As might be inferred from the title of this blog I have a strong attachment to the writings and work of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. As do most who have been familiar with her writings I am familiar with her particular "dark night of the soul" experience, though like most I did not fully appreciate how very cut off she felt from the experience of Our Lord.
How deep her spiritual torture was is only now been revealed in the new book based on letters to her spiritual councilor Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light.
Anyone familiar with Saint John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz) Dark Night of the Soul, will appreciate that this was not an experience unique to Blessed Teresa, but it must be said that hers was one of the longest known instances of this phenomenon, extending for some fifty years in all, broken by a single three week long period apparently the result of direct intercession by a deceased Pope.
I can't but personally feel that such a cross to be born by one who was so honored by the world was the equivalent of the ancient Roman practice. When a conqueror in Ancient Rome returned to the city victorious he would be given a parade, crowned with wreaths, and where all the populous would cheer him as he rode through the streets in his chariot. Behind him stood a slave, who whispered in his ear, "you are only a man."
So publicly devoted to Christ and the Eucharist, Blessed Teresa was called upon by God to perform her ministry under not only the most strenuous physical conditions but also the most demanding spiritual conditions. In her own words I expect she will "...continually be absent from Heaven — to [light] the light of those in darkness on earth,"