Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith

Her secret letters show that she spent almost 50 years without sensing the presence of God in her life. What does her experience teach us about the value of doubt?

Bettmann / Corbis

Mother Teresa in a Calcutta orphanage, 1979.

Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.
— Mother Teresa to the Rev. Michael Van Der Peet, September 1979

On Dec. 11, 1979, Mother Teresa, the "Saint of the Gutters," went to Oslo. Dressed in her signature blue-bordered sari and shod in sandals despite below-zero temperatures, the former Agnes Bojaxhiu received that ultimate worldly accolade, the Nobel Peace Prize. In her acceptance lecture, Teresa, whose Missionaries of Charity had...

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