Mother Teresa Meets Screwtape

 

Mother Teresa“There is such terrible darkness within me, as if everything was dead,” she wrote a half-dozen years after establishing the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. “It has been like this more or less from the time I started ‘the work.’ “

It’s been interesting to note the world’s response to the revelation that Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the much admired champion of the poor and helpless, had doubts and agonies as she labored among Calcutta’s poor. Some respond with a knowing nod of the head. “I knew it!” they say. “She and her God were a fraud–powerless in the end.” Others marvel at her tenacity and cheer for her stubborn passion.

As for me, the whole revelation reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis, taken from Screwtape Letters. In it, Screwtape, the chief tempter, instructs his student, Wormwood, about the greatest danger facing the demonic cause. Screwtape warns:

…the prayers offered in a state of dryness are those which please Him best…our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.

The devils trembled in Calcutta…

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