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  • Come Be My Light

    A friend and I just finished reading this book which includes many of Mother Teresa's private writings. They were writings she BEGGED would never be published, so I felt I was invading her privacy as I read, but I was also so grateful the writings were shared.

    She was a brave woman who lived a dark interior life. Never wanting to cloud others' love of God, she shielded her darkness with "a big smile." She viewed her darkness as sharing in Christ's sufferings. If I were to undergo all she did, I would have a hard time not viewing the darkness as being abandoned by God, but she never gave into that lie. She continued to seek God. She encouraged others frequently to "Give Jesus a free hand and let Him use you without consulting you."

    At one point she was speaking of her love for Jesus and for those around her, "how my soul longs for God for Him alone, how painful it is to be without Him how my thoughts are only the Sisters the Poor. Is this distraction [or]are these thoughts the cause of my praying? They are my prayer they are my very life. I love them as I love Jesus, now as I do not love Jesus I do not love them either. I know this is only feelings for my will is steadfast bound to Jesus so to the Sisters & the Poor." 

    We often talk of "not being used" of "making agreements" of "not being taken advantage of." We speak of "following our hearts" or of "experiencing God." Mother Teresa did not have these phrases as part of her vocabulary. She welcomed what it meant to be spent for her Savior. She became empty so every bit of what she gave could be credited to her Savior. She would say, "I accept whatever He gives and I give whatever He takes." Her very life she held open handedly so God could do as He pleased in and through her.

    Even at the end, when she could no longer speak, she would gather her strength to write on a note, "I want Jesus." She didn't ask for visitation of those she served, of the priests, or of her sisters. She asked for Jesus to visit her. Her plea never changed. The darkness did not overcome her. Through every page my own faith was put to the test. Could I walk with God for 50 years without experiencing Him? Would I commit to such suffering without the visitation of God? Would I give the fullness of myself to ease the pain of others? I think the answer lies in what my life looks like. I don't live as she did. My faith hasn't withstood what hers required of her. I'm challenged by this mighty woman of God who spent herself for her love of God.