Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

September 7, 2007

A Saint of Darkness?

Mike describes the new revelations regarding Blessed Teresa's spirituals struggles coming from Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light as "a life typical of most saints, one filled with much darkness as it progressed in the light of Christ." That is certainly one strain of the commentary emanating from the book, most sharply made in Katherine Jean Lopez's criticism of the media coverage of the book.

But controversies are often great teaching moments, and not only the cover feature in Time
but also President Bush's former speechwriter Michael Gerson consider Mother Teresa's experience of the absence of God to be noteworthy. The pithy and provocative byline from the book taken from one of the revealed letters comes when Mother Teresa herself states, "
If ever I become a saint. I will surely be one of 'darkness.'"I would recommend the whole article, as Gerson covers a range of provocative issues and questions raised if Mother Teresa's experience was indeed of a noteworthy and extended dark night of the soul. It might be one more tool to engage your students in a bit of more in depth discussion of faith, as well as a potential jump off for numerous possible essay topics.

Extended Project

Give the students the option of reading Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light and writing an essay on any number of topics as a semester-long project or extra credit opportunity. Possible topic: "Was Mother Teresa's experience of the absence of God notably different from the experience of other saints? Or was her experience typical for saints?"

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