Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? St. Matthew Ch 27 Ver 46

I am greatly angered and dismayed with the way Mother Teresa's memory is being darkened. Her amazing works during her lifetime are now being denigrated as the media has a heyday with the revelation that this little woman wrote letters in which she questioned her own faith.

I can only think of my dear friend, Dr. Naima Panow, who spent a three-week "vacation" working in Calcutta with Mother Teresa. Dr. Panow's description of this place and its utter hopelessness brought tears even as I listened. And yet Mother Teresa went on with her merciful work day after day and year after year in a place whose horror we can hardly begin to imagine. She and her Order made so much difference to the individuals they comforted in a place the world has aptly named The Black Hole of Calcutta. Who but the strongest and most determined could have continued for more than a few days? I have always asked myself who could have done what Mother Teresa did without suffering from clinical depression and a total breakdown.

With the release of her letters, there is an issue with the beatification process. Will the Church continue to go through the process of declaring her a Saint? Because she was a mere mortal who did amazing works which brought her faith to the forefront on a daily basis, she will now be criticized because she had bad days and couldn't seem to connect with the God she loved and dedicated her life to serve? Where have we gone awry here?

Has everyone forgotten the very last words Jesus uttered on the cross? Let's remind ourselves. Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? Even the most holy who ever walked among us had that last moment of doubt in the ninth hour as He cried with a loud voice, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Gospel of St. Mathew Ch. 27 Ver. 46)

We can identify with the suffering of Jesus. Let's try a little harder to identify with the many years of suffering endured both externally and internally by Mother Teresa.
Picture credit is the cover of Time Magazine Sept. 3, 2007


b said...

Thank you so much Norah. This was beautifully written. Mother Teresa is also one of my heroes. I always think that only people that have a very bad self image need to tear down those that are so incredibly "saintlike". But then this may just be another case of journalism gone bad!

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