Monday, 26 November 2007

A SAINT’S FEET OF CLAY

Mother Theresa: Come Be My Light, is a collection of letters compiled by an advocate for her sainthood, and was published on Tuesday of 4th September 2007, a day shy of her 10th death anniversary. The Rev Brian Kolodiejchuk, a priest who knew the Albania–born nun for 20 years, and who is the postulator for her sainthood cause, edits it. The book depicts Mother Theresa as a mystic who experienced visions of Jesus speaking to her early in her ministry, only to lose that connection and long for it like an unrequited love for most of her last four decades.


A startling new book reveals Mother’s Theresa’s struggle with faith and prompts a re-examination of her legacy a decade after her death…


Thousands worshipped her; millions more silently admired her and a few dozen aspired to emulate some of her work – but mother Theresa, it was all about one person: God. A lifetime of service to humanity and destitute people was her way of making a connection with the almighty.
"The frail nun from Albania has become synonymous with charitable work and selfless service, ideals that gave her an aura of a saint among lesser mortals"(Gurajavi:2007).
Now a new book reveals that Mother Theresa was less ‘saint-like’ than we may have assumed and more like the rest of us than we may give her credit for. As she worked among less-privileged sections of society, seemingly with steadfast dedication and always a smile on her lips, Mother Theresa was, in fact, as questioning of God and faith and her purpose. Just like anyone among us.
“What do I labour for?”- She wrote in 1959. ‘If there be no God, there can be no Soul, then Jesus you also are not true.’
Mother Theresa: Come Be My Light, is a collection of letters compiled by an advocate for her sainthood, and was published on Tuesday of 4th September 2007, a day shy of her 10th death anniversary. The Rev Brian Kolodiejchuk, a priest who knew the Albania–born nun for 20 years, and who is the postulator for her sainthood cause, edits it. The book depicts Mother Theresa as a mystic who experienced visions of Jesus speaking to her early in her ministry, only to lose that connection and long for it like an unrequited love for most of her last four decades.
‘I have no faith – I dare not utter the words and thoughts that crowd in my heart, and make me suffer untold agony’ she wrote in one undated letter. In another dated 1956 she wrote: ‘such deep longing for God and repulsed empty no faith, no love, no zeal. Heaven means nothing; pray for me, please, that I keep smiling at Him in spite of everything’.
The letters were written by Mother Theresa to her colleagues and superiors over 66 years, and cover a range of subject’s dear to the nun. However, it is those, which portray her – at times – as deeply tormented about her faith, which have grabbed attention. They are now forcing a re-examination of one of the world’s best-known icons, revered as a saint while in fact she was grappling with very human emotions.

A question of faith

Non-believers or sceptics could view doubts held by Mother Theresa as evidence of the pointlessness of religious belief. But Roman Catholic scholars and supporters argue that Mother Theresa’s struggles make her more accessible and her work all the more remarkable. What makes her journey so striking, author Kolodiejchuk said, are the depths of her pain, the extraordinary length of it and its documentation in the letters she left behind.
‘Most of us tend to think of saints being in constant union with God; therefore everything they do is easier for them because of this union. This shows that not only do they have it as tough as we do, but, sometimes they have it tougher;’ said Rev James Martin of the Jesuit magazine America, author of My Life with the Saints. ‘Other saints did these wonderful things and works for God and on behalf of the church, but most of them had the benefit of a very rich and rewarding prayer life. mother Theresa, in a sense, was going on an empty tank all day’ he said.
For some who forget friendships with Mother Theresa, her inner torment came as a shock at first, then started to make sense later. She had and expression… “Give God permission to use you without consulting you”,’ said Janette Petrie, who co-produced two films about Mother Theresa and travelled extensively with her. ‘I think she must have truly lived that’.

A time to heal

There had been speculation the publication of the letters would impede the procedure to make her a saint, but Pope Benedict said in a speech early last month that Mother Theresa’s torment over God’s silence was not unusual. Mother Theresa was beautified in 2003. Kolodiejchuk believes that read in context, Mother Theresa’s faith could be rationally explained.

To be continued...
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

POLITICS OF ‘COGNITION’; CHAOS
By Fatmir Terziu
Roehampton University
Media, Cultural Studies & Politics

All the various modes of knowing: ‘perceiving, imagining, remembering, conceiving, judging and reasoning’ are related to cognition (Drever cited in George, 1962:24). So in politics and political meaning they face some problems. The problems are towards the meaning that they deliver in time and space. These are chiefly philosophical matters, and are not the concern here; at the same time I believe that an awareness of the philosophical problems, especially over the use of language, is a great help in understanding this chain or link between all this various modes of knowing. The very problem of appearance and reality becomes of the first importance in this understanding of the perception related to cognitive politics or politics of ‘cognition’. When the Parisian students in 1986, during their two weeks protest [26 November-10 December] challenged the authority with their ‘intellectual style’, the new subject was ‘a mechanism’ as a result of ‘material conditions, … towards a constructive articulation of real needs’ which in Antonio Negri’s words is an ‘intellectual subject’ (Negri, 2006:50). It was in fact the time that brought the news coverage in a potential way, a subject that was considered as a new identification of ‘ironic’ and ‘glamorous’ ... (click on the title of this paper)

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