Better never to have met you in my dream than to wake and reach
for hands that are not there.
- Otomo No Yakamochi
Mother Teresa actually conversed with Jesus, according to her. Not surprising, considering her universally acclaimed saint-like existence. The problem was, it happened almost 50 years before she died. She spent the rest of her life after that communication in a desperate, fruitless attempt to be in communion with him again. Excerpts from her letters convey such utter despair and spiritual emptiness, that one must come away from reading them with the impression that surely she must have ultimately turned her back on the Church, if not on God himself.
She did not, however. Her unanswered prayers simply led to her searching, grasping, ever more intensely, which made the deafening silence all the more unbearable. Still, she persevered and carried out the request that was made to her by the voice of Jesus all those decades earlier, a request to take care of the wretchedly poor and sick of Calcutta, which she did until she died.
Where is the happy ending for the saint? It was not to be found here on earth during her bodily existence. Like Jesus, her heartfelt questioning of why her father had forsaken her had no effect on her plight. All she, all they, wanted, was to simply know that their father was with them, that it wasn't all a dream, that the hands were indeed there. But that was not to be. Not yet. And still, their faith endured.