Fr. Andrew Greeley had some good points on this "Mother Theresa Thing" in his regular column a couple of days ago (thanks to Amy Welborn for the link):
Was there no one in the deep sub-basements of ABC who knew about the Dark Night of the Soul — an experience in which someone on the road to sanctity feels abandoned by God and has to cling to faith and vocation by sheer stubborn faith? Could not someone at a local chancery call ABC and say, hey, you idiots, that feeling of abandonment is one more proof that she was a saint?
Catholics know that doubt and fear are part of the human condition, and absolute certainty is rarely if ever granted, and merits skepticism if it’s offered. St. Teresa of Avila experienced the Dark Night; Juan de la Cruz did, too, and wrote one of the greatest of poems in human literature about it (”Once in the Dark of Night”). St. Therese of Lisieux lived through it in the last years of her brief life. Jesus’ Agony in the Garden was quite literally a Dark Night. So was his cry, ”Why have you forsaken me?”
When I’m asked if I experience doubts, I usually answer, ”No more than 20, but that’s before breakfast.”
I suspect that some Catholic source tried to explain these matters to the ABC reporter, but the reporter’s paradigm for all things Catholic is scandal and had been given that paradigm by his news editor, who already had the lead for the story in mind. How could the clip have begun with ”Catholic experts on sanctity said today that the revelation of the secret letters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta were simply one more proof that she indeed was a saint and a very great saint at that.”
No, it was a much better ”grabber” to summon up an atheist to proclaim that the soon-to-be saint was a hypocrite. Like I say, a medicine man with poisoned arrows in the rain forest would get a better break. He would be someone novel.