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Monday, October 01, 2007

Envy and ignorance are weapons of the foolish one.

What is a saint? First and foremost, a saint is one of us, a fallen human.

Mother Theresa's agonizing doubts make her a greater saint and a a greater role model for all of us sinners.

University Daily Kansan: Gentry: Mother Theresa’s reputation being needlessly attacked

Apparently, Mother Theresa was a hypocrite and a liar.

Those are just a few of the words that have sprouted up in reference to her newly released book of letters and journals that portray her spiritual doubts. The letters reveal her deep crisis of faith with quotes such as, “Where I try to raise my thoughts to heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul.”

But even Jesus had his doubts while on the cross. Why are we expecting more of Mother Theresa than God’s own son? These letters in no way undercut her works. Her works are only emphasized by the fact that she did not believe they were giving her a direct path into heaven. As any other deeply spiritual person, she questioned whether there was a heaven and whether or not she was the type of person who could get in.

Time magazine compares her letters and journals with her Nobel Prize speech, calling them “extravagantly dissonant” and remarking that her works contradicted her feelings and letters. It portrays her as being hypocritical. I have to disagree. Never did Mother Theresa say, “You should be more like me,” or “You should love God and your faith the way that I do.” Her recommendations and reproaches are no less helpful because she was not a perfect example of faith. They are even more important because she knew what it was like to feel like God was not there.

If anything, Mother Theresa now seems more holy and self-sacrificing. How amazing that even though she was having a very deep crisis of faith, even though she believed that God was not with her, she still gave her whole life to the church and to helping the less fortunate. How many of us, in our happy and untroubled lives, do a fraction of what she did in the throes of a dark unhappiness? It would be unbelievable if, constantly surrounded by the dying, the sick and the poor, she never doubted God’s existence. How many Christians have wondered why God lets horrible things happen to good people or even bad people? That doesn’t make them “bad” Christians. We are all just trying to quantify and understand something that cannot be explained.

Mother Theresa herself understood the potential evils of these letters being publicly released without realizing the ways it could help those struggling with their faith. She had requested all her letters and journals be destroyed upon her death, but her church overrode her request. Obviously, the church, as I do, saw their potential for helping doubting Christians.

A professor at KU once told me, “We will never know if there is a God until we die. You can spend your whole life believing there is and working towards heaven, and if you’re wrong, you’re disappointed. Or, you can believe that this is all you get and only live for yourself, and if you’re wrong, you end up in hell for eternity. It’s obvious what the best bet is.”

Decartes would be proud.

Even though she had her doubts, Mother Theresa merely took the best bet. I hope it panned out for her and that it will for me as well.

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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