He truly does work in mysterious ways. Had he spoken to her throughout her life, it would be taken as proof of his existence. The fact that he didn’t speak to her? Not proof of his nonexistence, but of his charity towards those who disbelieve. He can’t lose.

Pope Benedict said on Saturday that even the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta “suffered from the silence of God” despite her immense charity and faith…

It is significant that the Pope mentioned Mother Teresa’s torment about God’s silence as not being unusual because there was some speculation that the letters could hurt the procedure to make her a saint.

“All believers know about the silence of God,” he said in unprepared remarks. “Even Mother Teresa, with all her charity and force of faith, suffered from the silence of God,” he said.

He said believers sometimes had to withstand the silence of God in order to understand the situation of people who do not believe.

Meanwhile, one of her biographers insists that it’s not that she didn’t believe in God, it’s simply that he ceased communicating with her directly after 1946. I’ll take his word for it, although given some of the things she wrote, his interpretation seems somewhat … nuanced:

“Where is my faith?” she wrote. “Even deep down… there is nothing but emptiness and darkness… If there be God — please forgive me.”…

“What do I labor for?” she asked in one letter. “If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.”

According to the same Christianity Today piece, she felt the absence of Jesus from the time she started working in Calcutta’s slums “until her death.” I.e. it wasn’t just moments of doubt. Exit question: Was Hitch right?

Tags: religion