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Featured Diagnosing Mother Teresa

Discussion in 'Christian Spirituality Forum' started by Webers_Home, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    If anyone should have been on intimate terms with God and with His son
    Jesus Christ in the last century, surely it had to be Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu
    (a.k.a. Mother Teresa) but curiously, that wasn't the case. It turns out
    Teresa was a remarkable actor. Her public image bore no resemblance
    whatsoever to the secret life of her inner being. Below are some complaints
    she expressed in private letters to spiritual counselors recorded in:

    Mother Teresa / Come Be My Light
    The Private Writings of the "Saint of Calcutta"

    Edited with commentary by Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C.
    ISBN 978-0-385-52037-9


    "I am told God loves me; and yet the reality of darkness & coldness &
    emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul."

    "The place of God in my soul is blank-- There is no God in me"

    "I feel He does not want me, He is not there, God does not want me"

    "When 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. How painful is this unknown pain-- I have no faith."

    Teresa also complained of feeling abandoned by Christ-- referring to him as
    "the absent one"

    Teresa was never really convinced there's a God out there.

    "The damned of Hell suffer eternal punishment because they experiment
    with the loss of God. In my own soul, I feel the terrible pain of this loss. I
    feel that God does not want me, that God is not God; and that He does not
    really exist."

    At one point Teresa actually prayed thus:

    "If there be God; please forgive me."

    A prayer that begins with "If there be God" is the prayer of an agnostic;
    which Webster's defines as one who is not committed to believing in either
    the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god. According to Jas 1:5-8,
    agnostic prayers are pings.

    To her credit, Teresa wanted a God to be out there, but her utter failure to
    feel even the slightest glimmer of the Lord's presence prevented her from
    being sure about it.
    _
     
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  2. illini1959

    illini1959 Active Member

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    This is one reason I never take for granted someone who claims to know Christ actually knows Him.

    She also said "If in coming face to face with God we accept Him in our lives, then we are converting. We become a better Hindu, a better Muslim, a better Catholic, a better whatever we are. … What God is in your mind you must accept."
    Mother Teresa: Her People and Her Work, by Desmond Doig, (Harper & Row, 1976), p.156. Dated: 1976

    That alone should cause people to think. There is one way to God, through His Son.

    "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." Jn 14:6
     
  3. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    I should probably clarify right at the get-go that this thread's purpose isn't to
    ruin Mother Teresa's reputation. It's simply an attempt to figure out what
    went so south in her spiritual life that she came to the end wondering if a
    God really existed. And if one did exist, why she was so afraid He might
    actually be inclined to condemn her.

    Also there was scarcely a day went by during her five decades in India when
    Teresa wasn't sure God wanted her there in the first place. Plus during
    practically that whole time she was in that country, Teresa felt not even the
    slightest glimmer of the Lord's presence, and referred to Jesus as "the
    absent one".

    Teresa became so stressed over these problems that at the urging of Henry
    D'Souza, the Archbishop of Calcutta (a.k.a. Kolkata), she agreed to an
    exorcism in the final weeks of her life if perhaps demons were somehow
    clouding her mind. The ritual was performed by Father Rosario Stroscio.

    John Q and Jane Doe pew warmer probably won't benefit much from this
    thread. However, for Christians seriously considering becoming missionaries,
    the Bible study that I'm in process of conducting will prove invaluable.

    All others can at least take comfort in knowing they're not a captive
    audience, nor wasted good money for a ticket to sit thru a dull movie.
    _
     
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  4. Hope in God

    Hope in God Well-Known Member

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    I saw the movie "The Letter" and walked out completely encased in her bewilderment. Why, Lord? I asked myself. Did not her faith have works, whatever quantity she might have had, for we have all been given a measure of faith, haven't we? This is a very important topic and worthy of inspection and consideration.

    All of the Catholics I have ever known, either from watching, listening or talking to them, have not been able to convince me they understand the simplest truths regarding a Christian life. They understand the need to show the world love in service to others, that I am certain of. From what does that love grow? The reciting of the rosary? Just exactly what does their prayer time consist of?

    I have a close Catholic woman friend who knows nothing of the Bible, nothing, and cares not to look into it. It's a waste of breath to attempt to advance a spiritual conversation without possessing the right academic degree and wearing the proper attire. And not one thing taking place within the Vatican, especially today, has any bearing on her thoughts.

    Life to a Catholic is given to them not by a relationship with the Lord, deep examination of the Word, praying with and without one's understanding, and empowerment, but from transubstantiation, the miraculous transformation of the wafer and wine into Jesus' body and blood. That is where they believe they receive life, which can be partaken only after one has been to confession before a priest.

    Mother Teresa's life was the start of, if I remember correctly, some 40k nursing sisters all over the world who do the same work. That choice, to give so profoundly to the care of others, must have a spiritual foundation. It must.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  5. Hope in God

    Hope in God Well-Known Member

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    I have chosen in the evenings to listen to a couple Catholic priests on youtube, and I admit, there is a message there that is often very sound. One priest spoke on "spiritual warfare" and provided a list of seven things to keep in mind during times of testing It was filled with right and forcible passages that gave the talk authority. So, I may need to apologize for my initial descriptions. There are some solid teachings being presented but they are surrounded by a great deal of rite and ritual that is not of the Lord.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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  6. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Some of Teresa's concepts were questionable and I should think that they
    surely had something to do with her deplorable spiritual condition. For
    example:

    In an interview, Teresa is quoted as saying:

    "Of course I convert. I convert you to be a better Hindu or a better Muslim
    or a better Protestant. Once you've found God, it's up to you to decide how
    to worship him"
    (Mother Teresa Touched Other Faiths, Associated Press, (9/7/97)

    The April 7-13, 1990, issue of Radio Times tells the story of Mother Teresa
    sheltering an old Hindu priest. "She nursed him with her own hands and
    helped him to die reconciled with his own gods."

    I think it goes without saying that Christian missionaries are not supposed to
    be helping pagans die reconciled to their own gods. They're supposed to be
    helping pagans die reconciled to the one true God by means of Christ's
    crucifixion. Nor are they supposed to be converting pagans to become better
    Hindus or better Muslims.

    In her book, "Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations and Prayers", Teresa
    says:

    "We never try to convert those who receive [aid from Missionaries of
    Charity] to Christianity but in our work we bear witness to the love of God's
    presence and if Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, or agnostics become for
    this better men -- simply better -- we will be satisfied.

    . . . It matters to the individual what church he belongs to. If that individual
    thinks and believes that this is the only way to God for her or him, this is the
    way God comes into their life -- his life. If he does not know any other way
    and if he has no doubt so that he does not need to search then this is his
    way to salvation.
    (Pages 81-82)

    The above is no less than a manifesto repudiating the great commission
    wherein Christ commanded his disciples:

    "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and
    make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and
    of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have
    commanded you."
    (Matt 28:18-20)

    Teresa said "in our work we bear witness to the love of God's presence"
    while in her private letters Teresa complained:

    "I am told God loves me; and yet the reality of darkness & coldness &
    emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul."

    "The place of God in my soul is blank-- There is no God in me"

    "I feel He does not want me, He is not there, God does not want me"

    Well of course God was "not there". He couldn't possibly take part in a
    ministry that strayed from His son's agenda.

    1John 1:6 . . If we say we have fellowship with Him while we continue to
    walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth.
    _
     
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  7. Hope in God

    Hope in God Well-Known Member

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    No wonder she wrestled with her conscience, it was seared and defiled by her support of godless belief systems. To her, there can be any kind of god in the minds of her friends, patients and strangers. She refused to persuade otherwise for there was no presentation of the truth. Was she thinking love was enough? It appears so. But is that real love? What is love anyway? We must see that it never stands alone, for it is always wedded to truth, a love of the truth, and those poor people did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved.
     
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    I cannot help but be reminded of Job in all of her darkness and loneliness...I also saw "The Letter's". I think her priest friend did her a disservice by publicizing them when she explicitly asked him not to. And, who knows if in her old age and, serving how she did...could have been her mind maybe not quite right? God knows. As far as those quotes of hers about being the best - Hindu, Buddhist and so on, so sad to read them. :(
     
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  9. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    In one of her letters to a Father Neuner; Teresa reported having spiritual
    problems right around 1949, at the relatively youthful age of 39.

    "Now Father-- since 49 or 50 this terrible sense of loss-- this untold
    darkness-- this loneliness, this continual longing for God-- which gives me
    pain deep down in my heart-- Darkness is such that I really do not see
    neither with my mind nor with my reason-- the place of God in my soul is
    blank--

    . . .There is no God in me-- when the pain of longing is so great-- I just
    long & long for God-- and then it is that I feel-- He does not want me-- He is
    not there-- God does not want me-- Sometimes-- I just hear my own heart
    cry out-- "My God" and nothing else comes-- the torture and pain I can't
    explain"
    (Page 210, Mother Teresa / Come Be My Light)

    BTW: Chapters Nine and Ten of that book are so dispiriting and gloomy that
    I could not read any more of the book beyond them. Teresa's spiritual
    dryness in those chapters is just overwhelming.
    _
     
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  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    Although I did not read the book, I sure felt a sense of deep sadness in her. Yet, she kept on going. Yes, her words are quite overwhelming. It just made me very sad- especially coming from her as, I myself can feel just the same...I know we all go through our dry patches but, how long should they hang around? Is it God, causing us to reach out to Him more? :(
     
  11. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    According to some background, Teresa was a little bull dog. Once she set
    her mind to a task, Teresa was a D-9 Caterpillar tractor and not easily
    dissuaded once she put things in gear, viz: Teresa was stalwart by nature; a
    virtual dynamo of perseverance.

    Her personality is neither rare nor unusual. All the really great achievers are
    known for overcoming adversity, ill health, and overwhelming personal
    problems. Nobody ever got rich by a half-hearted effort, nobody ever got to
    the moon by a half-hearted effort, and nobody ever climbed Mt. Everest by a
    half-hearted effort. The old saying; No Pain-No Gain, is still true whether
    you're struggling with your weight, your career, your finances, winning a
    100 meter backstroke, investing, or organizing a neighborhood watch.

    An outstanding example of the "against all odds" attitude is found in US
    Navy SEALS. They are a breed of men who absolutely refuse to be beaten . .
    at anything. I once heard an ex-SEAL say that if a group of SEALs were
    playing hop-scotch, it would soon turn violent because they don't like to
    lose. In other words: with people like Teresa and the SEALS; failure is not an
    option.
    _
     
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  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, i did get that much from watching The Letters - I loved the portrayal of her in the movie...and it also gave me a different view of her and, it made me love her more. Who, in this world would be able to avoid the emptiness and darkness she had experienced after spending 50 years of her life living in those terribly poor streets. And, I know, from her letters, that the emptiness and darkness and feelings of God abandoning her did come earlier on yet...she still pressed on and IMO, she was selfless, and most likely depressed much of the time, what with being surrounded by all that she was.
     
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    Could at least, the part of the reason for her emptiness be that, she was not taught to study the bible? I know she was a teacher but, not necessarily a teacher of the bible. Where would we be without His word every day? She could certainly have only had partial understanding and when her doubts started to creep in, she was not well versed in the armor of God in Ephesians? And, could be she was running on her emotions while seeing the dying poor in the streets from the window of her rich home in the school?
     
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  14. tzcho2

    tzcho2 Well-Known Member

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    There is no evidence that she was saved. Helping the poor does not get you into heaven only Jesus alone can do that. She was raised a RC and believed in the works gospel and did not know the Lord as her Savior, she complained of feeling spiritual darkness. The media and the Roman Catholic Church contributed to celebrity mythology that was created about her that did not match the reality. I know it's verboden especially on this forum to express any truth about mother teresa because the media & rcc made her a pop icon through all of the hype. Roman Catholic "sainthood" is a product of the rcc and has nothing to do with Biblical saints which all the born again Christians are referred as.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
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  15. tzcho2

    tzcho2 Well-Known Member

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    People can sound "sound" but if it is not according to what is written in the scriptures it does not come from God, but aside from that is did that give the Gospel according to the Bible? Because if anyone preaches any other gospel , it is not then the gospel Jesus , that is the only gospel that gives salvation.
     
  16. GodsGrace

    GodsGrace Well-Known Member

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    Maybe Mother T was not called to be a gospel preaching missionary.
    She was called to serve.
    Also, I must say that she's from a different generation of catholics.
    To HER, what she was doing WAS following the gospel.

    Catholics have become more open and have become more biblically oriented in their teaching.
     
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  17. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    I found the article where you got the quote above from. In case anyone cares to read it :)
    Statement of Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC, Postulator of the Cause of Canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa

    "Since Mother Teresa’s aims in serving the poorest of the poor in India and elsewhere have been questioned recently, I would like to make the following clarifications.

    Mother Teresa offered tender, loving care to those most in need, the poorest of the poor, all over the world independently of their race, color, nationality, cast or creed. In each human being, she saw a child of God, created for greater things: to love and to be loved. Respecting this innate value and dignity of each person, she endeavored to bring this love where it was lacking, offering her humble service to whoever was in need, without considering their religious affiliation.

    Mother Teresa believed that conversion is a work of God and that faith is a gift. She respected every person, including atheists or agnostics, and respected the faith they had or even lacked. Here is a short testimony of someone who was closely associated with Mother Teresa for 23 years: “I am a Hindu and I never saw the slightest evidence in all my 23 years of knowing Mother Teresa in the Missionaries of Charity, of converting. …

    When I asked her (not Mother Theresa being asked this question <--- mine) whether she converted, she answered, ‘Yes, I convert. I convert you to be a better Hindu, or a better Muslim, or a better Protestant, or a better Catholic, or a better Parsee, or a better Sikh, or a better Buddhist. And after you have found God, it is for you to do what God wants you to do.’ ” She wanted people to come closer to God (however they understood Him) and believed that in this way they would also come closer to each other, love one another, and ultimately create a world that is better for everyone to live in.

    The Constitutions of the Missionaries of Charity state: “We shall not impose our Catholic Faith on anyone, but have profound respect for all religions, for it is never lawful for anyone to force others to embrace the Catholic Faith against their conscience.” This reflects the intention of Mother Teresa herself, and the Missionaries of Charity follow in her footsteps."

    There are also a ton of so called quotes attributed to her that she never said, from the same site as the article. Quotes falsely attributed to M. T.
    Just some food for thought and we shouldn't say she was not saved, or agnostic either, Imho.
     
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  18. GodsGrace

    GodsGrace Well-Known Member

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    If anyone really wants to know about Mother Theresa...
    they should not read books ABOUT her, but read a book that is ONLY
    letters that she wrote.

    It's called: Come Be My Light
     
  19. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    You know, GG,
    As much as I like learning what was going on inside her, I feel she was wronged in that the priest she so trusted with these very personal letters and, was asked by her not to ever share them did so anyway. I don't know...just were not her wishes. :(
     
  20. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    The full and complete title, along with its ISBN, is located at the very
    beginning of this thread in post No.1
    _
     
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