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On Mother Teresa’s “dark night”


To understand her condition better, as reported in Time, it is well to recall her two great predecessors in “the dark night,” those two Doctors of the Church, St. Teresa of Avila and St. Therese of Lisieux. It was for them that she was named, to mark her out early, as called to follow in their lineage. Virtually all serious Christians know this desert, and come to love it, as a place without illusions, and the best of all locations to stand in the darkling presence of God, who can neither be seen nor touched, heard nor smelled, tasted nor even imagined.

The nun in school stood over a five-year-old, asking her what she was drawing. “God,” the child looked up simply. “But no one knows what God looks like.” “They will now.”

The early Teresa (Spanish) and the later (French) are named Doctors of the Church for being, along with St. John of the Cross, the teachers nonpareil on the faith of adults, called to come especially close to God. It is like passing through fire.


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