn’t think he should have to bother learning theology because he’d had some powerful personal experiences of God. Lewis acknowledges that such experiences may have profound value. Such a person, he says, may claim to know God the way someone who spends a lot of time at the beach may claim to know the ocean. But if you want to cross the ocean, a map would be more helpful than your personal memories of the beach, and if you want to journey toward a deeper knowledge of God, theology is a sort of map that will help you more than personal experience alone. Then Lewis makes the point that a map of the ocean is not opposed to experience but is rather based on the composite experience of hundreds of people, and Christian theology is not opposed to experience but is rather based on the composite experience of thousands of people. In the same way, the academic life builds on the experience of tens of thousands of people who have gone before us in any given discipline — people who have thought and written and experimented. We don’t withdraw from experience when we step into the academic world, but we do draw back into a broader view, so that we see not just our own perspective but the perspective of many thinking people all at once."

Dr. Laura Smit
Calvin College

49 posted on 08/24/2007 11:57:47 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: P-Marlowe

Neither one of those say that there is any path to salvation that doesn’t go through Jesus Christ.


50 posted on 08/24/2007 12:00:08 PM PDT by Campion
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