Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Mother Teresa: Hope

I was moved by these words Rod Dreher wrote on his blog post about Mother Teresa:

Verily, verily I say unto you, Mother Teresa of Calcutta is the patron saint for a world that has lost its ability to believe, but hungers desperately for belief. We knew when she was alive that a spiritual hero lived among us. But really, we had no idea at all what this little nun was capable of. Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for we who believe but struggle all the same with unbelief.

His column for the Dallas Morning News on the modern day saint, and his Beliefnet blog post on her is worth your time (you can get there by clicking here). He mentions the difference between hope and optimism, an ongoing debate on this blog.

  • Larry Parker

    “… the difference between hope and optimism, an ongoing debate on this blog.”
    Indeed. And I’ve been quite surprised to find some of the folks I agree with (and disagree with) on this oh so important distinction WITH a difference. It has been enlightening.

  • Babs

    Dare I wade back into hope and optimism? Does anyone still care?
    In reading about Mother Theresa, and the hope that she lived, I was reminded that Hope is listed as one of the three theological virtues (Faith, and Charity, the others). According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, it is such because God is its immediate object. St. Thomas wrote, ” ‘the theological virtues are so called “because they have God for their object, both in so far as by them we are properly directed to Him, and because they are infused into our souls by God alone, as also, finally, because we come to know of them only by Divine revelation in the Sacred Scriptures.’ Theologians enlarge upon this idea by saying that Almighty God is both the material and the formal object of hope.’ It goes on further from there if you wish to read more the link is:
    Optimism could be called a human attitude. That doesn’t make it evil, or even shallow. It just is, what it is: a way of looking at a particular situation. I don’t think that it is any more or less realistic than pessimism. If I am optimistic about how today will turn out, it is an attitude, and not necessarily one that I have chosen, but perhaps revealing how I look at life. For myself,when I am feeling good or optimistic about my future, it is based on the Hope I live: that no matter what lies ahead, when I place my trust in God, all will be well, even if there are rocks and valleys along the way. Having already encountered boulders and left them behind, I can look back and say God has been faithful, even when I have not.
    Do you think that you can be a pessimist, and have the virtue of Hope?

  • Larry Parker

    “Do you think that you can be a pessimist, and have the virtue of Hope?”
    Absolutely — and by your own words.
    Optimism and pessimism are of this world; hope is of the world beyond (whatever your religious beliefs).

  • Giliana

    I wonder if anyone, here, read the last Time Magazine article about Mother Teresa. Her frame of mind, for a particularly protracted time, was one of despair and complete loss of faith. There were several of her most personal and anguished communications published in that article, all to her mentors, about her most personal feelings, which served to completely wrench my heart. This served to illustrate how she managed to summon the strength to carry on, despite feeling completely empty about *all* she had stood for. My first thought, upon reading that article, was to more than wonder whether she, too, suffered from the deepest and darkest of depressions.

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