Thirty years after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, five years since her beatification, and one year since the media-generated controversy regarding her ‘dark night,’ Mother Teresa’s message was never more important than it is today. Amidst financial crisis, political upheaval and war, she continues to be a worldwide icon for Christians and non-Christians alike, a symbol of every person’s capacity to do extraordinary things when they open their weakness to God.
For the first time, the very essence of Mother Teresa’s message is captured in Mother Teresa’s Secret Fire (OSV, 2008), as told by her trusted friend and co- founder of her priestly community. It stems from a single, divine encounter with God, kept hidden for more than 60 years.
Sept. 10, 1946 was inspiration day for Mother Teresa. On a train from Calcutta to Darjeeling, in the Himalayas, she experienced God in a way so intimate and indescribable that she hesitated to speak of it for almost 40 years-until the day in 1984 when, after a series of conversations, she asked Fr. Langford to share her message, opening her gift to the world.
The moment to “tell the others” has finally arrived. In a world struggling with change, Christians and non- Christians alike long for something larger than daily routines, a purpose more meaningful and sustaining than money, fame or power, a security beyond the financial, and a peace and fulfillment not dependent on circumstance-a connection with God that can sustain us through the dark and challenging moments in our lives. Secret Fire will guide readers to the most neglected realms of their spirit, and open them to the same divine encounter that transformed Mother Teresa’s life, and that has the power to transform theirs as well.
“Without my realizing it, Mother Teresa had brought me to the end of a lifelong search, at a time when I wasn’t even aware I had been searching,” said Fr. Langford. “I have seen with my own eyes how her message can touch, heal and change lives. My hope is that her message will transform the reader’s life, even as it already has for so many others.”
There is no more compelling example in the modern world than Mother Teresa. But at the same time, she was no different than the rest of us, with no extraordinary qualities or resources-her only extraordinary trait was the way she invited God into her soul, and clung to Him in good times and bad. Even after her death in 1997, she continues to be a symbol of the human heart transformed by God’s love, and a heart that transformed others. Secret Fire shows us how we all have the same opportunity to be touched and transformed by God, and empowered to share that gift with those around us, to make of our ordinary lives an extraordinary legacy of goodness.
At age 38, Mother Teresa stepped away from the security of her life as a grade school teacher, and with only five rupees to her name, she immersed herself in the slums of Calcutta. This seed of transformation grew, and within her own lifetime, her Missionaries of Charity had spread her work of love to more than 120 countries, and touched millions of lives.
About Father Langford
Joseph Langford, M.C., began his relationship with Mother Teresa while studying theology in Rome. In 1983 she invited him to be the co-founder of her priestly community, the Missionaries of Charity Fathers. He has led retreats on Mother Teresa’s spirituality around the world and currently resides at the community’s motherhouse in Tijuana, Mexico.