Mother Teresa – An Atheist?
But now, it has emerged that Mother Teresa was so doubtful of her own faith that she feared being a hypocrite, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips.
In a new book that compiles letters she wrote to friends, superiors and confessors, her doubts are obvious.
Shortly after beginning work in Calcutta’s slums, the spirit left Mother Teresa.
“Where is my faith?” she wrote. “Even deep down… there is nothing but emptiness and darkness… If there be God — please forgive me.”
Eight years later, she was still looking to reclaim her lost faith.
“Such deep longing for God… Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal,” she said.
As her fame increased, her faith refused to return. Her smile, she said, was a mask.
“What do I labor for?” she asked in one letter. “If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.”
I find this to be kind of a sad aspect of the argument that many of the religious make in defense of “faith”. That being that their belief drives them to do good things. But the flip side of that is Teresa’s own words. Without a belief in God, she asks: “What do I labor for?”
I’ll put a side for a moment any cynical views of the woman, and simply grant that she went far above and beyond what any of us can possibly claim to have done in helping others. But could she really not conceive of any reason to do it without God/Jesus driving her to do it? Is not helping your fellow man a worthwhile and worthy end in of itself?
To the devoutly religious, it seems it isn’t.