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 Post subject: Doubt and disbelief
PostPosted: 05 Nov 2007, 11:09 
Grand Poobah
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Joined: 18 Sep 2007, 11:26
Posts: 5793
Location: Buffalo, NY
perhaps the most famous doubter currently is Mother Teresa. I'm off in a few minutes, so I can't post anything in depth, but I'm using this a a place holder to discuss her waverings as well as all our doubts and disbelief and what it all menas to us psychologically and spirually...

(and to get the damn note off my to do list!)

Mother Teresa
One of Catholicism’s leading candidates for sainthood, it turns out, doubted the existence of God, said Helen Kennedy in the New York Daily News. For four decades, Mother Teresa was the epitome of Christian selflessness, ministering to the suffering masses of Calcutta. But in a new book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, the Nobel Prize–winning missionary’s letters reveal that amid this misery she often failed to feel “even the smallest glimmer” of God’s presence in the world. “I am told God lives in me,” she wrote, “and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.” Heartbroken by the suffering she witnessed daily, the nun longed for God “with all power of my soul—and yet between us there is terrible separation.” Mother Teresa even called Jesus “the absent one,” confessing after receiving a major humanitarian award, “This means nothing to me, because I don’t have Him.”

These “scrawled, desperate” thoughts speak volumes about the fallacy of religious faith, said Christopher Hitchens in Newsweek. Mother Teresa didn’t experience a mere moment of doubt. Despite her public piety, she spent her last 50 years fighting depression and a powerful sense of God’s absence. At one point she was so distressed that she underwent an exorcism. It was as if she realized her entire life had been devoted to a fallacy but she didn’t dare admit it. Still, said Sam Harris in, Christianity’s true believers refuse to acknowledge that this symbol of unwavering religious commitment was actually an agnostic. Mother Teresa’s own confessor said her doubts only meant that she was “sharing Christ’s torment on the Cross” and thus affirmed her faith. That’s religion for you: Even God’s absence proves God’s existence.

You don’t get it, said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. Mother Teresa’s despair was a quintessential expression of the human condition, entirely in keeping with the Scriptures themselves. “In the Hebrew Bible the psalmist cries, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’—a sentiment echoed by the dying Jesus.” What’s important is that even when she felt God had abandoned her, Mother Teresa never wavered from what He called her to do—serving the poor, the desperately diseased, and the dying. Such perseverance is the essence of faith, said Bill Wineke in the Wisconsin State Journal. “True faith comes from a place in the soul that keeps you doing what you must do, even as every fiber of your consciousness rebels.”

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