The Paradox of Trial: Mother Teresa's Spiritual Experiences
PAN Yi Jung

When I was writing this paper, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has spread throughout the world. Due to the unprecedented nature of the outbreak, anxiety and fear permeated Hong Kong's society in the past months. It seems that churches and Christian believers are facing a new stage of unknown. Mother Teresa's (1910-1997) spiritual life, testimony, and service for suffering persons not only inspired many people's reflection in dilemma, her spiritual journey of love have encouraged different Christian and non-believer's life.

In the book Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the "Saint of Calcutta," which was published only after the tenth anniversary of her death (2007), the editor Father Brian Kolodiejchuk introduced Mother Teresa's letters and personal writings. This important document revealed Mother Teresa's inner life and described her deep longing for God's presence. On the one hand, her heart was burning with a blazing flame of love for Jesus Christ. On the other hand, she was suffering from a kind of separation from His loving presence. Therefore, she experienced a situation of soul's "darkness" and anguish. Bearing such painful struggles, paradoxically, her spiritual life was thus purified and transformed.

Mother Teresa once said, "If I ever become a saint—I will surely be one of ‘darkness.' I will continually be absent from Heaven—to light the light of those in darkness on earth." On September 4, 2016, Mother Teresa indeed was made a saint by Pope Francis at a ceremony at the Vatican. Obviously, this sentence is quite a significant description to Mother Teresa's devotional life. Based on this expression, this paper is divided into four parts: (1) Burning the flame of love; (2) Trial of "darkness"; (3) Paradoxical "darkness"; and (4) Exploring the paradoxical trial of Mother Teresa in facing of unknown. Finally, this article will elaborate how Mother Teresa's paradoxical experience can inspire contemporary reader's spiritual experience in contemporary context.