Mother Teresa: In the Shadow of Our Lady is a new book by Fr. Joseph Langford, MC who was a co-founder of the priests community for the Missionaries of Charity.
This book put out by Our Sunday Visitor concentrates on Blessed Mother Teresa’s devotion to our Blessed Mother.
I had never thought much about Mother Teresa in connection with our Blessed Mother other than to think like pretty much all saints that she would have had a fervent devotion to Our Lady. This book goes in depth just how fervent that devotion was and just how much it informed her life and prayer life.
She is of course well known for always carrying a Rosary with her that were often in her hands. For her this was no mere accessory as part of her habit, but evidence of her close connection with Our Lady. She was once asked way she always carried a Rosary in her hand even when it was obvious she was not praying it at time. She responded that it reminds her that she is holding the Our Lady’s hand. The term "Our Lady" is what she predominately and simply referred to Mary as. The book describes the vision she had on the train to Darjeeling in 1947 when she first received her "call within a call" to serve the poorest of the poor. Subsequently in 1947 she had a series of vision in three parts that in the visions of Jesus, with Mary at his side, in a crowd of the poor where the poor were reaching out to him. In the third of these visions Mary reached out and supported Mother Teresa and held her outstretched hand reaching out towards Jesus. These visions encapsulated her call and how she lived her life in the fifty years that she lived in the slums of Calcutta.
Fr. Langford throughout the book goes deeper into what Mother Teresa lived and taught those around her about the Blessed Mother. Providentially I came upon the chapter of Mother Teresa devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe on the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Mother Teresa identified with Saint Juan Diego in his humility and simplicity and to do whatever Our Lady asked him to to. An appendix in the book contains the Nican Mophoua which was originally written in Aztec and relates the story of Juan Diego that was first published in 1649.
I also thought that Father Langford did an excellent job in describing Mother Teresa’s spiritual darkness and her great faith that was carved out and deepened by the dark night of the soul.
This is just a wonderful and beautiful book on multiple levels as you read about Blessed Mother Teresa and how she so imaged the Blessed Mother in her life by holding herself within the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There is quite a lot of spiritual nourishment that can be gained by reading this short book of around 114 pages. The book is also quite beautiful on a physical level also. I enjoyed how color was used in the book. A nice Marian blue is used in chapter and subchapter titles along with a page on the Marian Covenant that refers to her duties and our duties. The first page of the book contains a representation of a painting of Mother Teresa’s vision in 1947 that is displayed in the house of the Missionary of Charity Fathers in Mexico City along with a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the last page of the book.