08 Mother Teresa's heroic Courage - Elise Harris

posted Aug 29, 2018, 10:03 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Aug 29, 2018, 10:03 AM ]
There are many things about Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta that could be called heroic – her tireless service to the world's most rejected and her courageous witness to millions of what it is to live the Gospel, just to name a couple.

But the priest who oversaw her path to sainthood said that for him, one thing stands out above all the rest: her experience of spiritual darkness and what she described as feeling totally abandoned by God for the majority of her life.

"The single most heroic thing is exactly her darkness. That pure living, that pure, naked faith," Fr Brian Kolodiejchuk, the postulator for Mother Teresa's canonisation cause, told CNA in an interview. Fr Kolodiejchuk is a priest of the Missionaries of Charity Fathers, founded by Mother Teresa in 1989.

By undergoing the depth and duration of the desolation she experienced, yet doing everything that she did for others in spite of it, "that's really very heroic," he said.

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu Aug. 26, 1910 in Skopje, in what is now Macedonia, Mother Teresa joined the Sisters of Loretto at the age of 17, but later left after she felt what she called "an order" from God to leave the convent and to live among the poor.

She went on to found several communities of both active and contemplative Missionaries of Charity, which include religious sisters, brothers and priests.

The first community of active sisters was founded in 1950. An order of active brothers was founded nearly 20 years later in 1968. Then two contemplative orders came - one of women (in 1976) and one of men (in 1979).

In 1989, the Missionaries of Charity Fathers was established and is a clerical religious institute of the diocesan right whose members make promises of poverty, chastity, obedience, and offer wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor.

Additionally, an order of lay missionaries was also founded in 1984, and several movements who organise various works of charity have also been born as part of the Missionaries of Charity spiritual family.