Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Letter to NPR re: Mother Teresa

I just sent the following message to National Public Radio's All Things Considered:

I have to question your Thursday commentator's view that Mother Teresa was "the greatest saint of all time" because she maintained "trust in God" despite having no sense of his presence. To me this is comparable to the self-flagellation of some medieval religious; most people today don't regard such gratuitous masochism as admirable but see it as a kind of egotism. Yet masochism is what Mother Teresa's suffering was, since it was completely avoidable. Those of us who aren't people of faith feel no "spiritual darkness" from God's absence; belief in ourselves and our fellows is all we need, and it could have been likewise for Mother Teresa had she only chosen to be a person of reason rather than one of faith. So her suffering was self-inflicted and merits no praise; she could just as well have done all her good works without it.

Eric Hamell

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