Friday, August 24, 2007

August 24, 2007

I heard a startling news report today that Mother Theresa was not who she appeared to be. It seems that for all her good works on behalf of the poor and her sainthood among Catholics, she was a tormented soul for most of her life.

Time Magazine reports: "A new, innocuously titled book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday), consisting primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years, provides the spiritual counterpoint to a life known mostly through its works. The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever — or, as the book's compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, "neither in her heart or in the eucharist."

This is the woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize and whose Missionaries of Charity had grown from a one-woman folly in Calcutta in 1948 into a global beacon of self-abnegating care. Yet "in more than 40 communications, many of which have never before been published, she bemoans the "dryness," "darkness," "loneliness" and "torture" she is undergoing. She compares the experience to hell and at one point says it has driven her to doubt the existence of heaven and even of God. She is acutely aware of the discrepancy between her inner state and her public demeanor. "The smile," she writes, is "a mask" or "a cloak that covers everything."

Only God truly knows Mother Theresa's heart, but I am prone to wonder if she really KNEW Jesus at all. Maybe she just knew ABOUT Him because of the teachings and strict loyalty to the Church, rather than truly KNOWING Him. Maybe what she had was "religion" and not "relationship".....which is where a LOT of people are today. Good people, kind people, church-going people, even pastors and evangelists. They have grown up in the institution of the Church, adhered to its traditions and/or to what Mom and Dad believed....mimicked the walk and even talked the talk. But inside, like Mother Theresa, they are dry and empty, wondering "is this all there is?"

Jesus said in Matthew 7:22, 23 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I profess unto them I never knew you, depart from ye that work iniquity."

It is imperative, therefore, that we KNOW that we KNOW that we KNOW that we have a relationship with Jesus Christ! We must not "assume" that we are believers just because our parents were. You do not receive Christ by osmosis. Nor does going to church regularly since birth make one a believer any more than going in the garage every day makes you a car. Being baptized and having your name on the church roll does not make one a believer. Teaching Sunday School, volunteering at the Rescue Mission, or being a deacon will not qualify you for entrance into Heaven.

It boils down to this. There are only 2 kinds of people....dead or alive. You are either dead in your sins or alive in Christ. There is no middle ground. You have either said YES to Jesus and surrendered your life to Him, or you have said Yes to Satan and chosen to spend eternity with him, separated from Jesus forever. If you would like to know more or if you are unsure whether you have religion or relationship, please hit the comment button at the bottom and let's talk! Don't spend the rest of your life like Mother the spotlight on the outside, dying on the inside.

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