Sunday, August 26, 2007

Patron saint of skeptics

Today is Mother Teresa's 97th birthday, a good occasion on which to touch upon recent revelations that her religious faith was nowhere near as firm as the world had thought.

As a lapsed Catholic and an agnostic, I have to admit to taking pleasure in the fact that this celebrated woman had her own doubts about the existence of God. Those doubts show, at the very least, that unwavering religious faith is not a prerequisite for being a good person or leading an exemplary life.

It's important, too, that Teresa's doubts weren't just brief, isolated moments of spiritual loneliness. Rather, they lasted through most of her life.

It may turn out that Mother Teresa's greatest gift to the world was her example that conscientious religious skepticism is a natural tendency of human intelligence -- even if the gift is one she never intended to proffer.


MR. BASEBALL said...

If you can't question or challenge your most important beliefs, they're not worth having. There's nothing worse than blind faith in anything. I have a new-found respect for Mother Teresa.

The Rascal said...

Yeah, blind faith is not a good thing (although there once was a pretty good rock band with that name; the members were Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ric Grech and Ginger Baker).