Doubting Teresa


“I am told God loves me, and yet the reality of the darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. I have no faith. I dare not utter the words and thoughts that crowd in my heart.”

Mother Teresa – saint to many, selfless humanitarian to others – suffered a 40 year long crisis of faith that caused her to question the very existence of God.

For some reason that makes me feel a little better about my own lack of faith.

Author: Brian

Blogger. Bookworm. Michael Jackson fanatic. Lives in Kentucky with partner of 12 years and three fabulous felines.

10 thoughts on “Doubting Teresa”

  1. Brian,

    Thanks for linking to the article by David Quinn. I know some atheists are having a field day with this recent publication of Mother Teresa’s letters, but for most believers it is not news. We all have doubts and questions, even the heroes of the faith had doubts–Moses, David, The Aposle Peter, the Apostle Paul, Billy Graham. Faith is not the absence of doubt or questions. Faith is trusting God even though we don’t have all the answers to our questions, even though we stuggle with doubt from time to time.

    A couple of quotes from Quinn’s article are especially noteworthy:

    “Some of the biggest-hitting atheists of the last few decades, intellectual heavyweights several classes above a Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens, among them AJ Ayer and Anthony Flew, came in later life to doubt aspects of their non-belief.”

    And the conclusion:
    “Should we think more or less of Mother Teresa now that we know what we know about her inner spiritual life? Probably more. Her essential goodness is not in the least diminished by these letters…In fact, these letters should recommend her to an age that celebrates religious doubt, and actively encourages it. She is, and will remain, a saint to Catholics. But her inner doubts should now endear her more to an age plagued by doubt. If she can doubt, but still believe, it gives believers permission to have doubts, and doubters permission to have beliefs.”

    We’re all a mix of doubter and believer, sinner and saint. The problem is when people fake it–believers masquerade as saints who have no doubts or sin, or skeptics who pretend like they don’t flirt with faith, privately wondering in the deepest part of their being if there might really be a God.


  2. jimthomp87,
    I agree wholeheartedly with you. Those letters encourage believers to be sincere when in doubt. Her simplicity and obedience are valuable.

  3. JimT,

    I also agree with you completely. It’s all the more reason to admire her, since we can relate to her struggles even more.


    It certainly isn’t!


    Care to explain your “acclaration”?

  4. Brian – I really meant an “explanation”, making things clear, sorry for the word. Anyway, the point I wanted to make was that I am not an contributor; because it may appear that I am the author of the article or something. In other words, I don’t see a “posted by” note that would prevent others of making such a relationship.

    Sorry if I sound of caring too much of what people associate my nickname to, but I thought the note was not in vain.

  5. ASE,

    Okay. I just didn’t understand the comment and also didn’t realize that my blog posts don’t have an author listed. I just switched to this theme and I’m still learning about it. The author’s comments do appear with a green background, though. ;)

    Thanks for stopping by and feel free to comment anytime!

  6. They do appear in a green background, but only if you are looking at the comments in the post’s page, not via a WordPress Dashboard or comments’ RSS feed that may be some people’s case.
    just a thought. ;-)

    “acclaration” would make some sense if you speak Spanish:
    “Aclaración” means something like making things clear or giving an explanation. It was a wrong translation.

  7. ASE,

    I wish I could add my name automatically on each post, but that’s dependent on the theme and this one doesn’t support it.

    I think today is the first time I’ve ever heard the word “acclaration”. :)

  8. Well, so far I have learned two things today.

    I was kind of surprised to see the quote was from Mother Teresa. However, I completely understand what she was saying. It was kind of a comfort to know that someone as good as she even had feelings like that at times.

    Also, I have never seen the word “acclaration” although I understood what that word meant but not the following statement afterwards. I am glad they explained it.

    Another good post, Brian!!!!

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