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She also has a devoted following of former students she taught privately and at the Minneapolis-based Loft Literary Center where she has served on the board. Executive director is Jerod Santek, former program director at the Loft in Minneapolis. By Mary Ann Grossmann mgrossmann pioneerpress.

More in Books. Paul Public Library announced Thursday. The 32nd annual salute to the state's best authors, artists and publishers will be at the Ordway Concert Hall after being held for the past several years at the InterContinental Hotel a few blocks away. Friends president The free program begins at p. Weigl, who served in Vietnam in , is Paul cultural destination areas. Art selections curated in partnership with Public Art St.

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The more success Teresa had--and half a year later so many young women had joined her society that she needed to move again--the worse she felt. It has been like this more or less from the time I started 'the work. You have exterior facts enough to see that God blesses your work Feelings are not required and often may be misleading. How can you assume the lover's ardor when he no longer grants you his voice, his touch, his very presence?

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The problem was exacerbated by an inhibition to even describe it. Teresa reported on several occasions inviting a confessor to visit and then being unable to speak. Eventually, one thought to ask her to write the problem down, and she complied. A year later she sounded desolate: "Such deep longing for God--and At the suggestion of a confessor, she wrote the agonized plea that begins this section, in which she explored the theological worst-possible-case implications of her dilemma. That letter and another one from "What do I labour for?

If there be no God--there can be no soul--if there is no Soul then Jesus--You also are not true" are the only two that sound any note of doubt of God's existence. But she frequently bemoaned an inability to pray: "I utter words of Community prayers--and try my utmost to get out of every word the sweetness it has to give--But my prayer of union is not there any longer--I no longer pray. As the Missionaries of Charity flourished and gradually gained the attention of her church and the world at large, Teresa progressed from confessor to confessor the way some patients move through their psychoanalysts.

Joseph Neuner in For these confessors, she developed a kind of shorthand of pain, referring almost casually to "my darkness" and to Jesus as "the Absent One. Teresa prayed to the deceased Pope for a "proof that God is pleased with the Society. And although, as we shall see, she found a way to accept the absence, it never lifted again.

Five years after her Nobel, a Jesuit priest in the Calcutta province noted that "Mother came It was not a passing phase but had gone on for years. Tell me, Father, why is there so much pain and darkness in my soul? Why did Teresa's communication with Jesus, so vivid and nourishing in the months before the founding of the Missionaries, evaporate so suddenly? Interestingly, secular and religious explanations travel for a while on parallel tracks. Both understand although only one celebrates that identification with Christ's extended suffering on the Cross, undertaken to redeem humanity, is a key aspect of Catholic spirituality.

Teresa told her nuns that physical poverty ensured empathy in "giving themselves" to the suffering poor and established a stronger bond with Christ's redemptive agony. She wrote in that the Passion was the only aspect of Jesus' life that she was interested in sharing: "I want to Kolodiejchuk finds divine purpose in the fact that Teresa's spiritual spigot went dry just as she prevailed over her church's perceived hesitations and saw a successful way to realize Jesus' call for her.

As proof that it worked, he cites her written comment after receiving an important prize in the Philippines in the s: "This means nothing to me, because I don't have Him. And yet "the question is, Who determined the abandonment she experienced? Gottlieb notes that Teresa's ambitions for her ministry were tremendous. Both he and Kolodiejchuk are fascinated by her statement, "I want to love Jesus as he has never been loved before.

Rather than simply giving all credit to God, Gottlieb observes, she agonizes incessantly that "any taking credit for her accomplishments--if only internally--is sinful" and hence, perhaps, requires a price to be paid. A mild secular analog, he says, might be an executive who commits a horrific social gaffe at the instant of a crucial promotion.

For Teresa, "an occasion for a modicum of joy initiated a significant quantity of misery," and her subsequent successes led her to perpetuate it. Gottlieb also suggests that starting her ministry "may have marked a turning point in her relationship with Jesus," whose urgent claims she was finally in a position to fulfill.

Being the active party, he speculates, might have scared her, and in the end, the only way to accomplish great things might have been in the permanent and less risky role of the spurned yet faithful lover. The atheist position is simpler. In , Hitchens ventures, Teresa finally woke up, although she could not admit it. He likens her to die-hard Western communists late in the cold war: "There was a huge amount of cognitive dissonance," he says. It means my life is meaningless.

And I think once the mainspring is gone, it cannot be repaired. Most religious readers will reject that explanation, along with any that makes her the author of her own misery--or even defines it as true misery.

Martin, responding to the torch-song image of Teresa, counterproposes her as the heroically constant spouse. And your wife, God forbid, gets a stroke and she's comatose. And you will never experience her love again.

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It's like loving and caring for a person for 50 years and once in a while you complain to your spiritual director, but you know on the deepest level that she loves you even though she's silent and that what you're doing makes sense. Mother Teresa knew that what she was doing made sense. I can't express in words--the gratitude I owe you for your kindness to me--for the first time in You have taught me to accept it [as] a 'spiritual side of your work' as you wrote--Today really I felt a deep joy--that Jesus can't go anymore through the agony--but that He wants to go through it in me.

There are two responses to trauma: to hold onto it in all its vividness and remain its captive, or without necessarily "conquering" it, to gradually integrate it into the day-by-day. After more than a decade of open-wound agony, Teresa seems to have begun regaining her spiritual equilibrium with the help of a particularly perceptive adviser.

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Joseph Neuner, whom she met in the late s and confided in somewhat later, was already a well-known theologian, and when she turned to him with her "darkness," he seems to have told her the three things she needed to hear: that there was no human remedy for it that is, she should not feel responsible for affecting it ; that feeling Jesus is not the only proof of his being there, and her very craving for God was a "sure sign" of his "hidden presence" in her life; and that the absence was in fact part of the "spiritual side" of her work for Jesus.

This counsel clearly granted Teresa a tremendous sense of release. For all that she had expected and even craved to share in Christ's Passion, she had not anticipated that she might recapitulate the particular moment on the Cross when he asks, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? Neuner would later write, "It was the redeeming experience of her life when she realized that the night of her heart was the special share she had in Jesus' passion.

Not that it didn't continue to torment her.

Years later, describing the joy in Jesus experienced by some of her nuns, she observed dryly to Neuner, "I just have the joy of having nothing--not even the reality of the Presence of God [in the Eucharist]. Says Gottlieb, the psychoanalyst: "What is remarkable is that she integrated it in a way that enabled her to make it the organizing center of her personality, the beacon for her ongoing spiritual life. Theologically, this is a bit odd since most orthodox Christianity defines heaven as God's eternal presence and doesn't really provide for regular no-shows at the heavenly feast.

Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark

But it is, Kolodiejchuk suggests, her most moving statement, since the sacrifice involved is infinite. He contends that the letters reveal her as holier than anyone knew. However formidable her efforts on Christ's behalf, it is even more astounding to realize that she achieved them when he was not available to her--a bit like a person who believes she can't walk winning the Olympic meters. Kolodiejchuk goes even further.

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Catholic theologians recognize two types of "dark night": the first is purgative, cleansing the contemplative for a "final union" with Christ; the second is "reparative," and continues after such a union, so that he or she may participate in a state of purity even closer to that of Jesus and Mary, who suffered for human salvation despite being without sin. By the end, writes Kolodiejchuk, "by all indications this was the case with Mother Teresa. A New Ministry.

If this brings You glory--if souls are brought to you--with joy I accept all to the end of my life. But for most people, Teresa's ranking among Catholic saints may be less important than a more general implication of Come Be My Light: that if she could carry on for a half-century without God in her head or heart, then perhaps people not quite as saintly can cope with less extreme versions of the same problem.