Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s mystical awareness of Christ in the poor not only transformed her own life, but the lives of millions of people throughout the world, Christians and non-Christians alike, awakening a deeper appreciation of the inherent dignity of every human being. Mother Teresa’s Mysticism by Robert M. Garrity (Lectio Publishing, May 2017) specifically explores what is yet to be learned from her experience, theory, and praxis—particularly through the lens of her mysticism—and suggests that theologically it must be affirmed to be fully consistent with, and expansive of, the Church’s spiritual tradition.
Father Robert M. Garrity, Assistant Professor of Theology Education at Ave Maria University dives into Christ’s private revelations (Eph 3:3-9) to Teresa, aside from her extraordinary vision or locutions, and labels her experiences as Christo-ecclesio-humano-centric mysticism: a profound consciousness of God’s presence in Christ and in His people, and especially in the poorest of the poor.
Teresa discovered and loved Christ through extensive periods of darkness of the soul and in service to the poorest of the poor. Her life and her example uncovers for us all a new place for “doing theology” in today’s world.
The book argues that Teresa’s mystical knowledge of Christ in the poor is distinctive, not because no one else has identified Christ in the poor (e.g. St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Vincent de Paul), but that Mother Teresa’s mysticism colors her entire worldview and her theology-in-praxis in an unequaled and most observable way, thanks to the power and influence of today’s 21st Century media.
The author uses a simple three-step method to analyze Mother Teresa’s theology to:
- explore one or more quotations from Mother Teresa on each of several theological topics
- compare her thought or practice with that which the Church believes and teaches in this area, as expressed in Scripture or Tradition
- consider whether Theresa’s thought in each area can influence contemporary theological reflection and pastoral practices.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert M. Garrity, JCL, STD, is currently an Assistant Professor of Theology at Ave Maria University, Florida where he has served since 2004. He received his S.T.D. and J.C.L. from The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC) and his BA in English Literature from Aurora College. He is author of Resurrection Power: Toward a Spirituality of the Resurrection (Lectio Publishing 2016), and O Happy Fault: Personal Growth through Spiritual Progress (Paulist Press 1994). Fr. Garrity was ordained in 1981.