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Friday, 6 November 2015

Should I be angry to read Blessed Teresa of Calcutta maligned? not to say, "lied about"?

I have a problem with... I have been having a problem with anger.
And I have come, or at least think I have come to an acceptance of the fact that the source is, not as a priest suggested to me a sorrow to which I did not wish to subject myself again, (which would have allowed me to be play the victim,) but a pride-produced expectation that things would go my way because things SHOULD go my way, because, well, ME.

I had forgotten something, a few years ago a very good and very wise woman  at a CMAA "do" warned me about becoming like another very good but not quite as wise woman.
They had very similar PsOV, held to very similar principles, both theological/spiritual and liturgical/musical; and embraced similar currents of Catholic thought - currents I was watching from the bank, into which I was cautiously dipping the occasional toe.
Don't become like her, don't be angry all the time.
Because she was right, you see, but she was damaging herself and her causes with the anger. (Her anger did come from having been wounded, genuinely, and perhaps a resolution to attack rather than be vulnerable? I don't know. But I digress.)
I think I have actually gained on handle on my situation.
I try to remember opponents are not enemies, everyone has his reasons of which I know not, and stop gettin' all judgey.
This is easiest, actually - strangely - in affairs about which I am most passionate: no matter how stupid or wrong-headed their ideas or actions, I cannot think that any other human being in the Church is stupid and wrong-headed out of malice.
No one, despite Shakespeare's Iago and Shaefer's Salieri, no sane person deliberately sets themselves against Almighty God, no one is knowingly a tool of the evil one.

Is he?

A Useful Idiot, perhaps, but not knowingly and believingly in league with the devil.

On the Great Time Suck That Is Those Interwebs. (hereinafter the GTSITI,) I came across a screed about good priests who have borne the displeasure of TPTB, and dissenting or at least politically savvy chancery hounds, (and yes, thinking, there but for the grace of God go I, I thank Thee that I am not like other orthodox Catholics, angry and....)

Shockingly, I recognized a name, someone with whom I have broken bread many a time.
But that is neither here no there.
Looking into that, I came across another thing and another, and then this, and then that.... as I said, you know the GTSTITI.
Finally, (stumbling across quite a bit of anger from one side and superciliousness from the other along the way,) I ended up at a eulogy for a departed religious sister.
The writer told a story the religious sister had told him about something Dorothy Day told her, (or perhaps the sister had supposedly overheard,) that she, (DD,) had said to and regarding Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and it seemed... spurious? uncharacteristic? And we all know about "quotes on the internet" and "who never said what."
And another story. The mid-70s rolled around, and organizers asked José to emcee the Eucharistic Conference in Philadelphia. In this particular sessions were some five thousand women. Two speakers were on hand: Dorothy Day and Mother Teresa, both close friends of José.
First, José introduced Mother Teresa -- on that day in a foul mood. She rose to the podium, all fire and brimstone, and excoriated the women in the audience. You nuns -- why aren’t wearing your habits? You mothers -- how is it you’re here and not home with your children? The women withered and blanched. Mother Teresa had left them hurt and angry, and she returned to her seat to the deafening sound of silence. Not a pair of hands offered applause. Mother Teresa seemed taken aback.
With tension now on the air, José introduced Dorothy Day. She sidled up to Mother Teresa and leaned in close and issued something in the nature of a rebuke: “Mother, you know I love you more than anyone. But don’t you ever say anything like that again. You have alienated and hurt all these good women. They need our encouragement!” As far as anyone knows, Mother Teresa never did. 
That didn't sound right.
And if wrong, it does seem malicious.
Well, it seems Mother Teresa gave two talks at this 1976 Congress. The Tablet, not exactly in the vanguard of the hosts of Catholic orthodoxy tells us,
Big names studded the programmes : Archbishop Helder Camara, Cardinal Suenens, Dorothy Day and the rest. The press and the public swarmed, around Mother Teresa of Calcutta. "They idolise her without imitating her," a Canadian Protestant muttered in my ear.
Having read the snipe at Blessed Teresa in the National Catholic Reporter, I couldn't help but think of the spin put on Ratzinger's election by those who opposed him, reports of the sad, shocked, weepy crowd in St Peter's Square. You remember them, how upset and sullen everyone was -
  Image result for crowd "peter's square" ratzinger election
So here is a site with quite a bit about the Eucharistic Congress, (not "conference",) in question.
As I said, two talks from Blessed Teresa, one sound recording here, and the full text of the address she gave on the day when she shared the stage with Dorothy Day.

Go ahead, read it. It's GORGEOUS.

I don't think I am going out a limb at all to say that someone lied, both regarding the content of what she said, and the probable reaction to it.
I don't know who. (I doubt it was the also-soon-to-be-sainted Day. I'll leave it at that.)
Well, as the Gospel today reminds us, the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than the children of light.

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