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  1. #11
    Senior Member Sahara's Avatar
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    I just read that thread, and it touches on what kept her going. But I had pretty much wrapped my own head around before the thread.

    I am now curious how she could reconcile living according to the tenets, yet took donations that were not being put to proper uses, and wanted to hear any other responses about that part too.

    I haven't made up my mind on anything (as to the money, I am just working on that theory but counter explanations would be very welcome), I hadn't when I posted this story, I like hearing responses, other peoples views, what sources they use etc, before making up my mind.

    So far the only person who has made a comment about the 3 bottom links in regards to the money accusations has been Ygolo.
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  2. #12
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    I'm not so certain that Teresa's condition was so much a lack of faith as just the symptoms of chronic clinical depression. In fact, the case could very well be made that, because she continued to live according to the requirements of her faith, she never lost it at all.

    If a doctor comes to hate people and yet continues to heal them, he hasn't quit being a doctor. Likewise, if Mother Teresa stopped feeling the presence of her God and yet continued to pray and to serve, she never quit being faithful.

    I think her actions speak louder than her words.

  3. #13
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    Actually, I found the revelation encouraging.

    It doesn't mean God is necessarily dead. It doesn't mean he exists either.

    But what it tells me is that the emptiness that I am feeling in regards to God doesn't necessarily mean I'm unspiritual or unloving. If Mother Teresa, who was able to give so much for so long, often felt so empty and wondered where God's presence was, then it's possible for my life to have value and be that sacrificial as well. I might actually be "on the right track."

    I don't think her faith was dead at all, or that she was living a charade. I think it takes great courage to accept and question the emptiness, yet choose to live like there's something more.... and I mean truly live, not preach. She wasn't one who stood around and pointed fingers and tried to proselytize (i.e., the proliferation of religious ideas), she spent her time ministering.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Sahara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon67 View Post

    If a doctor comes to hate people and yet continues to heal them, he hasn't quit being a doctor. Likewise, if Mother Teresa stopped feeling the presence of her God and yet continued to pray and to serve, she never quit being faithful.
    I like the way you put that, it's like the final piece of the puzzle clicked into place after reading it.

    I think her actions speak louder than her words.
    That's part of what I am trying to ascertain too though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Actually, I found the revelation encouraging.

    It doesn't mean God is necessarily dead. It doesn't mean he exists either.

    But what it tells me is that the emptiness that I am feeling in regards to God doesn't necessarily mean I'm unspiritual or unloving. If Mother Teresa, who was able to give so much for so long, often felt so empty and wondered where God's presence was, then it's possible for my life to have value and be that sacrificial as well. I might actually be "on the right track."

    I don't think her faith was dead at all, or that she was living a charade. I think it takes great courage to accept and question the emptiness, yet choose to live like there's something more.... and I mean truly live, not preach. She wasn't one who stood around and pointed fingers and tried to proselytize (i.e., the proliferation of religious ideas), she spent her time ministering.

    I can see it that way too now, really I posted it with my initial thoughts still raw, and input or feedback helps my thoughts further develop.

    What I want to know now really is about the last 3 links, with them swimming around in my mind, it's hard to judge her by her actions completely.
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  5. #15
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    The links are interesting. I haven't read the Hutchins one yet. It is worth more exploration, except for this very basic question:

    If the nuns were taking so much money and not using it for its intended purposes, where did it go? Usually in cases where religious figures are accused of this sort of impropriety, they are living lavishly off their contributors; but Mother Teresa certainly wasn't taking advantage of the money. Where did it go? And what would her motivations be, if she wasn't using the money herself?

    I had always considered her an ISFJ type; and at first cursory glance, her life and the criticisms leveled at her would support that. Lots of hands-on relational compassion, but a lack of real Ne, understanding how she could be perceived, a sort of "rose-colored" naivety in some areas of her life and over-frugalness/rigidity in others.

    If these tales are true, it's quite possible that others were taking advantage of her financially, while she was doing her thing.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member Sahara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post

    If these tales are true, it's quite possible that others were taking advantage of her financially, while she was doing her thing.

    True, guess I was making a connection between her "faith" taking a turn for the worst possibly coinciding with the point where people began taking advantage, and maybe the cracks appeared then. This is me trying to fill in blanks of my own lol and maybe getting it wrong along the way.

    Have to wait and see if any investigations come up with anything.
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  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sahara View Post
    I just read that thread, and it touches on what kept her going. But I had pretty much wrapped my own head around before the thread.

    I am now curious how she could reconcile living according to the tenets, yet took donations that were not being put to proper uses, and wanted to hear any other responses about that part too.

    I haven't made up my mind on anything (as to the money, I am just working on that theory but counter explanations would be very welcome), I hadn't when I posted this story, I like hearing responses, other peoples views, what sources they use etc, before making up my mind.

    So far the only person who has made a comment about the 3 bottom links in regards to the money accusations has been Ygolo.
    As for the money allegations, the articles were not specific about amounts donated and amounts spent...most of it was conjecture based on the testimony of a very few people. Still, I'll grant that there was enough smoke to indicate a fire. I agree with Jennifer that most religious figures accused of fleecing the flock live high on the hog, while Mother Teresa clearly didn't. One possiblility that wasn't mentioned was an endowment situation. I find this entirely plausible and even likely. Colleges have millions and millions stashed away that they don't touch. They use the interest and thus have a steady stream of funds. Mother Teresa's organization could have just been planning long term for a future in which they would be solvent. When funds donated don't immediately turn into tangible relief, embezzlement is a natural reaction, but is far from the only explanation.

  8. #18
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    There are lots of ways to classify religion and faith, but one useful way that I have seen done before is the following: There are essentially four ways that either an individual or a group acts upon their faith. Each person and religion has some manifestation of each of these four, but it is easy to see that certain people and denominations have their preferences.

    1) The first category is knowledge: People who act upon their faith by knowing God through scriptures and various doctines.
    2) The second category is personal morality: People who act upon their faith by continually refining their personal character and doing what they believe is the moral thing.
    3) The third category is activism: People who act upon their faith by doing positive things in the community or to make a difference in the world through concrete actions.
    4) The forth category is mysticism: People who act upon their faith through meditation and contemplating the mysteries of God.

    The above is a classification that I have learned is used in theological circles. The following is my own analysis:

    If you look carefully at the four categories you will notice that each one corresponds to one of the MBTI judging functions. Respectively

    1) Ti
    2) Fi
    3) Te
    4) Fe

    As I've said before each person approaches their faith in each of the four ways, but each person also has obvious preferences. Likewise each person uses all of the MBTI functions, but each person has obvious preferences.

    In the case of Mother Teresa, I believe she was some type of FJ (probably ISFJ or maybe INFJ). I also believe that the primary way for her to act upon her faith was to ponder the mysterious aspects of God. In one interview, the interviewer asked her, "What do you say when you pray to God." She replied, "Nothing I just listen." "What does God say to you" asked the interviewer. "Nothing, He's listening too" she replied.

    A person using Fe naturally seeks to know more about the people that are close to them. When that "person" is God Fe tends to focus on the parts of God that are mysterious in order to understand the mystery. If a person focuses on the mystery for too long, then they can begin to doubt their faith. (Or at least that is how it feels to the person.) My wife ladypinkington, an INFJ, often talks about the spiritual things that she is uncertain about and she wonders if her faith is weak. Of course when she as around someone who truly does not believe she suddenly realizes that she has quite a bit of faith. It's her constant pondering of the mysteries that makes her feel uncertain.

    So in the case of Mother Teresa I believe that she was such a pious woman, and that she contemplated the mysterious of God for so long that all she could see was the parts that she did not know and probably could not ever know. Did this mean that she was actually a woman who seriously doubted her faith? No, I don't think so. Because I believe that the parts of God that she was certain about lead her to have compassion on the people she helped in India. Her faith explains her actions. But at the same time I believe that all of the "not knowing" was painful for her. So that is how I explain the apparent contradiction.
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  9. #19
    Rubber Nipple Salesperson ladypinkington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    There are lots of ways to classify religion and faith, but one useful way that I have seen done before is the following: There are essentially four ways that either an individual or a group acts upon their faith. Each person and religion has some manifestation of each of these four, but it is easy to see that certain people and denominations have their preferences.

    1) The first category is knowledge: People who act upon their faith by knowing God through scriptures and various doctines.
    2) The second category is personal morality: People who act upon their faith by continually refining their personal character and doing what they believe is the moral thing.
    3) The third category is activism: People who act upon their faith by doing positive things in the community or to make a difference in the world through concrete actions.
    4) The forth category is mysticism: People who act upon their faith through meditation and contemplating the mysteries of God.

    The above is a classification that I have learned is used in theological circles. The following is my own analysis:

    If you look carefully at the four categories you will notice that each one corresponds to one of the MBTI judging functions. Respectively

    1) Ti
    2) Fi
    3) Te
    4) Fe

    As I've said before each person approaches their faith in each of the four ways, but each person also has obvious preferences. Likewise each person uses all of the MBTI functions, but each person has obvious preferences.

    In the case of Mother Teresa, I believe she was some type of FJ (probably ISFJ or maybe INFJ). I also believe that the primary way for her to act upon her faith was to ponder the mysterious aspects of God. In one interview, the interviewer asked her, "What do you say when you pray to God." She replied, "Nothing I just listen." "What does God say to you" asked the interviewer. "Nothing, He's listening too" she replied.

    A person using Fe naturally seeks to know more about the people that are close to them. When that "person" is God Fe tends to focus on the parts of God that are mysterious in order to understand the mystery. If a person focuses on the mystery for too long, then they can begin to doubt their faith. (Or at least that is how it feels to the person.) My wife ladypinkington, an INFJ, often talks about the spiritual things that she is uncertain about and she wonders if her faith is weak. Of course when she as around someone who truly does not believe she suddenly realizes that she has quite a bit of faith. It's her constant pondering of the mysteries that makes her feel uncertain.

    So in the case of Mother Teresa I believe that she was such a pious woman, and that she contemplated the mysterious of God for so long that all she could see was the parts that she did not know and probably could not ever know. Did this mean that she was actually a woman who seriously doubted her faith? No, I don't think so. Because I believe that the parts of God that she was certain about lead her to have compassion on the people she helped in India. Her faith explains her actions. But at the same time I believe that all of the "not knowing" was painful for her. So that is how I explain the apparent contradiction.
    Wow, you never cease to amaze me, well put and explained. And you have me completely pegged by the way. I can absolutely relate to the things you were saying about Mother Teresa in the not knowings being the difficulty and hardest part to deal with but it not being a faith debilitating factor. And it's like you said, I always feel like my faith is weak and I question things and am so inquisitive about all the unknowns and mysteries but when I am around people with no faith I realize just how much faith I really do have which is quite strong actually. I am not even aware of it because I am so busy and absorbed in the ponderings and the questions and the uneasiness that is for me especially since I like having closure and definates and the unknown is so uncomfortable and scary to me but when there is call for action and living life in making choices, and when I am around those with no faith my faith comes out for me to see and suddenly the things that I do know for sure trump anything I don't know- any insecuritues are trumped by the securities, fear is trumped by trust and well...faith. I question and ponder but it doesn't debilitate my faith- it is simply part of the experience of it- the ups and downs- the hard and easy.
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