This blog is maintained on behalf of the Amy Foundation for the purpose of tracking the best Christian journalism we find on the Web. Our posts regularly identify those news articles or opinions in the mainstream media that represent good faith-based writing and example them for other Christian journalists.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Excerpt, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light

Would you remain faithful to God if He called you to serve Him and then didn’t speak again for the rest of my life?

Would I?

The private letters of Mother Teresa, recently published in a book titled, “Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light,” show us a woman called to the slums of Calcutta, India, in 1948 by the voice of Jesus, but worked the last 50 years of her life in darkness, doubt, and God’s silence.

Time Magazine provides excerpts of the book in an article by David Van Biema, titled “Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith” from the magazine’s September 3, 2007 edition.

It is a powerful tale of faithfulness to God’s calling in the face of depression and darkness, one anyone would struggle in matching. As I read the article I was drawn in by the profound sadness of Mother Teresa over the absence of Jesus in her life, the meaningless of her cause because she could not share it with the one person she loved more than life.

The article makes a successful attempt in sharing the spiritual struggles of a soon-to-be saint with those struggling with their own dark times. One Page 4, Van Biema shares a breakthrough the spiritual icon had in 1961:
… The Rev. Joseph Neuner, whom she met in the late 1950s and confided in somewhat later, was already a well-known theologian, and when she turned to him with her "darkness," he seems to have told her the three things she needed to hear: that there was no human remedy for it (that is, she should not feel responsible for affecting it); that feeling Jesus is not the only proof of his being there, and her very craving for God was a "sure sign" of his "hidden presence" in her life; and that the absence was in fact part of the "spiritual side" of her work for Jesus.

This counsel clearly granted Teresa a tremendous sense of release. For all that she had expected and even craved to share in Christ's Passion, she had not anticipated that she might recapitulate the particular moment on the Cross when he asks, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" …
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This well written article gives us an glimpse of Mother Teresa’s lifelong struggle with “the dark night of the soul” that lasted 5 decades. It makes me want to read the Rev. Kolodiejchuk’s book.

I was so pleased to find a biblical quotation in one of Mother Teresa’s letters that qualifies Van Diema’s article for the Amy Writing Awards. Fittingly, it was the verse that gave Mother Teresa peace in the midst of her pain.

Good job, David Van Biema, keep up the good work!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Christian View of Illegal Immigration

Here is an interesting article on the illegal immigration printed in the Lansing State Journal about the fine line a Chicago priest must walk when serving him Latino parish.

The article, entitled “Pastor walks a tightrope over topic of immigration,” was written by Margaret Ramirez and Andrew L. Wang and published on August 11, 2007.

Ramirez and Wang write:
As pastor for more than 5,000 families, most of them Latino, at three parishes in Waukegan and North Chicago, [Rev. Gary] Graf is a central figure in the lives of the immigrants who are transforming this city and its Catholic churches.

But his role as a spiritual leader also has placed Graf at the center of the nation's volatile debate over controlling illegal immigration, a battle that flared this summer after Waukegan sought to give local police the power to deport immigrants accused of serious crimes.
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The article does a good job depicting how Rev. Graf serves his community in the spirit of Christ without compromising his commitment to truth. At one point, Ramirez and Wang quote Graf as saying, “Through all this is what Jesus said: 'You love the sinner but hate the sin,’…”

While this paraphrase refers to Jesus’s stance towards all of us, it does not match any one of his sayings closely enough to garner qualification for the Amy Writing Awards.

The article is a good one, however, and it challenges us to consider how Christ would address the illegal immigration issue. Rev. Graf’s noble work in Chicago gives us one indication.