Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Secular Humanist's Saint

In the second half of the past century, the nun known as Mother Teresa was a celebrity of goodness, devoting herself to the most wretched people on earth with a selflessness that transcended religious belief.

As a magazine editor, I chronicled her life for millions of all faiths and no faith at all. To learn now from her newly published letters that she had her doubts and despair serves only to strengthen admiration for what she accomplished over a long life.

Risking sacrilege by mentioning George Bush in the same sentence, Mother Teresa’s uncertainties are a reminder of how fallible human beings rather than religious zealots are the ones who do good in this world.

She once told an interviewer, “I’m only a little pencil in God’s hand, writing a love letter to the world.” The little pencil wrote well.

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