Friday, 11 September 2015

Mother Teresa...


Christopher Hitchens was a "champagne socialist," which in most respects discredits anything he might say. His most famous publication, "God is Not Great," which is riddled with silly errors of fact and hyperbole, puts him beside Richard Dawkins as one of the wiser fools of this world. Nevertheless I think this account of Mother Teresa deserves wider attention. Please note that while Hitchens confuses Pius IX with Pius XI this in no way detracts from what is otherwise a fair assessment of Teresa's life and work.

I never much liked Mother Teresa for the same reasons I dislike pope Francis. It's the kind of philistinism and hypocrisy that goes with humility in public and the embrace of "the poor" just in time for a photo opportunity. In other words, "it's about me." There's a scripture for that (attend ye):
"Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always." John 12:4-8.
And another:
"But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." Matthew 6:3-4.
In the light of God's Word, I am astounded by the millions of people, and they're not all Roman Catholics, who are taken in by this cult of personality, the "living saint" as one man puts it, or as Hitchens puts it, this auction of credulity and hyperbole. Is it just me? Is there some mandate for this kind of celebrity poverty in Scripture that I can't see? Because it's a tendency in the Roman Catholic church that goes back at least to Francis of Assisi, that mediaeval demoniac who confused taking up the Cross with material suffering and want, and the infamous "stigmata" upon his person as a miracle rather than what I consider to be a trick born of the idolatry and superstition of the Roman church. Teresa never had "stigmata," but that was of no consequence because her personal sanctity was seen as axiomatic by the world's corrupt political class and whose missionary industry was the praise of the whole world. "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 10:22). I'd rather go with the Word of God than the silly rhetoric of Ronald Reagan about "citizens of the world."

She is not yet "Saint" Teresa of Calcutta but we can already add her to the martyrology of bogus saints we have already examined so far. The only thing that I can in Teresa's favour in this respect is that she actually existed. This series has been in abeyance for months but when I return from my short break in Her Majesty's Western Isle I might take it up again.

14 comments:

  1. I must say this screed is as ignorant as Hitchens's. Are you aware that Mother Teresa worked in the gutters of Calcutta for three decades with very little attention until she was "discovered" by Malcolm Muggeridge in the 1970s?

    I will not judge her so easily as you, on your high pedestal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patrick, although I agree with your summation of this new Pope, he is indeed quickly making the Catholic Church into not too much more than a personality cult (although in his defense that has been happening for quite sometime). I will support what James has written here. The Rev Mother Teresa did not at all make herself into the popular ikon embraced by the glitterati which she became, most likely unfortunately, but was made so by others for perhaps their own motives. Also, you have forgotten that whilst people such as Pope J.P. II gave communion to pro-abortion American politicians, most likely to be repeated by Frankie, she stood up to President Clinton when he attempted to use her for a photo-opt. He was too stupid to know he was being berated and continued to giggle and use his stupid and irritating Southern guffaw to deflect her barbs; showing that he never took her seriously and was only using her for Catholic votes. I really think that perhaps you should rethink much of this posting.

      Delete
  2. My confirmation name is Francis. I was quite taken with this stuff when I was younger. I don't think they are necessarily purposefully deceitful, but they are not very smart. I found an Orthodox critique of Francis somewhere, which helped me see things more clearly. I think we will always have these romantic types around- and the masses generally show up or don't based on emotion more than anything else- but it is a sign of great distress to see a hierarchy so bereft of nobility that the romantics have taken over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My confirmation name was also Francis. I remember kneeling before the Bishop and explaining my choice. "He was very kind to animals" was the reason. I was confirmed in 1999, when I was eleven years old so I suppose Francis' preaching to birds or fish had some fairy tale charm. I had no notion of liturgy or Orthodoxy in those days. I was just being shunted through a meaningless family ritual.

      Delete
    2. August, what do you mean by "romantic"?

      Delete
    3. When Jesus sounds more like a boyfriend than God or king.

      Delete
    4. August, or my favourite..."Jesus is my best friend."

      Delete
  3. Patrick, this is ridiculous. I echo the comment of James C. above. Look, when Jesus performed miracles and asked people not to tell anyone, people went and told anyway. But did Jesus therefore stop doing miracles and healings because he achieved notoriety? No! "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Mt 5:16).

    ReplyDelete
  4. St Francis was not some medieval hippie as often portrayed today. He was a hard-arse ascetic who thought nothing to going deep into Islamic territory to convert the caliph. Not exactly the animal-hugging environmentalist.

    As for his being possessed by demons, no doubt you got this notion from an article on orthodoxinfo.com. I read the same when I was exploring Eastern Orthodoxy, and needless to say it didn't encourage me to convert---to put it mildly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, James, the Orthodox seem to have to belittle any holiness that does not come from Byzantium. And what you have written about S Francis is very true indeed. Too bad that he has become, in the popular mind, simply an animal-rights sentimentalist.

      Delete
  5. Your posts are once again becoming moronic...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have they ever not been?

      Anthony

      Delete
    2. So moronic that you keep coming back. Which, therefore, is the more moronic?

      Delete
  6. Hitchens wrote a book called 'The Missionary Position', Muggeridge wrote one called 'Something Beautiful for God'. Says a lot, I think.

    ReplyDelete