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Mother Teresa the Atheist?

By August 29, 2007March 1st, 2019Fr. Angelo Geiger, News, Spiritual Life

The Irishman gives the Englishman an F.

Christopher Hitchens thinks he has every religious person all figured out and Time magazine has got a story.

Hitchens claims Blessed Teresa was an atheist at heart, that she denied the Eucharist, and implies that she was exorcised due to some problem “with her state of mind.” Hitchens throws out bits and pieces, as he does in his book on Mother Teresa, and then expects an “amen” from all the faithful.

Time Magazine says the two following statements of Mother, carefully edited by the magazine, are “extravagantly dissonant”:

“that radiating joy is real” because Christ is everywhere ” “Christ in our hearts, Christ in the poor we meet, Christ in the smile we give and in the smile that we receive.”

“Jesus has a very special love for you,” she assured Van der Peet. “[But] as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great, that I look and do not see, ” Listen and do not hear ” the tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak … I want you to pray for me ” that I let Him have [a] free hand.”

Oh my. My faith is in crisis. I wonder if Time did anything more than notice the contrast, and then rush to publish an article. People of faith know there is no extravagant dissonance here, only a trial of faith.

Hitchens makes such a big deal about what he calls a “lack of evidence” for religious belief, and then divines the Blessed’s mind as though he knows it from the inside. So much for his science.

As far as trial of faith regarding the Eucharist, mentioned by Hitchens, is concerned this from the Time article is all I have found. Hardly a denial of the real presence.

The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever ” or, as the book’s compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, “neither in her heart or in the eucharist.”

Here is a good article on the exorcism of Mother Teresa. Again, Hitchens displays his ignorance of religious matters, and his knack to create the illusion that a thread of conjecture can be turned into a rope to hang his adversaries.

Fr Angelo

Author Fr Angelo

I am Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate, and a priest for more than twenty years. I am now studying in Rome for my licentiate in Theology.

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  • Brenda says:

    Thank you Fr. Angelo for responding to this craziness. The Times article was actually very interesting, although it would have been better with the Hitchens comments cut out :). I wonder if Mr. Hitchens can name one atheist who said what Mother Teresa said, did the things she did or built up the Kingdom of God in the way she did? Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for us!