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Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta Paperback – Oct 13 2009

2.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Image (Oct. 13 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307589234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307589231
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Mother Teresa was one of the most revered people of the 20th century, so it is no surprise that 10 years after her death people still want to know what impelled this poor, humble Albanian woman to give her life to God so completely. Kolodiejchuk, a Catholic priest and friend of Mother Teresa’s who is actively promoting her cause for sainthood, assembles a startling and impressive collection of her writings, most of which have never been seen by the public. Two themes especially shine through in Mother Teresa’s letters, namely, her absolute conviction that she was doing God’s will, and a deep and surprising chasm of darkness within her that some would call the dark night of the soul. It is also apparent that this saintly woman was no pushover. In her quest to found the Missionaries of Charity, she aggressively pursued approval from her bishop, fully confident that God desired this work to be done. Kolodiejchuk is at times a bit presumptive in his interpretations of Teresa’s letters, as no one can say for certain what was in her mind and heart at all times. What we do know, in part thanks to this volume, is that Mother Teresa’s vocation to care for the poorest of the poor will continue to inspire people for generations. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Come Be My Light is that rare thing, a posthumous autobiography that could cause a wholesale reconsideration of a major public figure – one way or another. It raises questions about God and faith, the engine behind great achievement, and the persistence of love, divine and human. That it does so not in any organized, intentional form but as a hodgepodge of desperate notes not intended for daylight should leave readers only more convinced that it is authentic – and that they are, somewhat shockingly, touching the true inner life of a modern saint. —David Van Biema, Time Magazine

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2.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is not a book for those who are looking for a feel good story. It's a deeply personal story of a woman who loved God beyond everything, and struggled... as we all do... in the darkness. It's an encouragement to those of us who have lost the feelings of God. It's wonderful fruit for daily prayers, and the 'real stuff' of faith. God bless the priests who had the courage to save her letters and publish them for our benefit. Her humility desired them to remain private, but we are blessed to have them. Mother Theresa, Pray for us!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is hope in this book for anyone who has ever felt despair especially in yearning for contact with God and not finding it except perhaps in the goodness (Godness?) of others. Despite a darkness and dryness which seems to have persisted for all but one month of her adult life as a woman religious, Mother Teresa admits to this kind of loneliness, while still putting on a "happy face". I'm identifying.

The reality is that the world would likely not know of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta apart from the work of Malcolm Muggeridge who found her and who then produced the film, "Something Beautiful for God". When I was a secondary school teacher I showed this film to my classes year in and year out. I still wonder what happened to that tiny baby girl to whom Mother talks at one point and tells Muggeridge that there is a light in the baby's eye and she thinks "she will make it".

I have had the opportunity to visit the motherhouse of the community in Calcutta. I had hoped to see the babies there but couldn't because "The children are having chicken pox", the sign outside the orphanage said. I was offered the chance to wait to meet Mother Teresa herself as she made her way to the chapel but decided I wasn't up to that. I might actually have been afraid to meet her and I still don't know why. Would she have seen the progressive version of Christianity which is now my own approach to the tradition? And would she perhaps not have approved?

I'm glad the book was written. I could do without the pious language of the priest who is her postulator. I can deal with it in terms of Mother Teresa herself because it was the language of the spirituality of the Roman Catholic Church when I was growing up.
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Format: Paperback
What initially attracted me to 'Come Be My Light' was the fact it is based on the personal corespondence Mother Teresa had with her spiritual advisors and others throughout her life. After her death it was revealed that she suffered through periods of spiritual darkness-this was something i wanted to explore in more detail. What shocked me about the book is the fact that after Mother Teresa heard 'the call' while on a train to Darjeeling to leave her teaching position and go into the slums of Calcutta, she had no sense of the presence of God again throughout her life. This is the core of the book-her letters are a form of reaching out for help from her spiritual advisors who seem to do nothing more than reframe things so she can continue with her work. I found the book disturbing in that it showed, at least for me, Mother Teresa's convoluted view on suffering (if God allows it you must accept it) and the church's collaboration in its attempt to make her a modern day saint. The book eventually became tedious and I found myself skimming through the final chapters.While 'Come Be My Light' provides a rather startling glimpse of Mother Teresa's inner life, it wasn't nearly as inspiring as I had hoped.
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Format: Hardcover
A fellow reader found my "one" star rating problematic. I agree. Blessed Teresa's writings deserve more than 5 Stars!. My problem is that she requested the letters be burned not published. If that's her request, then what kind of respect is that for her? Correct me if I'm wrong. No star to the National Post. The journalist and Editor need a theology lesson before they attempt to write about something they no nothing about. The Editor of the book should be ashamed of publishing words that were meant to be between her and God, confessions under the seal of secrecy (even though she is "dead") Saturday Morning: I stepped out of the elevator to go to work at C.I. Religious Supplies in Toronto. Someone had left a copy of the National Post on the counter. I saw Mother Teresa's photograph and read the quote above it: 'I have no faith'. Yes, it caught my eye and I picked it up. The National Post had done its job of catching my attention. I had the feeling it would be slanderous yet I read on. Out of 224 pages, the NP chose 4 words to sum up Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's life. Of course, what made it eye-catching is that a woman of "great faith" said 'I have no faith'. If it was a photo of me or the journalist it would not have that impact. What immediately jumped to my mind was "the Dark Night of the Soul" experienced by all Saints, including Christ Himself when He said, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" To keep it short, the "Dark Night of the Soul" is what EVERY Saint experiences in their journey towards God. God seemingly abandons the soul in order to bring it closer to Him and increases the soul's faith and trust in Him. This was affirmed by many renowned theologians who said the same thing. Do a Google search and read about St. John of the Cross.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 371 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Blessing and a Betrayal Aug. 11 2016
By 6thofNine - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand it was a real blessing for me. I went through (and somewhat I am still going through) one of the darkest periods of my life. During some of the most darkest times, I have cried out to God in tears: “Oh God, I need You. I need to hear from you. Something. Something to know you are there. A whisper, or just a touch. Just to know that you are there.” Many times I cried out and prayed this. And I got NOTHING. Not a touch, not a word. Nothing. And I got mad at God, to the point of asking: “If God is not there for you when you really need Him, what good is He?” How’s that for a blasphemous question? Honestly, my faith was shaken, I’m sorry to admit.
And that is why this book has been such a blessing. It has given me understanding and answers to some of my questioning. It has helped me to grow in my faith in God again. A God that is loving. A God that is there for me, even when He seems to be ignoring me, and turning His back on me. If you are in a place that is making you feel this way, then I recommend this book for you. It has been a blessing to me, and I pray that it will bless you too.

Now on the other hand, this book was a betrayal. Mother Theresa on many occasions made it explicitly clear that she did not want these letters to be published. She wanted them destroyed upon her death. They were entrusted to her spiritual leaders/advisors, and they betrayed this trust. They published her letters, which are in this book. I know from reading this book that because of her humility, and because of her submission to those in authority over her, that she probably would not see it this way. But because I am not where Mother Teresa is spiritually, that is how I see it. Which is what makes me conflicted about this book. While I am glad it was published after all, I can’t but help feel that her trust was betrayed. Maybe if, and when I get to where Mother Teresa was spiritually, I’ll feel differently. I hope this helps you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Gift for those of still on this side June 17 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thank you Mother T., for confirming your "humanity"! A Great Gift for those of still on this side! There's only 1 way to Heaven. Through Jesus AND, His CROSS! "NO Cross No Crown" is Anathema in our culture. "Choice" without Consequences is seen as a RIGHT. Suffering is considered unnecessary, evil, & to be avoided at ANY COST! Even Murder! Suicide is fast taking the form of a "moral obligation", and even, a social "good" "spare others from the discomfort," (and $$$$!) of observing your pain! Even "christians" are claiming if a person suffers, it's a Lack of Faith!
This is a Great book of insights, from a woman who Lived the Truth of the Gospel message. She Endured to the very end! Her honesty helps anyone on the Narrow Path, & is in direct opposition to our Cultural Norms! Any Christian, comfortable in this culture, needs a "time out" for a reality check!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Her accomplishments in helping and comforting many people who suffer greatly are awesome. It is sad that she spent so much ... June 8 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
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There was a lot of repetition, and while I don't doubt the scincerity of her faith I find it difficult to relate to some of her expectations. Her accomplishments in helping and comforting many people who suffer greatly are awesome. It is sad that she spent so much of her life feeling that she lost the feeling of extreme intimacy she once enjoyed with her beloved Lord.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect Love Oct. 14 2016
By R. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most of us go through our lives convinced something is wrong with us. We shouldn't feel this way, we shouldn't doubt that thing... If only we were saint-like - you know, like Mother Teresa? Then everything would be better. We'd never feel weakness or doubt or... or would we?
According to Mother Teresa herself, we would.
That's the beauty of this book.
Jesus Christ loves you in your imperfection, even when you can't feel Him.
5.0 out of 5 stars She did this with love and smiles Oct. 14 2016
By Pat H - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A difficult read but a most moving one. Hard to get ones mind around her absolute selflessness despite her "dark night of the soul". No one knew her interior dryness, her feeling of being abandoned by God, but her spiritual director. And at times, she could not even articulate to that person her feelings. But nevertheless, she kept her faith in God. With her spiritual director's help, Mother came to realize that God was asking her to share in His Passion. She did this with love and smiles, giving with every ounce of her being, to the poor, unwanted, homeless, desolate. Lots of tears shed
during the reading of this memorable book.