28 August 2010

An Incomplete Love

The Washington Times reports:
Calcutta Celebrates Teresa's 100th Birthday
An anniversary Mass to begin the Catholic Church's year of Mother Teresa was celebrated Thursday in Calcutta at the Missionaries ofCharity headquarters, with more than 1,000 people president and Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo presiding. 
A message from Pope Benedict XVI was read aloud, in which the pope said he was "confident that this year will be, for the church and the world, an occasion of joyful gratitude to God for the inestimable gift that Mother Teresa was in her lifetime and continues to be through the affectionate and tireless work of you, her spiritual children."
Celebratory Masses also were held in Albania, with Prime Minister Sali Berisha and other senior political leaders present, and Macedonia. The latter country's Parliament even held a special session to honor Mother Teresa.
But amid all the special prayers, film festivals, an Indian government-issued coin, Indian Railways' blue-and-white "Mother Express" and even dedication of a church in her name, the nuns in their signature blue-bordered white saris continue to work tirelessly for the poorest of the poor whom Mother Teresa, a hero in India known simply as "Mother" despite being foreign-born member of a minority religion, had embraced as her own. 
Mother Teresa was and still is a woman known for her "good works." I often hear Christians quoting the Roman Catholic nun as if she was nearly deity. I've been scorned and scowled at for suggesting that this "great" woman, while an exemplary picture of philanthropy and charity, was perhaps not the best role model for a Christian to follow. I cannot judge the state of Mother Teresa's heart, nor do I care to. But I do have to wonder if the following quotations are those of a Bible-believing Christian:
"There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to people. We have among us 475 souls - 30 families are Catholics and the rest are all Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs—all different religions. But they all come to our prayers." (emphasis added)
"There are so many religions and each one has its different ways of following God. I follow Christ: Jesus is my God, Jesus is my Spouse, Jesus is my Life, Jesus is my only Love, Jesus is my All in All. Jesus is my Everything" (emphasis added).
You'd think if Jesus was her "Everything" that she'd want everyone to know the truth about Him. But maybe not.
I pray that you will understand the words of Jesus, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Ask yourself “How has he loved me? Do I really love others in the same way?” Unless this love is among us, we can kill ourselves with work and it will only be work, not love. Work without love is slavery. 
"Work without love is slavery." Perhaps, but where do good works get us without faith in Christ?
"But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:4-7, emphasis added.
Mother Teresa spoke of love avidly and often. But I often wonder if, as she "loved on" the poor and the destitute, did she share with them the good news of Jesus Christ and Him crucified for our sins? Or did she forgo that Truth because it was too offensive and because she believed in many ways to God? If so, then she loved people right down to the pit of Hell. Without Christ, love is incomplete. Let's ensure that we aren't compromising or even sacrificing Truth in the name of love.

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