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Jesuit Reflects on Mother Teresa’s Canonization

On September 4th, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was canonized by Pope Francis in Saint Peter’s Square a scant 19 years after her death, as opposed to the several centuries it typically requires. She was an advocate for the poor and a staunch reformer, acknowledging that the economic system needs to change. However, she was not without her controversies, the most prominent being the discovery of her journals that revealed a crisis of faith and disbelief that spanned 50 years. This “Dark Night” was a time that she didn’t feel God’s presence, but created a religious group nonetheless to try to get closer to Jesus.

When asked about Mother Teresa and her work, Father Cobb, S.J. praised her and said, “Just because she is a Saint, doesn’t mean she isn’t human.” He referred to her as a “prophet of her time” and the “perfect person to complement Pope Francis’s Year of Mercy.” 

Father Cobb didn’t shy to even compare her lapse in faith to Jesus. He specifically cited the passages where Jesus is on the cross and asks in immense pain, “Oh Father, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:45-46) and Jesus’ prayer at Gethsemane, where he goes to the top of a mountain to beg God to pick someone else to hold this burden, eventually accepting it when he learns there is no other way to achieve salvation (Matthew 26:36-46).

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