Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Catholic Book Club: Mother Teresa - Come Be My Light

Happy Catholic Book Club Wednesday, everyone! Before we get started with the business at hand, I wanted to mention that as part of the promotion for the release of Erin McCole Cupp's new short story Working Mother (and the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas!) an interview with me discussing my family and working outside of the home is on Erin's blog today. Please do check it out!

Back to our book selection for January. Today I am pleased to be reviewing Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta, ed. and with commentary by Brian Kolodiejchuk. I developed a devotion to Bl. Mother Teresa last year after falling in love with a rosary that I inevitably added to my collection (it is pointless for me to try and resist new rosaries based upon the logical statement that I already have enough to arm my entire block as Official Prayer Warriors, so I just give in to my baser desires :0)

I used this rosary to pray a 54 day novena over the autumn:

Photo & rosary by Rosaries by Allison
 Suddenly, I couldn't get Bl. Mother Teresa out of my mind. I have a small picture hanging in my office with one of her most well known sayings, which is: "I know that God will never give me more than I am able to handle, I just wish He didn't trust me so much." She's an interesting gal, that Bl. Mother Teresa, infamous for her holiness and work amongst the poor. So how does this book contribute to her legacy?

This is a fascinating book because it is a collection of her letters to spiritual advisors. So, we get to read her own writings, as well as commentary on them from someone who actually knew Bl. Teresa and is actively involved in her Cause for Canonization, and that's one heck of a powerful combination. The book begins all the way back with her initial call to religious life, and chronicles her years with the Sisters of Loreto and her calling to found the Missionaries of Charity. It offers a lot of interesting insight since we are reading Bl. Mother Teresa's own words, and they offer a glimpse into her very human insecurities and fears. Saints often seem like exalted beings whose lives we could never possibly emulate, but they had thoughts and anxieties the same as you and I. Reading this book made me feel very close to Bl. Teresa and indeed our entire Communion of Saints, and reminded me that I can and should ask for their intercession as frequently as possible. We should, after all, be asking our friends to pray for us. :)

I will say that this is not a quick read. ;-) It took me quite a long time to get through this book, and that is not a criticism in any way. This is a deep spiritual text, and to truly absorb the wisdom it contains one has to take their time with it. As such, this book is ideally suited to sitting on your end table for nightly lectio divina, a few pages to a chapter at a time, or tucked into your car's center console to accompany you to Adoration.

I absolutely recommend this book for in-depth spiritual reading. I also loved the Appendices, which included some retreat notes that Mother Teresa kept, as well as the proposed Rule for her Missionaries of Charity community, which as a religious order nerd really appealed to me. :) It's list price is $17 for the paperback edition, and is under $12 for the Kindle version.

Has anybody else read this book? Do leave your feedback in the comments. And come back on February 25th when the Catholic Book Club heads back into the realm of fiction for Book 2 in the I Am Margaret series, The Three Most Wanted, by Corinna Turner. I LOVED Book 1 and am chomping at the bit to get to this installment in the series! This is currently a mere $3.88 for Kindle, so download to read along with me!

* I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't thought to use this for Lectio Divina, nor did I realize that's how I was reading it! It is a deep spiritual text, not a casual read but I loved it all the same!!

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