Mother Teresa and the Fatal Love of Suffering – By David Hayward

shopWhen I was studying for my Masters in Theology, I took some Patristics courses… the early church and apostolic fathers. It was fascinating studying the martyrs like Polycarp, Ignatius and Justin Martyr because they wanted to be martyred. It was such an honor, such a sacrifice, such a guarantee of eternal reward, that they seemed to do anything in their power to get killed for their faith. They took as their examples Jesus who did not open his mouth to defend himself, thereby cementing his execution, as well as Paul who did everything in his power to stay in chains so that he could testify to the top dogs in Rome, which ended with his execution (legend has it).

There is a new exposé on Mother Teresa that has come out from The University of Montreal, written by Serge Larivée, Department of psychoeducation, University of Montreal, Carole Sénéchal, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, and Geneviève Chénard, Department of psychoeducation, University of Montreal. The study probes Mother Teresa’s

“… rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce.”

What is most interesting though is that the 500+ missions that she opened were described as “homes for the dying”. Two thirds of the people who came to these homes hoped to find a doctor to treat them, while the other third received no treatment and lay dying without appropriate care. The doctors questioned observed a shocking lack of hygiene, unfit conditions, a shortage of actual care, inadequate food and no painkillers. The problem was not a lack of money because hundreds of millions of dollars were raised by Mother Teresa’s ministry, but rather a particular perception of suffering and death. She saw something beautiful in the poor accepting their lot, suffering like Christ, and viewed their dying as sharing in Christ’s passion. She believed the world gained much from the suffering of the poor. . . (click here to read more)

2 thoughts on “Mother Teresa and the Fatal Love of Suffering – By David Hayward

  1. Mar

    This is so profound that I hardly know how to reply except to say amen, and selah.

    When I saw the cartoon and your comments, David, I thought “it is much harder at times to go on living than to volunteer to be martyred, eh?” When I was in the middle of being spiritually abused and slandered, I heard all kinds of comments such as “decrease … decrease” and saying it was my privilege to suffer in this way (which it is, according to Luke 6 for example.) So be it.

    But, it was also a bail-out card for people to not stand with us, to address the abusers, to call it out, etc. And that’s not OK.

    Just this weekend, someone posted a tweet which essentially said that to speak ill of the church is to “disdain the bride of Christ.” I do not believe that addressing abuse = expressing disdain. It may be quite the opposite. It may be the greatest love of all.


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