A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Brief Reflection on Mother Teresa's 100th Birthday

One hundred years ago today, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, who would become known to the world as Mother Teresa, was born.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I have admired Mother Teresa over the years. She brought the presence of God into so many deep and dark places of suffering. When her letters were published after her death revealing her own personal struggle with her faith, many of her detractors took it as one more demonstration of the sham of faith in general. I saw it quite differently. I imagined a women with a faith so deep that she was willing to enter into the extremely difficult places of life where God would seem absent. Even with her doubts she became the presence of God for the suffering and starving masses of Calcutta when others by their neglect and uncaring made them feel as if God himself did not exist.

C.S. Lewis argued that courage was not one of the virtues among others, but the quality necessary to inhabit the virtues. Lewis believed that living virtuously was quite difficult in an unvirtuous world, and without courage, one could not possibly inhabit the virtuous life.

Mother Teresa stands as a courageous example of virtue; but not virtue in general-- she stands as a shining example of Christian virtue. Her motivation for her work was nothing less than her faith in Jesus Christ. As she said herself, "Jesus is my life."

Happy birthday, Mother Teresa.

1 comment:

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Allan. Well spoken. I love the thought on virtue and courage.