Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Tragedy of Mother Theresa

In her lifetime Mother Theresa attained iconic status as a handmaiden of God. Tragically, her public image and her inner reality were far from resonant. The recent publication of "Mother Theresa: Come Be My Light," a compendium of her letters, reveals the inner desolation and torment she lived with for the last fifty years of her life. How could one so dedicated to doing God's work be so desolate and so miserable for so long?

I believe the answer to that question lies in fundamental beliefs about God and human relations with God that Mother Teresa embraced as a Catholic. The notion that "God is separate from myself" is fundamental to Catholicism (and most variants of Christianity as well as the other Western religions) despite the fact that Jesus taught "the kingdom of heaven is within." Where else might one find God than in His/Her kingdom- within myself? There is also the extremely destructive emphasis in Catholicism on "myself as a sinner," hopeless, helpless and eternally damned without the intervention of God who lies outside myself.

We create our own reality with the mind, and our beliefs are primary drivers in that creative process. If I believe that God is separate from myself, then I will look outside myself to find Him/Her, especially if I also believe that I myself am an unworthy sinner. But since the reality is that I am already One with that unified wholeness that we call God, there is nothing to be found outside that wholeness. Therefore if I look outside myself for God I will find nothing, because the reality is that there is nothing outside myself to find. Religious demagogues and their misguided acolytes have been misleading seekers for centuries into rejecting themselves as unworthy sinners and looking outside themselves for salvation.

Mother Theresa reported the reality of her experience...honestly, and tragically. Her belief system, reinforced by her spiritual advisers, prevented her from seeking fulfillment outside the limitations of that belief system. This led her to persevere, heroically but futilely, in a spiritual dry hole. If she had had a framework that would have allowed her to re-characterize her experience she may have been able to find her salvation within herself, where it was patiently waiting for her.

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3 Comments:

At August 29, 2007 7:09 PM , Blogger McKeagan said...

People often look outside themselves to find "god" while happlessly going through their life. It does give them an "out" if you will. If something goes wrong, I can place the blame outside of myself when in fact we all create our own realities here on earth. The universal law of attraction brings with it good and bad based on ones frame of mind. The person is only capable of seeing what is vibrationally in tune with their own thoughts. Notice when even a slight change in thought is made, how all kinds of different things you never knew were there amazingly appear. Subtle shifts in this area yield amazing results, good and bad. Mother Theresa was confined by her own religion and although a great person, suffered needlessly to defend her faith. Life really is what you make of it and death is not a tragic thing because you get to come back and experience it all again.

 
At November 28, 2007 11:52 PM , Blogger theburningsoul said...

Well God has a form.. and I firmly believe it was Mother Teresa .. I was deeply motivated by Mother Teresa that I brought a Charity firm Listed on Globalbx, a free business listing forum. They have many franchise opportunities available.! She is my greatest inspiration!

 
At March 14, 2008 2:42 PM , Blogger Dawn Shepherd said...

I am reading "A New Earth, I wouldn't have understood this anaysis without having this perspective. Great Analysis.

 

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