CSMonitor: “Mother Teresa to be canonized: Why now?”

 

“If you launch your bark upon the ever-agitated but healthful waters of truth, you will encounter storms. Your good will be evil spoken of. This is the cross. Take it up and bear it, for through it you win and wear the crown.  Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God.

Mary Baker Eddy

Science and Health (p. 254)

 

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Mother Teresa to be canonized: Why now?

The secret despair of Mother Teresa – combined with allegations from critics that the institutions she founded misused funds, had poor medical care, and practiced religious evangelism – makes her canonization more controversial than most. Some argue that the time isn’t right, as her weaknesses are still fresh in people’s minds. But others say these imperfections are exactly why Mother Teresa should be made into a saint.

Others argue that Pope Francis’s canonization of Mother Teresa is in part because of her flaws, not despite them. The move deliberately sends a message that nobody is perfect; even saints can suffer or feel unloved by God, says Ines Angeli Murzaku, a professor of church history at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

“That existential periphery which is suffering and being marginalized, he wants to bring that to the attention of the world,” Dr. Murzaku told the Associated Press. Mother Teresa, she added, “is so real. She’s not remote. She’s not a perfect, perfect saint.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/2016/0831/Mother-Teresa-to-be-canonized-Why-now

* Op-ed: Now is the time by Rob Scott, CS

For me, there is a connection between Mother Teresa’s experience and Mrs. Eddy’s experience because of their sacrifice and mutual suffering for their service and devotion to God.

Both suffered and carried the cross of the Christ mission.  Their compassion and spiritual experience has earned them the attention of the world but also conflict, persecution and criticism.

 “Conflict and persecution are the truest signs that can be given of the greatness of a cause or of an individual, provided this warfare is honest and a world-imposed struggle. Such conflict never ends till unconquerable right is begun anew, and hath gained fresh energy and final victory.” [Extract from Eddy’s “Message to The Mother Church” for June, 1900]

In the storm of misunderstandings and criticism, in the stress of ingratitude and betrayal; constantly tried as by fire; at times, all but overwhelmed by the waters of malice, envy, and hate; beset by poverty, homelessness, and loneliness, this women [Mrs. Eddy] pressed on. Healing cases her students failed to heal, pondering and communing with her heavenly Father, she meekly broke the bread of Truth with her fellow men. In the face of opposition greater than the world had known since the advent of Christianity, she would not be swayed from her God-appointed task. In the secret recesses of her heart Mary Baker Eddy guarded the truth God had revealed to her.

(Twelve years with Mary Baker Eddy – Rev. Irving Tomlinson, page 42)

Mother Teresa was also criticized for not handing out medication in the slums but she gave the most important healing element of all which was love and she gave it to the so-called “throw aways of society.”   Specifically, those who felt alone, unloved and unwanted as she stated there is no greater suffering than that.

Similarly, Mrs. Eddy sited that the heart and soul of Christian Science is Love.

So why now for Mother Teresa? Because now is the time. She wasn’t some perfect, pretending holy roller.  She literally got her hands dirty.  How many would go that far and not give up.

After all, “Doubting Thomas” doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead and even Christ Jesus cried out: “God, why have you forsaken me”.

Perhaps this gives hope to those who are less saintly that they too can perform acts of charity.  I wonder how many CS practitioners have their own so-called thorn.  Everyone has something to work out.

Mother Teresa believed she had no faith but as an earlier CSMonitor article stated: “Was not her persistence an act of extreme faith?  And is it not faith in something greater than themselves that sustained leaders, such as Mr. Lincoln and Mr. King, as they carried out their missions?”

Being beset by doubt at times doesn’t necessary lesson a persons faith nor their commitment to serving God.

Perhaps the road less traveled can be a lonely one to the human sense.

Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind,

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One comment

  1. LauraMoliter · September 1

    Excellent thoughts and well-stated, Rob! Thank you for this posting and for all of your inspiration!

    Like

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