Mother Teresa and the Dark Night

Ah, I knew Stephen couldn’t hold out on us forever. Last night he brought up the Mother Teresa story in his usual blend of insight and ignorance. Thank God he’s got Fr. James Martin, SJ, to set him straight.

Here’s a link to Fr. Martin’s book.

Now I need to go make my morning tea and get the dogs up. Enjoy the clip and I may be back later with some further reflections and commentary while we wait for the Emmys on Sunday.



  1. Wow – it’s so dark in here I was not sure I could leave a comment.

    Sure do love this blog!

  2. Messr. Colbert,

    IIf all else fails, be Catholic in Mass, Sacraments and prayer with God and He will believe in (read: love) you enough for the both of you.

    Thanks for saying that all over the world – “I am a Catholic” – you cannot know the full power of such witness.

  3. Why are you making infun of something so important and so serious? Is that just because you were baptised Catholic? Or because you really are? Why bring on a priest and make fun of what he says? Were your questions serious…or were you just antogonizing?

    You know you might be a comedy show,,,but there are times to talk about things that are serious. Laughing off these things…and ignoring the truth… isn’t very helpful in avoiding the firey pits of hell – something that you were so concerned about in your clip/show. Though chartiable to worry about Mother Teresa’s soul, I think it would be a wise thing to worry about your own, and while you do ask her to pray for it.

    Also – You may want to know in the Scripture, it says

    “NOt everyone who calls me Lord, Lord! will enter in Heaven.” (People who profess about the Lord, ad believe he exists, )

    But why?

    Jesus says.
    “I was thirsty but you did not give me to drink, I was hugnry, but you did not give me to eat, I was neckade and you did not clothe me, I was imprisoned and you did not visit me.”

    But when di d I ever see you, Lord?

    “I tell you whatso ever you do to the least of my people you do unto me.”

    Mother Teresa gave Jesus to drink, gave him food to eat, gave clothing, care to sick, and she gave them unconditional love, It takes Faith to be able to do that. It takes true love.

    Our sences are not the truth. People all over the world feel happy , sad, angry, doubtful about something, but a person who knows who they are and who has a true relationship with God, will sooner or later come to understand that. A believer is not called to live out feelings. Nor called to satisfy them. But rather called to serve God, even in the “dark of night”.

    When you are being funny, be careful. God has a sence of humor, and he gives people a sence of humor….But His is not poor in taste. Nor does he want Catholics to be using a poor taste of humor either.

    Try to do better next time. If you want someone to come on your show and give the truth let them do it without mocking them.

    I really don’t know what your intetions were/are. You said you were catholic and had a priest come on your show, wich is kind of different, most would never think of doing having a priest on the show.

    One more thing don’t worry about the face of Mother Tteresa and how she looks, I am sure it will glow profoundly when she gets to see Jesus face to face.

    • Stephen – through his character on the show – gets to address the questions the public will ask of Time Magazine’s publication concerning Mother Teresa’s struggle with doubt and faith and knowing God’s presence. With Fr. Martin there to respond and correct him and voice the Catholic perspective, Stephen gets to adopt the attitudes and claims of the public, including media and athiests and opponents, providing a quick and effective message concerning Mother Theresa.
      Stephen’s irreverence gives Fr. Martin the opportunity to bring the truth and defend it and clarify, for example, the difference between feeling like God is absent vs. abandoning one’s faith in Christ. Because there are those like athiest Hitchins who point to her words and say, see she knew there was no God. And there are those who are Christian who might begin believing Hitchins.

      Other times Colbert is very sincere – yet still satirical – like when he hosts athiests – then it is Colbert who calls out the fallacy of those who choose not to believe in God. His character allows him the ability to dial it up or down depending on the message and instellect of the guest.

      It is in many ways more effective than just a serious show that discusses the topics without satire or irony or an intentional juxtaposition. It’d me more like how I write – boring and lengthy.

  4. Wasn’t that priest a lovely presence, and so thoughtful! He was absolutely unflappable, even faced with “Stephen.” I would love to see him be the main interview guest sometime.

  5. What was most interesting was that I could not tell apart the usual “Colbert” sarcasm/satire and real questions from the real Stephen.

    There were some real questions hidden in jokes, such as if she’s in hell. Now, it may be obvious to us that she’s not, but for the Catholics (or anyone for that matter) out there who don’t understand what was going on with her, it could be confused.

    A real question he posed is about how Saints can have their own dark nights and still become Saints and the question that follows it.

    Overall, a cheapshot joke was made about Mother Teresa, but, the other questions made sense, if produced inside a joke. Oh, and Father Martin answered all the questions with such wisdom. He also laughed at some of the jokes that Colbert said, showing that it’s not wrong to laugh.

  6. My dad just linked me to this post, and I have to say, this blog is a great idea.

    Regarding “Key Interviews” (the comment section is closed): on an Conan O’Brien interview relatively soon after the show started (I think it was late 2005, but maybe early 2006), Stephen discussed being a practising Catholic and a CCD teacher, he broke out into prayer (I think it was the Our Father), and he finished it out with a hymn. I did a youtube search, but in light of the lawsuit, nothing came up. Maybe there’s video elsewhere or a transcript though?

  7. @Meghan:

    I believe you’re referring to Stephen’s rendition of “King of Glory” — our link to the Conan version is broken at present, but here’s a version from the closing sequence of his earlier show “Strangers with Candy”:

    from Colbert University

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