We are all pencils in the hand of God. –Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Nobody could ever make a painful, straightforward assessment to a person but from a person who knows best. No one could question the faith of the believers who believed things only by their own convictions and mere faith, unless they, themselves (the Believers), experienced firsthand and witnessed with their naked eyes the things they were made to believe. Cynics may agree with me on this; the brainwashed may not and curse me with their tongue of hooliganism or accuse me of aspersion from head to toe.
We are born to believe of the things both we know and we don’t know. Some things or events are happening or about to happen anytime we never know yet, because those things are meant to happen. We are raised to believe that as the ‘work of nature’ that we, human beings, are conditioned to either accept it or to live with it. We really are duped by people or institutions with covert objectives that have passed through decades of generations so secretive that the only way to contain it is death to those who knew it. Just like “prevention is better than cure”.
The Making of Mother Teresa of Calcutta to Sainthood
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (pronounced as, An’yes Gon’ja Boya’jee’yu) or Mother Teresa of Calcutta was born on 26th August 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia to Nikola and Dranafile Bojaxhiu both of Albanian descent. A devout Catholic family, Agnes in her childhood had instilled in her heart the value of sharing as her mother (Dranafile) invited poor people in their locality to dine with them (“Early Life”, Mother Teresa Biography).
At 18, Agnes became a missionary joining the Blessed Institute of Virgin Mary (aka, Sisters of Loreto) in Ireland where she was named Sister Mary Teresa after St. Therese of Lisieux. In the following year, Agnes arrived in Calcutta, India on 6th January 1929.
In India, most of her life and missionary works took place. She died in Calcutta (now, Kolkata), India on 5th September 1997 of heart failure due to her ailing health.
For Catholics, sainthood is a posthumous grant. It is like any highest award given to any government or military officials who died while on their performance of their duty or have shown works worth emulating while they are still alive. In a much bigger view, sainthood is no big deal. For what must be the more significant in the world of the living than the living themselves? We live to die…not the other way around that we die to continue living. Unless you have this faith that Paradise is in Heaven and Hell is on Earth. I could suggest you try looking for someone you could endure talking about that faith. I swear there are many out there outnumbering the skeptics and pagans.
The considered to be ‘limelight’ that Mother Teresa of Calcutta had enjoyed ‘locally’ from the early on of her missionary work in India and then ‘globally’ when time came for her Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and when the day of mourning echoed to the world is still lingering now at its peak especially these days when Pope Francis made her a saint. Her sainthood process beat a historic record as the fastest among those granted their sainthood in the past! That assessment is according to Harvard University Economics Professor Robert J. Barro in his study on trends in sainthood from 1590 to 2009. What makes, indeed, so special with Mother Teresa of Calcutta? Did her Nobel Peace Prize help her a lot in conditioning the minds of the world to pave her path to sainthood?
The Untold Story About Mother Teresa and How That Story Dies
The world mourned her loss. Or do I just exaggerate it? The world, they said, lost the “living saint”. It was preconditioned that Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s sainthood was planned, not destined. That is how I see it. The path to her sainthood marked in the history of canonization the fastest seems to be a way out from “controversies” that attempt to debunk the value of genuine selfless service of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
On The Saturday Profile story, “A Critic’s Lonely Quest: Revealing the Whole Truth About Mother Teresa“, published on August 26, 2016 on The New York Times, Dr. Aroup Chatterjee was asked if he would continue campaigning his contest now that Mother Teresa is about to receive her sainthood (Note that Mother Teresa of Calcutta became a saint on 4th of September 2016). Dr. Chatterjee said:
In my mind, the dialogue will never die, because I think the myth goes on and the issue goes on. I will not go away. It’s as simple as that.
In his words full of enthusiasm, Dr. Chatterjee nailed his quest to “right the record as long as it took”.
Nobody, especially Catholic believers, can be blamed why they become so engrossed believing that Mother Teresa of Calcutta indeed had done so saintly they could imagine knowingly that they didn’t even know the truth firsthand. For ignorance is a mother of knowledge, faith is so powerful in the minds of ignorant. The thirst of knowledge can be defeated by the mouth of authority for those who consider it infallible. How then infallibility could exist on Earth when humans are bound to err?
The untold story behind Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the truth about her missionary works claimed by others as exaggerated, discombobulated, and in the words of the late Christopher Hitchens (who died at 62 nearing five years ago at this time of writing) called Mother Teresa, “a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud,” cannot substantiate the the decision of the late Pope John Paul II to change his mind for the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta in 2003. The papal infallibility, without hesitation, dropped the controversies about Mother Teresa.
Today, Mother Teresa of Calcutta is now a saint. However, controversies, issues need to be cleared and properly addressed, and devaluations of her works in serving the poorest of the poor as what the world made to believe, along with her works will linger on.
For Catholics, their faith and belief are sacred and untouchable. When confronted with witnesses of challenges debunking their saints, their faith, like weeds, grow and multiply. This time, it is no longer the wisdom of man is measured, but the innocence of man being defeated by the ‘infallibility’ of man. ▲
_________, “Short Biography, Mother Teresa of Calcutta“. Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center (official site), motherteresa.org. Accessed: September 4, 2016, 11:18 PM (Philippine Time).
Biography.com Editors, “Mother Teresa Biography“. The Biography.com, A&E Television Networks. Last Updated: September 1, 2016, accessed: September 4, 2016, 10:40 PM (Philippine Time)
Hitchens, Christopher, “Mommie Dearest“. Slate.com. October 20, 2003. Accessed: September 5, 2016, 10:21 PM (Philippine Time)
Portch, Rowena, “Mother Teresa Sainthood Controversy“. Guardian Liberty Voice. January 19, 2016. Accessed: September 5, 2016, 1:43 PM (Philippine Time).
Schultz, Kai, “A Critic’s Lonely Quest: Revealing the Whole Truth About Mother Teresa“. The Saturday Profile, The New York Times. August 26, 2016. Accessed: September 5, 2016, 5:20 PM (Philippine Time)