When Lorna Kelly asked me recently to read her book about her experiences with Mother Teresa, I initially thought, "Oh, Good Lord, here we go again." Having volunteered with the Missionaries of Charity and read books about Mother, anytime one crosses my path, a silent brainscream fills the room. Most are either heedlessly inflated by existentialist gases. Others have a sad dispirited homework smell to them. And others are not for the sucrose intolerant. But I was more than pleasantly surprised. As a senior editor at Forbes Magazine and a former Wall Street Journal reporter, I know superb writing when I see it. This book is full of it. After a long, dry absence, here, finally, was a book about Mother I couldn't put down. And when I did I had a feeling of unrelieved happiness and peace. The stock of superlatives can't be exhausted about this one. It's got Movie written all over it. What do I mean by that? Finally we have a book about Mother that shows the essence of what she really was about: Being fully human by embracing humanity. But first Ms. Kelly takes you on her 15-year quest for peace and the meaning of life. As Sotheby's first female auctioneer, Ms. Kelly knows of life's pleasantries. She also knows how alcohol can hollow out the spirit and what's it like to endure severe depression. Ms. Kelly's journey takes her from the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya where the Buddha received his enlightenment to the site of the True Cross. She's bathed in the sea of Galillee, prayed at the Western Wall, sat in meditation for months on end, fasted for 40 days, climbed Mount Sinai and spent time on a camel in the desert. All that, she knows, sounds very grand. But it's her firsthand travels and experiences overseas working and being with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charities where her journey, and the joy, really begins. And Ms. Kelly delivers this journey with a bracing honesty, grace and a knife-sharp wit. I had already heard about Ms. Kelly from the sisters and about her legendary first encounter with Mother Teresa, in which Mother took one look at Ms. Kelly's red nail polish and told her to spend her money on the poor instead, to which Ms. Kelly replied that that's exactly what Judas said to Jesus. (Ms. Kelly might be surprised to know that the way the sisters tell it is that Ms. Kelly is a modern-day Mary Magdalene). In one hilarious sequence in her book, in of all places Kalighat, Mother's first home for the dying, Ms. Kelly writes that her compunction for orderliness makes her want to bellow, "All right, all right, we'll have no more dying today, all this dying simply has to stop!" Ms. Kelly is refreshingly candid. She writes of how she described to one of the sisters that "making love on acid, well, that was something else. It felt as if we were one and that the lovemaking could last forever," to which the sister replied, "Ah what heaven must be like!" She writes hilariously about the awful driving behavior of local residents in Calcutta (who all drive like they just got out of a coup). Here you'll find what Mother Teresa considered to be her greatest personal sacrifice (leaving her mother). Here you'll see what it's like, as Ms. Kelly artfully puts it, to come up against a "high wall" and peering over, to see "a life of freedom through the spirit." It's true what Ms. Kelly says, that working with the Missionaries strips you to the bone. You become, happily, yourself and nothing more. At the end, I wasn't surprised to read that Mother told Ms. Kelly, "I don't pray for you, I just thank God for you." And why would Mother say that to Ms. Kelly? Because both know, as far as I can tell, that life holds this one simple truth: You can become the richest most successful person on the planet, but ultimately what does that mean? That you'll be the richest most successful person in the cemetery. Ms. Kelly tells us that what really counts is not that we are all on a singular journey, but who accompanies us along the way. And that following Christ's example by loving humans is what opens the heart. Her experience as relayed in her book is exactly what St. Therese of Lisieux meant when she wrote: "For me prayer is an outburst of the heart, it is a simple look thrown towards heaven, a cry of recognition and love both in times of trial and in times of joy. Finally, it is something great, supernatural, which opens my soul and unites me to Jesus."