suggested that the upcoming Christmas holiday should remind the world "that radiating joy is real" because Christ is everywhere — "Christ in our hearts, Christ in the poor we meet, Christ in the smile we give and in the smile that we receive."
Yet less than three months earlier, in a letter to a spiritual confidant, the Rev. Michael van der Peet, that is only now being made public, she wrote with weary familiarity of a different Christ, an absent one. "Jesus has a very special love for you," she assured Van der Peet. "[But] as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great, that I look and do not see, — Listen and do not hear — the tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak ... I want you to pray for me — that I let Him have [a] free hand."
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People I know who were raised Catholic seem to react to these revelations that Mother Teresa did not feel the comfort of the presence of God by admiring her even more than they did before. It seems to make the nobility and power of her sacrifice even greater for them to know that she did not feel any compensating comfort of the presence of God. She was doing all those good works without any reward, even a spiritual one.
I have a different take on it. Publicly she was preaching a “Christ in our hearts” that she herself did not feel. She was making promises that if people would devote themselves to God they would be rewarded – promises that had proven false for her. Doesn’t that make her some kind of spiritual scam artist?