Book Review: Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light

Kolodiejchuk, Brian, M.C. Editor. Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light – The Private Writings of the “Saint of Calcutta.” New York: Doubleday. 2007.

I found this book really interesting, but I have to admit that I skipped a chapter or two because I didn’t feel I was being presented with very much new information after the first few chapters. Most of the book is composed of Mother Teresa’s personal letters to her spiritual leaders. She exibits an extraordinary faith throughout her life of service. You read about how she felt her own poverty was her greatest act of service, her monumental devotion to her spouse Jesus, and her willingness to give everything to God.
But the purpose of the book is not only to demonstrate her faith, but to bring to light her private writings that detail her struggle to have faith. It is clear that faith did not come easily for Mother Teresa, and at times, she felt completely unable to feel God’s presence at all. The book demonstrates that Faith & Doubt can coexist within the same individual – that the presence of undying faith does not preclude the presence of crippling doubt and darkness.
One aspect of the book continually bothered me, however. Mother Teresa continually begged her religious confidants to destroy all letters from her, presumably because of the extremely personal nature of her near-confessions in the letters. But the book exists because her religious confidants continually disregarded her wishes – the publishing of her letters being the ultimate defiance of her wishes. The editor/author acknowledges this, but never really gets around to telling the reader why it’s ok that he published them anyway…

1 comment to Book Review: Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light

  • Hm… I also would have a struggle with that aspect of the book, although it does sound interesting. I do like how the book does humanize her as she felt doubt just as we all do, even when we're striving to have faith. Thanks for another great review!