An Absent Jesus Brings Empty Darkness


There were some statements I read in the last couple of days from two different individuals that really stood out to me. One quote was precious and uplifting, the others sad and full of despair. The encouraging one was made by Betsie ten Boom, to her sister, Corrie, while they were enduring the agonies of a Nazi concentration camp.

Here it is: “The most important part of our task will be to tell everyone who will listen that Jesus is the only answer to the problems that are disturbing the hearts of men and nations. We shall have the right to speak because we can tell from our experience that His light is more powerful than the deepest darkness… How wonderful that the reality of His presence is greater than the reality of the hell about us.”

The other quotes, made by another woman, are statements of hopelessness and anguish of soul. Here they are: “…there is such terrible darkness within me, as if everything was dead. It has been like this more or less from the time I started ‘the work.'” (1953)

And, “The silence and the emptiness is so great — that I look and do not see, — Listen and do not hear.” (1979)

Again, in writing to Jesus, “I call, I cling, I want — and there is no One to answer — no One on Whom I can cling — no, No One. –Alone … Where is my Faith — even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness. … When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven — there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul. — I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.” (undated)

One last one: “If I ever become a Saint — I will surely be one of ‘darkness’… How cold — how empty — how painful is my heart. –Holy communion — Holy Mass — all the holy things of spiritual life — of the life of Christ in me — are all so empty — so cold — so un-wanted. The physical situation of my poor, left in the streets unwanted, unloved, un-claimed — are the true picture of my own spiritual life, of my love for Jesus.” (1962)

These, sadly, are some of the writings of Mother Teresa. I wept and wept upon reading these statements. They come out from a soul that certainly could not have had the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, inside her. Maybe, and hopefully, these writings came from days of doubt and depression, as truly she had to look upon much suffering as she helped others in Calcutta, but her writings do reveal that she continued, until her death, to refer to her spiritual condition as “my darkness” and to Jesus as “the Absent One.”

Friends, there is a stark difference between these two women. But it is not in their proclaimed love and devotion to Christ. This is very sobering, and we would all do well to sit up and take note. Mother Teresa undoubtably loved Jesus, wanted to serve Him, and did. But is it apparent that she KNEW Jesus, or that Jesus “knew” her? If such was the case, then why the “darkness”? The “emptiness”? The “coldness”? Does one who walks with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jesus, continue to feel “unwanted, unloved, un-claimed”? Certainly not. When we reach out for Him, He IS there. He is our Comforter. He talks to us and guides us. He gives us rest and peace… peace that passes all understanding.

When one learns about the life and words of Betsie, one can easily see that she exhibited abundant peace, forgiveness, love, and joy in the midst of cruel suffering. However, Mother Teresa, though definitely one of the most charitable persons most of us have heard of, her soul, by the admonition of her own words, was empty and dark.

Why this difference?

Because one knew Jesus, the other did not.

Friends, I repeatedly try to tell people that it matters not if you say you love Jesus, or truly think you love Jesus. It matters not even that you may be serving Jesus. What matters is this: “You must be born anew, born from above, born of the Spirit.” (See John 3:3-8) This is what Jesus says must happen in order to enter the kingdom of God. And He says in Luke 17:20, 21 that this kingdom “does not come visibly… because the kingdom of God is within you.” And as Paul says in 1 Cor. 4:20, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” In other words, it matters not what we say; what matters is, do we walk “according to His power that is at work within us”? (Eph. 3:20) Power to obey. Do we abide in Him, and He in us (John 15:4), and His words in us? (v. 7)

Mother Teresa, I’m sure, was trying to obey God. But she actually was obeying the Catholic Church, which means the church, not Jesus, was her god. She prayed to Mary, believed saying the Rosary induced protection, and considered priests to be “another Christ” who could put Jesus there at the altar. (See book “Be Holy” p. 111,112) Scripture condemns such beliefs and actions, so no wonder this sad soul had to admit that Jesus was, in her, “the Absent One.”

Jesus will not share authority. He, as God in bodily form, has been given by God the Father all authority. (Phil. 2:9-11) But if anyone sets up another authority besides Him, they break the first of the Ten Commandments, which being idolatry, then breaks the second also. Authorities people may bow to may be the church, the law, the world, sin, or self. And, again, Jesus will not share Kingship. He is King of one’s life and heart, or He is absent.

The absence of Christ’s Spirit, God’s Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit, will undoubtably cause such morose feelings as Mother Teresa experienced. But there is another angle that is also prevalent of late. It is something that another St. Teresa, also a Catholic, experienced while using mysticism to connect to God. It is known as spiritual ecstasy, and people who practice the techniques suggested by mystics do indeed have different levels of this. However, what goes along with it, is also a periodic experience of “frightening darkness of soul” WHILE reaching for God. That in itself, should clue a person in that the ecstatic Love Divine they just connected with, is a counterfeit.

Friends, the true God, the Most High, our Creator, can only be found through Jesus, the only mediator (1 Tim. 2:5), the only High Priest (Heb. 8:1), the only “one Teacher, the Christ.” (Matt. 23:10) And when He truly lives in us, there is NO darkness, for “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” (1 John 1:6)

Remember, Satan often “masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14) This is why Jesus warns, “See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.” (Luke 11:35) For “the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.” (1 Cor. 10:20,21)

Friends, to participate in idolatry, whether it is promoted by the Catholic Church, by an Eastern guru, or by a New Ager who uses Christian terms such as “contemplative prayer”, “spiritual formation”, or “soaking” in God’s presence, are all just techniques, no matter the term used, to enter into the occult realm through altered states of consciousness.

This, sadly, is why so many in the Christian church have none other than a counterfeit jesus. Which the true Jesus will have nothing to do with. And why He will keep the door shut on those five foolish virgins, (who had indeed been waiting for His arrival), as they pound desperately, “Sir! Sir! …Open the door for us!” What does Jesus reply? “I tell you the truth, I DON’T KNOW YOU.” (Matt. 25:11,12)

Dear one, think carefully and soberly of what I’ve written here.

with love,


~ by smilesback on September 21, 2009.

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