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Mother Teresa's Life - A Challenge To Us All


Gregory J. Rummo

OCTOBER 8, 2002

CNN RECENTLY FEATURED a program about the life of Mother Teresa. She is apparently one step closer to beatification and ultimate sainthood; the result of a
miracle she supposedly performed from the grave a year after her death.

The story goes something like this: An Indian woman was diagnosed with a tumor in her stomach the size of a 7-month old fetus. The doctors could not operate because the woman was too weak to tolerate surgery. So on September 5, 1998, she checked into the sisters of charity mission in Calcutta. The nuns took her to a church to see if she could be healed.

It was in the church that the woman saw a photograph of Mother Teresa. She claims that she saw a light emanating from it. When the woman awoke at 1:00 A.M., the tumor was gone.

Doctors insist she had been accurately diagnosed beforehand. After the tumor mysteriously disappeared she was again examined and no signs of surgery were evident.

The doctor who performed the post-miracle exam has been practicing medicine for 26 years. “It was one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had,” he said.

It may have been a “wonderful experience” but pardon me if I am a tad sceptical.

A woman with a protruding stomach seeking sanctuary in a church who “miraculously” re-appears “healed” a day later with no signs of surgery can only mean one thing—a child has been born. And even I didn’t need the doctor’s hint that the tumor was the size of a “7-month old fetus.”

Mother Teresa’s life was an extraordinary example to us all. Her legacy remains a challenge to all Christians today. She was not afraid to get down in the gutter with what most people would regard as the untouchables of society.

While no one is capable of judging a person’s heart, by all outward appearances, she lived a life that could be characterized as saintly. We don’t need some sleight of hand “miracle” to assure us of this.

She won the Nobel Peace prize in 1979, then unselfishly stated: “I choose the poverty of our poor people. But I am grateful to receive (the Nobel) in the name of the hungry, the naked, the homeless, of the crippled, of the blind, of the lepers, of all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared-for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.”

She was outspoken in her defense of children and the unborn.

“The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion because it is a war against the child—a direct killing of the innocent child—murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us.”

And she didn’t just talk the talk.

She followed through with action. “Please don't kill the child,” she said. “I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted, and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child, and be  loved by the child. From our children's home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3,000 children from abortions.”

James, the half-brother of Jesus Christ authored the New Testament epistle that bears his name. He wrote, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

CNN reporter Jonathan Mann, who hosted the program about Mother Teresa, commented that calling someone a saint “is not an everyday expression.”

The apostle Paul would disagree. He clearly identified all true, living believers in Jesus Christ as saints in many of his letters that now comprise a major portion of the New Testament.

Yet in light of Mother Teresa’s example, if I am honest with myself, I have to wonder how my Christian life measures up. How many people think of me as “Saint Gregory?”

Gregory J. Rummo is a syndicated columnist and author of “The View from
the Grass Roots,” published in July, 2002 by American-Book. You may order an
autographed copy directly from the author or from

You may e-mail the author at

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