St. Teresa of Calcutta: Missionary, Mother, Mystic
Written to coincide with the September 2016 canonization of Mother Teresa by Pope Francis, this stirring new biography follows St. Teresa’s life from Macedonia to the cloister in India to the streets of Calcutta to worldwide fame and the company of the saints. Readers will be inspired by the remarkable trajectory of her life, and the love of God that propelled it. Each chapter focuses on a different period in her one-of-a-kind life and ministry, beginning with her childhood and family life, her postulancy, novitiate, commitment to the Loreto Sisters, and her twenty years (1928-48) with them in India. Then, author Kerry Walters observes the 1946 turning point in Mother Teresa’s life: her sense that God was calling her to dedicate herself to serving the poor of India, her leave-taking of the Loreto Sisters, and struggle for ecclesial approval for a new religious order. He also explores her 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, relationship with John Paul II, and work in the 1980s and 90s with war victims and AIDS patients. One of the most illuminating facets of this new biography is the posthumous revelation that Mother Teresa endured a 50-year “dark night of the soul,” and how she persevered by realizing that it was a grace that allowed her to live Christ’s Passion. Underlying all of the events of her life was the driving force behind her spirituality and ministry: her conviction that as miserable as physical hunger, lovelessness and exile are, their spiritual analogs are even worse—and that both the physical and the spiritual need to be addressed for humans to live as God intends. Readers will leave inspired and strengthened in their own spirituality, with the knowledge that even the holiest among us must work to find a path—and that God’s love follows us even into the most challenging of circumstances.
Walters, Kerry S. St. Teresa of Calcutta: Missionary, Mother, Mystic. Franciscan Media, 2016.