Mother Teresa an Agnostic – Atheist? Can She Still Be Sainted?

August 25, 2007 at 1:00 am | Posted in Atheism, Beliefs, god, Religion | 12 Comments
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After her death, rules were broken to expedite her rise to sainthood, but according to her recently released diaries she had some serious doubt, even disbelief as to the existence of the invisible man in the sky.

“In my own soul, I feel the terrible pain of this loss. I feel that God does not want me, that God is not God and that he does not really exist.”

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  1. I wish people could make up their minds. I’m willing to accept that feeling the presence of god and not feeling it can both be part of the experience of a religious believer.

    But how can could both be seen as useful evidence for God’s interaction in someone’s life?

  2. Doubt is not the opposite of faith. And having real doubts in a life lived by faith is fairly normative for those who love God. Yes, she’s still a saint.

  3. There is a level in spirituality where unless you really understand it it can become quite confusing, I have been told this level is the third level, in it sits the people considered super saints,, Life is much easier with out the torments of belief.. ah to just warm a pew.

  4. If you see what she saw how can you believe in the concept of “good” God they are trying to sell you?
    That vindictive, egocentric, cruel being described in the Old Testament and named God there, yes, that jerk would like watching the poor suffer!
    Makes her an even better person in our view if she did not believe in supernatural beings….

  5. Faith can not live without doubt. Without doubt, there is no need for faith. Her great faith was exemplified by her actions, and just as truly, what saw there lead to great doubt.
    The simple mind does not grasp ambiguity, and the wise mind knows that it can not be grasped.
    The fact of Good action in the face of desparation, a desparation that only an idiot could face without dout, is evidence that she acted on the basis of a higher good. A greater good is not material. Some may call that God, some may not. But it is something other than reaching out for base or even community needs. For many times, the community in which she worked did not express a need, but exibited a need through the eyes of one with the willingness to percieve. That perception is something she brought, not something that was given in the situation. Again, was that God? To those touched by her grace, I’d be willing to bet it was God.

  6. Cute. Everyone has doubts and bad days.

    Blessed be.

  7. Brad, You’re kidding right? Bad days? Did you read the article, try bad 40 YEARS!

  8. She was certainly not an atheist, which is a person who dose firmly know there is no god.
    Agnostic yes, that is a person whom does not know or can’t decide if they believe god exists, but Mother Teresa was leaning towards believing if agnostic anyway.

  9. Monique,

    Why the surprise? People that strive for truth, for ‘real answers’, the highest goals often have only their goals to define success and satisfaction. The true faith of a person like Mother Teresa is not a comfort, but a goad, a vast and empty doubt. At the same time her faith defined her life, her values, and her path through life, she denied herself many worldly choices and even spiritual comforts. At the same time she was driven to help the poor, it had to be extremely frustrating to see the Church and the media play up her role – instead of digging in and solving the issues causing the pain she was intent to reduce. Was her work really useful in helping the poor, or was the real accomplishment of her life to be a PR bonanza for the Church? Which did God rejoice in? Either? The Church is highly regimented, and the Catholic church especially proclaims to speak with the words of God, the Pope participates with the infallibility of God. So why was the Church playing her actions to rebuild Church image, and not to keep people fed and cared for?

    Think of 40 years of doubt as a blessing. It took until then to learn enough of the Church, the world, people, and herself to arrive at doubt. After she developed the doubt I imagine the search for answers brought her ever closer to understanding, with a richness of reward for spirit and crushing despair difficult to imagine.

    At least, that is how I read it.

  10. An atheist does not claim to know that there is no god.. why do so many people tend to screw this up? The most famous atheists admit to the possibility, albeit an extremely low probability, that god could exist. Everyone, whether they claim to know or not, is agnostic… which is why I abhor the term. It is a meaningless label. Do you believe in god? Yes: theist. No: atheist. Answering with “I can’t know for sure” doesn’t answer the question of your state of belief.

    And finally.. it does seem to be quite common for extremely religious people to enter a final “stage of disbelief” where they continue on with their life’s work despite themselves. Enter Jean Meslier.

    Does anyone else need further evidence of the horrible trap that is religion? To rob good-meaning individuals of ACTUALLY helping us solve our problems instead of perpetuating the divinity of suffering. Teresa fought bitterly with her demons: the wrongful acts demanded by her religion. Despite all that she’s done, it seems as though she really was a caring atheist after all cruelly pinned by her false beliefs.

  11. Ah… come on. Cut the crap. Whoever said an Atheist or Agnost cant be a good person?

  12. […] original post here and the full story […]


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