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Old 08-24-2007, 10:52 AM   #1
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Mother Teresa Doubted Her Faith

Letters Reveal Mother Teresa's Secret

LONDON, Aug. 23, 2007
(CBS) In life, Mother Teresa was an icon — for believers — of God's work on Earth. Her ministry to the poor of Calcutta was a world-renowned symbol of religious compassion. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In a rare interview in 1986, Mother Teresa told CBS News she had a calling, based on unquestioned faith.

"They are all children of God, loved and created by the same heart of God," she said.

But now, it has emerged that Mother Teresa was so doubtful of her own faith that she feared being a hypocrite, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips.

In a new book that compiles letters she wrote to friends, superiors and confessors, her doubts are obvious.

Shortly after beginning work in Calcutta's slums, the spirit left Mother Teresa.

"Where is my faith?" she wrote. "Even deep down… there is nothing but emptiness and darkness... If there be God — please forgive me."

Eight years later, she was still looking to reclaim her lost faith.

"Such deep longing for God… Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal," she said.

As her fame increased, her faith refused to return. Her smile, she said, was a mask.

"What do I labor for?" she asked in one letter. "If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true."

"These are letters that were kept in the archbishop's house," the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk told Phillips.

The letters were gathered by Rev. Kolodiejchuk, the priest who's making the case to the Vatican for Mother Teresa's proposed sainthood. He said her obvious spiritual torment actually helps her case.

"Now we have this new understanding, this new window into her interior life, and for me this seems to be the most heroic," said Rev. Kolodiejchuk.

According to her letters, Mother Teresa died with her doubts. She had even stopped praying, she once said.

The church decided to keep her letters, even though one of her dying wishes was that they be destroyed. Perhaps now we know why.

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Old 08-24-2007, 10:55 AM   #2
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Wow, interesting.


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Old 08-24-2007, 10:56 AM   #3
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Wow. So even if she had no faith in God, she still had faith in what she was doing. That's pretty saintly if you ask me. That's interesting.
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:01 AM   #4
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I was going to post this earlier, but then I did some more research into Mother Teresa, and there are some pretty interesting reports to the contrary of her almost universal saint-like reputation.

Apparently most of the money she raised was spent on religious activities (building her order), and not on the poor. And there's the whole cult of suffering thing, too.

Interesting (if biased) bit on Penn & Teller's Bullshit:

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Old 08-24-2007, 01:34 PM   #5
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Originally posted by UberBeaver
Wow. So even if she had no faith in God, she still had faith in what she was doing. That's pretty saintly if you ask me. That's interesting.
I think a common misconception about saints is that some people think they are perfect. But the truth is, it is their humanness and weaknesses that led them to these journeys to become saints in the first place. Most of the saints I've read about were kinda crazy actually. But, you're right, above all, they believed in what they were doing. And that's why they are admired and respected so much.
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Old 08-24-2007, 01:53 PM   #6
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When I saw the title of this thread I though "Wow! I doubted her faith too!

The cult of suffering bit has always been a huge turn off for me as I think because of her apparent love of that caused large numbers of the people she was supposed to be helping to suffer more. I think the vast majority of the people who donated to her order were led to believe what they donated would be used to alieviate suffering and improve the lives of the poor in the areas MT had her groups. That it wasn't, and was never really intended to, borders on fraud to me.
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Old 08-24-2007, 02:25 PM   #7
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I really don't know all that much about Mother Theresa, but I have a hard time admiring anyone who's never doubted their faith at one time or another.
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Old 08-24-2007, 02:48 PM   #8
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people read into things or people what they want to believe
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Old 08-24-2007, 03:26 PM   #9
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Originally posted by UberBeaver
Wow. So even if she had no faith in God, she still had faith in what she was doing. That's pretty saintly if you ask me. That's interesting.
Saintly read misanthropic.
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:01 PM   #10
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What a relief,..she was human after all
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:27 PM   #11
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Originally posted by indra
When I saw the title of this thread I though "Wow! I doubted her faith too!
When I saw the title of this thread I thought "Wow! Maybe that's why she was (allegedly) so mean!"
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:54 PM   #12
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Yeah, her reputation hasn't always painted her as the nicest person.

"I've been looking for a savior in these dirty streets
looking for a savior beneath these dirty sheets
I've been raising up my hands
Drive another nail in
Got enough guilt to start
my own religion"
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Old 08-25-2007, 05:01 PM   #13
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I do not find it shocking. The Bible is full of people who have blemished past that somehow give me hope because they traveled on the smae road as me.
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Old 08-25-2007, 05:08 PM   #14
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there is no faith without doubt.

if anyone tells you they never doubt, they have no faith. just arrogance.
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Old 08-25-2007, 09:54 PM   #15
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Even Jesus, asked 'Father, why have you forsaken me?'

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