The legacy of Mother Teresa and her mission work has come under scrutiny as of late after researchers uncovered details about her life they believe compromise her saintly image.
The researchers, Serge Larivie and Genevieve Chenard, wrote an article in the Journal of Studies in Religion/Sciences after analyzing 300 documents surrounding Mother Teresa’s life. The chief claims the researchers made were about her ‘dubious’ ways of caring for the sick, her political contacts, and her management of the large amounts of money she received.
Mother Teresa died in 1997, one miracle short of sainthood, and was beatified by the Vatican in 2003.
These researchers, however, have challenged the nearly universially accepted inspirational and selfless image that is the memory of Mother Teresa. The researchers explained that the 517 missions Mother Teresa opened for the sick and dying are lacking in hygiene, actual medical care, adequate food, and medicine.
Those claims, juxtaposed to another of their claims that Mother Theresa raised millions of dollars that were put into ‘secret’ bank accounts and never used to effectively help the poor and sick, paint an ugly picture of the late Nobel Peace Prize awardee.
Yet, despite the rigorous research behind Mother Teresa’s life, the researchers seemed to have left out the fact that monetary aid was never a goal of Mother Teresa’s, nor a priority. A deeper understanding of Mother Teresa’s life mission reveals that she was focused on infusing the world with spiritual wealth, especially at her homes for the sick and dying.
There, volunteers worldwide, usually volunteers with no medical experience, go to just sit with the dying, caring for them through simple physical contact and affection. At these homes, Mother Teresa denied gifts of dishwashers and washing machines, claiming that physically caring for people was not about technology, or money, or painkillers — for her, it was about the physical labor, human contact and the spirituality involved in being with another while he or she passes away.
The researchers, too, recognize that Mother Teresa’s image, however misunderstood, was an important gift to humanity.
“If the extraordinary image of Mother Teresa conveyed in the collective imagination has encouraged humanitarian initiatives that are genuinely engaged with those crushed by poverty, we can only rejoice,” Larivie said.
Source: Daily Mail