I receive a lot of books to review. It is a rare book that grabs me straight out of the packet. This one did. It was forty minutes after opening the packet that I realized I should stop reading and do some work!
Mary Johnson’s heart was to join Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. At 19 years of age she did. This book explores her journey from the excitement of joining the Missionaries of Charity, to the realization that the life as a sister was hard to the struggles and pain and ultimately the agonized decision to leave.
Mary Johnson provides a fascinating insight into life in Mother Teresa’s order, a life which for many will seem unnecessarily harsh, restrictive and intensely lonely. There is also opportunity for abuse and despite the Order’s attempt to remove the world from those in the Missionaries of Charity, it would appear that some in positions of authority are still steeped in the attitudes and sins of the world.
The book is not clear as to whether Johnson retained her faith after leaving the MofC, although she does end the book having just been to church. Also, regardless of what you think of Mother Teresa, she gave her life to helping the poor and living a sacrificial life steeped in poverty. However I came away from this book once again questioning the wisdom of creating an organization which allows you to live life in the same way as a particular person (Mother Teresa) did, down to the food they ate. Is this really what God wants us to do? Mother Teresa was called to live the life she lived. We are not called to mirror another human being’s life – but to live the life God calls US to.
A readable, fascinating book which is ideal for a summer read and which I highly recommend. (Released in August 16th)