In this intimate look at her "private writings," Paul Murray illumines the meaning of a life which is only now beginning to be understood.
I Loved Jesus in the Night is one priest's compelling account of meeting with the saint of Calcutta. Sharing anecdotes and first-hand experiences, Paul Murray offers a glimpse into why Mother Teresa could declare, in one of her letters, that if ever she were to "become a saint," she would surely be one of "darkness."
This very personal yet powerful book is an attempt to come to terms with the dark night experiences endured by Mother Teresa in the light of the Gospel and the mystical teachings of St John of the Cross. And something else as well...revelations of Mother Teresa's sense of humor!
|The secular press has misrepresented the dryness of faith Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta suffered as a lack of faith. Paul Murray, who knew Mother Teresa, was in a position to see the outer aspect of her spirituality, and therefore, could reflect on her aridity. The "dark night of her soul" is a deep yet simple condition that very few people understand. Rather than discussing the challenging poetry of St. John of the Cross, Murray points to Mother Teresa as a perfect, even saintly example of it. Mother Teresa's perseverance through this dryness shows her great faith and depth. Her radiant appearance was the true state of her soul, even if she did not feel radiant on the inside. During her darkest moments of despair, she often accused herself of lying to others about God and about hope and joy. Yet, this brutal honesty, her willingness to share it with her confessors, and her determination to keep loving Jesus, offer a great witness to true faith in Christ. I Loved Jesus in the Night might come across as simple and unoriginal, even boring. It offers no new solutions, no new proclamation. Yet, its the kind of book that draws the reader again and again. Rather than the din of Pentecostal emotionalism, Christian rock 'n' roll, or social justice hysteria, it brings Catholics back to themselves and the truth that the Church has, hopefully, inculcated in them already. The difference between a boring book on spirituality and a deep one isn't always immediately clear. The dark night of the soul is an overly discussed, much-abused phrase that consequently has little meaning most of the time. Even the brief anecdotes about the author's meetings with Mother Teresa are not interesting; they do not show Mother Teresa in an authoritative or starlike way. The author acknowledges this lack of star quality in a true understanding of dark night spirituality: "Her (Mother Teresa's) words, I remember, were utterly simple. There was nothing original in what she said, nothing at all to astonish or impress." But Murray's next sentence offers the core of Mother Teresa's teaching - and of the Church's witness: "But somehow between the words, or behind the words, I sensed an enormous depth - an ocean of awareness." The following is hardly a revolutionary statement for a book on Catholic spirituality: "What, finally was revealed in Blessed Teresa of Calcutta? What was the nature of the radiance which shone through her life and work? And I thought: Well, if there is one word which can answer this question, it is the word 'love.' But, then, there came to my mind at once another word, and unexpected word, the word 'emptiness.'" What is revolutionary about this book is that it draws deeply on the only true revolution humanity has ever had - the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.|
|National Catholic Register|
|I Loved Jesus in the Night by Dominican Father Paul Murray recounts in 24 short chapters his experiences and lessons learned from time spent with Mother Teresa. Since his first encounter with her in a university classroom, Fr. Murray was struck to the core by her "radiant joy" and the simplicity and candor that permeated his heart and mind. This book is easy to read and gives insights into the spiritual life and relationship with Jesus that drove this carrier of God's love to serve the poorest of the poor. On two separate occasions Mother Teresa took Fr. Murray's hand in hers and spelled out the Gospel passage that summed up for her the entire mystery of our lives: "You did it to me." This is an excellent meditative book that can be used for personal reflection.|
In 2007, the 10th anniversary year of Mother Teresa's death, it was revealed that she endured what is called the 'dark night of the soul.' Some people called her a fake and said she had misled people. This book by Paul Murray, a priest, shows how wrong they are. He shows she endured what several other saints, including St John of the Cross and St Therese. had undergone. Mother Teresa suffered this spiritual darkness most of her life but kept her faith amid the suffering. Murray had several contacts With Mother Teresa and discusses these and other aspects of the spirituality of the dark night of the soul. This small book should be pondered rather than quickly read. It is highly recommended to those interested in Mother Teresa and the dark night of the soul. - Benet Exton
February 18, 2009
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