« The poetics of depression


Mother Teresa was born in 1910, underwent a crisis of faith in 1948 (the very year that she founded her new order, which in the course of time made her world-famous), and died in 1997. For the last 49 years of her life, with the exception of a five-week period when she prayed to the recently deceased Pope Pius XII, she was unable to sense the presence of God or Christ in her life. Yet she soldiered on, sometimes feeling like a fraud, but taking a joyless satisfaction in obeying her superiors and doing the work that they approved. In her old age, her despair was alleviated by the counsel of theologian Joseph Neuner, but his comments did not enable her to recover her faith – only to stoically endure its absence as God’s will.

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About Stephen Kennamer

For several years I have taught a course titled The Anthropology of Evil. I chose the term “anthropology,” not to indicate a restriction to the study of evil among primitive tribes, but rather to widen the lens to take in every relevant discipline: history, philosophy, theology, psychology, sociology, and current events.

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