via Cosmic Variance
Mother Teresa is a name that has become synonymous with saintliness in popular culture where criticizing her is almost unthinkable. That is not to say that she doesn’t have her critics; Aroup Chatterjee and Christopher Hitchens certainly do criticize her, but for the vast majority, she is a symbol of a selfless life devoted to service.
So, I think it will come as a surprise to some that Mother Teresa had serious doubts about her faith to the point where she stopped praying. According to CBS News a collection of letters that she had written is about to be released in the form of a book and these letters have strong strains of doubt:
“Where is my faith?” she wrote. “Even deep down… there is nothing but emptiness and darkness… If there be God — please forgive me.”
Eight years later, she was still looking to reclaim her lost faith.
“Such deep longing for God… Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal,” she said.
As her fame increased, her faith refused to return. Her smile, she said, was a mask.
“What do I labor for?” she asked in one letter. “If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.
Of course it is difficult to tell exactly how far this doubt went without full context, but it will be interesting to see how public sentiment of Mother Teresa changes with this additional information or if she has since passed to the back of the public consciousness.
Time will tell.