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Mother Teresa's Secret Fire: The Encounter That Changed Her Life, and How It Can Transform Your Own Hardcover – October 15, 2008


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Mother Teresa's Secret Fire: The Encounter That Changed Her Life, and How It Can Transform Your Own + Mother Teresa: In the Shadow of Our Lady + Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor; First Printing edition (October 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159276309X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592763092
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"2008 was my year of reading furiously. None of these books were more important than Mother Teresa's Secret Fire." ----Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal

"Mother Teresa's Secret Fire deserves to be read by many. Langford's book is a reliable guide to a spirituality God has given for our time. " ----William A. Barry, S.J., America Magazine

"Read this book to learn more about her journey to walk with God every day." -- --Ken Blanchard, co-author of "Lead Like Jesus" and "Leading at a Higher Level

"Mother Teresa's Secret Fire deserves to be read by many. Langford's book is a reliable guide to a spirituality God has given for our time. " ----William A. Barry, S.J., America Magazine --William A. Barry, S.J., America Magazine

"Mother Teresa's Secret Fire deserves to be read by many. Langford's book is a reliable guide to a spirituality God has given for our time. " ----William A. Barry, S.J., America Magazine

"Read this book to learn more about her journey to walk with God every day." ----Ken Blanchard, co-author of "Lead Like Jesus" and "Leading at a Higher Level

About the Author

Joseph Langford, M.C., began his long association with Mother Teresa while studying theology in Rome. In 1983, she invited him to be the co-founder of her priests' community, the Missionaries of Charity Fathers. He has conducted retreats on Mother Teresa's spirituality throughout the world and currently resides at the community's motherhouse in Tijuana, Mexico.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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She is simple and very profound.
C. Stephans
The God that Mother Teresa was willing to open her heart to "thirsts" for the opportunity to extend love to us, and "thirsts" to be loved by us.
Lee & Steven Hager
Get this book, it is a life changing experience.
M. Kelly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By "Rocky Raccoon" VINE VOICE on December 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When we come upon the life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta we are accustomed to hearing about her ministry to the "poorest of the poor". Her legacy is well known to people throughout the world for her globe trotting work helping the poor in the slums of Calcutta, AIDS patients, and other unfortunate people. Much is known about her life from Skjope of the former Yugoslavia to the streets of Calcutta, but far less is known about her inner life and motivation.

From Joseph Langford's `Mother Teresa's Secret Fire' we get a revealing portrait of her interior life. Centering on an intimate encounter with God on her way to a retreat while taking the Darjeeling train on September 10, 1946, Mother Teresa received a singular message from God about "His thirst" for souls. Noting that Jesus cried out "I thirst" before dying on the cross, Mother Teresa with a singular passion and who described herself often as the "pencil of God," elaborated about that thirst being not so much for water as a thirst for our souls.

Langford also expounds on this thirst. Tying the familiar events of Mother Teresa's life, including winning the Nobel Peace Prize, he gives light to her speeches, her journals and other writings which illustrate and elaborate what this divine thirst (or longing or ardent desire) for mankind entails. But once he establishes the prime mover of her inner life, he elaborates less about her life and more about her message. Having the support of scripture and the writings of formidable saints, Langford makes the case that divine thirst has been a theme of many a mystic's writings. (Who would not be taken by their metaphorical take on thirst from Psalm 42 "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."?
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Cowboy Bill VINE VOICE on December 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I remember seeing the photographer Linda Schaefer on EWTN's "The World Over" when she was out promoting her book "Come and See: A Photojournalist's Journey into the World of Mother Teresa." She recounted how she approached Mother to ask for permission to photograph her and her nuns working their mission.

Mother basically told Schaefer that there was no shortage of photographers from around the world requesting to take Mother's photograph (which no doubt was true); the shortage was in people willing to actually perform the less glamorous work, the immediate work: to help wash the feeble and tend to the sick.

Mother told the surprised photographer she could be most helpful by putting her camera away and by instead ministering to the people in need that were all around them. It was only after Schaefer did this that Mother let her start snapping some photographs.

I mention this story because I always tremble a bit when reading about Mother Teresa. I'm not afraid I will read an account or a biography and find her lacking; instead, I worry she will find me lacking, not only as a Catholic but as a human being in general.

It's an odd experience -- when you're reading about Mother Teresa, you feel like she is reading you, too. It's amazing how the power of her personality comes through in this book, even though she didn't write it. (It's clear that the author, Fr. Joseph Langford, knew her well.) She was a servant of God and a force of nature. It's in a saint like Mother Teresa that you find there is no separation between faith and good works -- faith compels works and works strengthen faith. What is one without the other? In short, Mother Teresa's life made it clear that true grace is always a call to love.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ellie White on November 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have read many books about Mother Teresa and for me, this book is essential for fully understanding this holy soul who is inspiration for the world. Most importantly, Fr. Langford reveals to us the essence of Mother Teresa's mission, which sanctifies believers and unbelievers alike. She, once again, through the gift Fr. Langford has given to us, leads us closer to God. A must read for anyone who desires to know her.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Blaine Greenfield on March 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've long been admirer of Mother Teresa of Calcutta . . . her work
always impressed me, and I would often be inspired when I
heard one of her quotes.

So it was with that background that I read MOTHER TERESA'S
SECRET FIRE by Father Joseph Langford, one of her longtime
associates . . . and that said, I must admit that I was
somewhat disappointed with the book.

It went into far too much detail about her encounter with God on
her way to a retreat while taking the Darjeeling train on September
10, 1946 . . . Mother Teresa then received a singular message from God
about "His thirst" for souls.

Father Langford used that "thirst" thread, far too often to my
liking . . . I found SECRET FIRE to be very repetitive, and it
placed too much emphasis on actual quotes from the Bible . . . I would
have much preferred reading more about Mother Teresa's life.

However, I was able to find selected passages that did manage
to provide me with insight; among them:

* In observing Mother Teresa, it was obvious how keenly she felt
the suffering of the poor and identified with their distress. She not
only accepted as share in their deprivations, she sought it out. She
took on voluntary fasting and other self-imposed penances so as to
share more closely in the pain and lot of the poor. She slept on a hard
prison bed, with no fan, her tiny room sweltering in Calcutta's oven
like heat. Her little room was both sleeping space and office, with no
more than a table and a stool for furnishing. If such was the lot of the
poor, who had neither fans nor a fancy desk, it would be her lot as well.
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