Monday, September 03, 2007

Susan Jacoby on Mother Theresa

Road to Sainthood Paved with Good Publicity:
The media frenzy over Teresa's apparently unending crisis of faith offers a spectacular and comical example of the irrationality, credulity, and unwillingness to face facts that inform all conventional wisdom concerning religion and holiness. ...

Teresa's true mission seems to have been the glorification of suffering. Perhaps the most psychologically revealing statement in her letters is that she was interested only in Jesus's passion. The amiable Jesus who changed water into wine to please his mother at a wedding held no interest for her. ...

One of the salutary results of the publication of Teresa's letters is that they offer a reminder of how nonsensical the concept of sainthood really is. The Catholic Church's elevation of flawed human beings to the status of special interecessors with God would have been reason enough for the Reformation. Human beings are only human beings--in whatever proportions they mix good and evil.

But I am certain that this book will become a bestseller and that, with a push from a few more bogus miracle cures reported by people who pray to her, Teresa will move onto the fast track for sainthood.

As a man who was able to differentiate between reality and illusion once said, there's a sucker born every minute.

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