Sunday, August 26, 2007

Apparently a lot of people are bent out of shape about the recent revelations of Mother Teresa's lack of faith regarding her personal "experiences of God". Personally, after some reflection, I am not surprised and here is why...
From what I can gather about the life of Mother Teresa she lived a life of severe personal deprivation
on numerous levels. She took a vow of poverty and sexual abstinence,
for starters...and...I suspect that during her years as a nun in
Calcutta she probably didn't take too many relaxing vacations or eat
at too many nice restaurants...and...I wonder if she ever received a
soothing massage...or...relax on a beach and feel the cool ocean
air...or...walk through a quiet forest and enjoy the sound of
silence...and...I wonder who took care of Mother Teresa?...Did anyone
cook her a nice meal on a regular basis?...Did anyone ever give her
any money and encourage her to spend the day doing what "she" wanted
and pampering herself?....I doubt it...As far as I can gather she
lived a life where she was deprived of many of the creature comforts
we often take for granted...Personally, upon further reflection I am
not surprised Mother Teresa didn't feel the presence of God
"whatsoever" for apparently much of her adult life. Who would, under
such severe circumstances? Personally, I think it is impossible to
separate our experience of God from the world and our surroundings. We
live in a beautiful world teaming with life and beauty where the birds
sing, the sky is blue, and enchantment abounds for those who know what
to look for...From what I know of Mother Teresa, and it isn't much,
she apparently spent the vast majority of her time helping people who
were themselves deprived of the basic needs of, shelter,
and someone who cared about them and in many ways her own deprivation
was probably as great as those who she served.

So Mother Teresa apparently wore a mask much of the time hiding deep
seated doubts about the presence of God in her personal life.
Personally, I feel sad for Mother Teresa because I can't help
wondering why any institution would allow their people to live a life
of such deprivation for an "ideal" of what it means to be spiritual. I
am not suggesting or implying we should not help the poor or make
personal sacrifices but from where I sit, I don't, for the life of me,
understand, how such personal deprivation, for such a long period,
can result in anything but doubt about the presence of God...
unless... one believes God is not present in nature and every other
aspect of the world we live in...Yes Mother Teresa made her choice to
live the life she did but if I were deprived for much of my life of
being able to hike along a trail where I could see snow capped
peaks...and...I never went to a movie...or had a good meal...or
experienced the healing touch of others on my body...or bought myself
something I wanted and desired from time to time...."I" know I would
be depressed and wonder where is God...For me, in some ways, Mother
Teresa's life may have been a tragedy...No one should live a life of
such deprivation...and...I am not sure if it is Mother Teresa's
apparent lack of faith one should question...or the religious "ideal"
that has been established and apparently wasn't all what it was
cracked up to be for, at least, one person who devoted their life to
the ideal...


Kansas Bob said...

Hey Bill ... this is one of the best things that I have read on this. Your words evoked compassion in me for Mother Teresa. I quoted some of your thoughts and linked to this post at my place. Good job!

Bilbo said...

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the kind words...I wrote this particular blog entry from the heart which is something I am not always able to do. The price one pays for reading and thinking too much...