I am currently attending a Catholic mom’s group which is studying Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa was a well-loved, well-known Catholic nun who’s claim to fame, and possible sainthood, is her unwavering care for the poorest of the poor in India. India is a country where the Hindu religion will allow monkeys to ravage a banana orchard while the human residents starve to death. Generally speaking, human life is not considered to be precious in India. Mother Teresa cared for the poor and gave “the least of these” dignity as human beings.
However, Mother Teresa is often faulted for not doing enough by choosing not to administer pain medications or vitamins to those in her care. In her Catholic thinking, the poorest were there to be the lampstands of Christ on earth in the midst of their suffering. Many people think she should have better utilized funds to alleviate the suffering of the poor and as a result she is accused of romanticizing suffering.
Regardless of Mother Teresa’s choices in financial matters, many Catholic’s were even more confused upon learning about her ”Dark Night of the Soul.” Portions of Mother Teresa’s diaries were published after her death revealing disturbing doubts as to her sense of the real presence of God. However, Mother Teresa was a mystic. Her spiritual life involved becoming one with those she loved and served. In her darkness and despair the spirit of Mother Teresa united with those she served. She came to deeply understand within her own being the pain, fear, and rejection the poorest of the poor felt throughout their lives. The presence of God as an entity that is separate from human beings disappeared for Mother Teresa. God became alive in the human beings whom others had rejected. Mother Teresa deeply understood those she ministered to because she allowed her spirit to become one with theirs.
Mother Teresa gave onto Caesar what belonged to Caesar while she gave to God what belonged to God. The money she handled was given to the Vatican while her heart was given to the poor. That clarifies any doubts in my mind as to who Mother Teresa truly served. She successfully became one with Jesus Christ and hopefully, today, she is finally experiencing his resurrection.