"What I love about this book, even more than I admire Jim Schaap's Calvinist courage in stepping so far outside his spiritual comfort zone, are the prayers he leaves us at the end of every chapter of this humble meditation on the life of a beatified Catholic. 'Bedew us, Lord,' he says in one of them. 'Bless us with your grace.' And 'Help us to laugh, Lord-help us to find joy in the antics of this world.' Reading Mother Teresa is a testament to the depth and breadth of Christian agape."
Paula Huston, author of The Holy Way and One Ordinary Sunday: A meditation on the mystery of the mass
"The high spiritual voltage of a saint is supposed to inspire but it can simultaneously expose our own insecurities and deficiencies. Through Mother Theresa's secret darkness James Schaap invites us, in this lovely book, to look at our faith, doubts, and marriage to Jesus. How do shining saints cast shadows and common saints bear light? Read on."
Paul Vander Klay, pastor, Living Stones Christian Reformed Church, Sacramento, California
"Jim Schaap, faithful Calvinist, teacher, writer of vivid stories, photographer of beauty wherever he finds it, focuses a year of his pondering on Mother Teresa's life and writings. He and she are worlds apart in origin and influence, yet in this book he invites us into what may be called an intimately ecumenical embrace, finding a valued kinship despite their differences. Follow his thinking and writing in this gentle book and discover what makes spiritual kinship possible."
Luci Shaw, poet and essayist, author most recently of Adventure of Ascent: Field notes from a lifelong journey and Thumbprint in the Clay: Divine marks of beauty, order and grace
"James Schaap's Reading Mother Theresa represents his entry into a devotional genre that breaks the mold in deliciously satisfying ways. Its confessional tone challenges the Protestant reticence to acknowledge the depth of Catholic spirituality. Its wordsmith's command of language allows for an evocative multi-layered reflection that is rarely found in works of this nature. The result is a devotional that does what good devotionals are meant to do-provoke a thoughtful piety that lingers well beyond the initial reading."
Dr. John Hubers, professor of religion, Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa
"Jim Schaap looks into the icon of Mother Teresa and he finds it a mirror for his own soul. The distances in culture and context between them only sharpen the images. You'll find in his reflections on her reflections a communion of sainthood that reaches out to you too. Would you do it if you heard Jesus tell you to change your clothes?"
Dr. Daniel Meeter, pastor, Old First Reformed Church, Brooklyn, New York
"In Reading Mother Teresa we discover the Catholic side of James Schaap, a Dutch Calvinist haunted by the presence of God in the sunrise and the wide expanse of the prairie sky. We also encounter the Calvinist side of Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic deeply immersed in the darkness and depravity of a world wracked by sin. Through these meditations Schaap brings the life and faith of Mother Theresa into conversation with the world of Dutch Calvinism, affirming that it is in difference where life is most interesting. More than that, Schaap shows how human experience transcends the boundaries of history, geography, and tradition, and how the promise of Christ's resurrection comes to us in peculiarly ordinary ways. Spend some time with Schaap and Mother Theresa-an odd couple, for sure, but a journey worth taking."
Dr. Jason Lief, Assistant professor of theology, Dordt College, author of Poetic Youth Ministry: Learning to love young people by letting them go
"Jim Schaap reaches into his own walk and others, into the Protestant (read Calvinistic) and Roman Catholic traditions, into the paradoxes of the Christian faith-'truth always has two centers'-and into writings by authors, some deemed classic, others well on the way, and put together a volume of meditations on walking with Christ through the lens of Mother Teresa's life. The life and work of Mother Teresa deserves to be studied, Schaap's meditations counsel, a woman who swore 'not to refuse [God] anything.'"
Doug Calsbeek, editor, Orange City Capital-Democrat, Orange City, Iowa
"We love reading James Schaap on the quirks of the Dutch Reformed on the prairie, or perhaps the travails of Native Americans. But a Roman Catholic saint? This book isn't so much 'about' Mother Teresa, as it is about Schaap's encounter, maybe even dance, with Teresa. Suffering is a prevalent theme, but always tempered by Schaap's expected wit, warmth, and authenticity."
Steve Mathonnet-Vander Wel, pastor, Second Reformed Church, Pella, Iowa, and editor at The Twelve, Perspectives blog
"This is a marvelous little book of meditations. Schaap-a seventy-year-old American, Protestant, retired college professor-sets his Christian faith next to that of Mother Teresa and discovers that in spite of the vast differences in how they have lived and perceived the Christian life, they 'both share Christ's hand opened lovingly in their lives.' His prose is scintillating, and often playful. (His riff on Mother Teresa's use of the word "bedew" in one of the meditations is a gem.) His insights as he compares his life to hers are personal yet they move toward the universal and are often wise."
David Schelhaas, emeritus professor of English, Dordt College, and author of Illuminated Manuscript and The God of Material Things