The Federalist Digest --
From Issue #99-35

The Real "Agnes Of God"


If you are looking for a review of a ludicrous movie about a nun who murders her newborn child, a celebrity flick featuring darlings of the left, Meg Tilly, Jane Fonda and Anne Bancroft, look elsewhere. That cinematic endeavor did little more than most — it made a mockery of Christian servants.

This Sunday marks the second anniversary of Agnes Gonxha Beiaxhiu's death. Born in 1910 in the town of Skopje, Macedonia, this small and humble Catholic nun changed the whole world for the better. Her death was barely noted during the pop-media's frenzied coverage of the death, only days earlier, of Princess Diana.

She is better known as Mother Teresa, and we dedicate this edition to the real Agnes of God — in her own words.

"Keep the joy of loving God in your heart and share this joy with all you meet especially your family. Be holy — let us pray." {} "Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin." {} "Like Jesus we belong to the world, living not for ourselves but for others. The joy of the Lord is our strength." {} "I am called to serve Him among the poorest of the poor." {} "I realized that I had the call to take care of the sick and the dying, the hungry, the naked, the homeless — to be God's Love in action to the poorest of the poor. That was the beginning of the Missionaries of Charity." {} "I see God in every human being." {} "To God, there is nothing small. The moment we have given it to God, it becomes infinite." {} "When He was dying on the Cross, Jesus said, 'I thirst.' Jesus is thirsting for our love, and this is the thirst of everyone, poor or rich alike. We all thirst for the love of others, that they will go out of their way to avoid harming us and to do good to us."

"I see God in every human being," said Mother Teresa. At the end of her life, she was a perennial guest of the most powerful leaders in the world. In their presence, most notably the company of our president at annual prayer breakfasts, she never missed a chance to speak of the ongoing holocaust, the slaughter of innocents. "A nation that destroys the life of an unborn child, who has been created for living and loving, who has been created in the image of God, is in a tremendous poverty.

"I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion because it is a direct killing of the innocent child. Abortion is Murder in the womb. A child is a gift from God.

"America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe vs. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts—a child—as a competitor, an intrusion and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the dependent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners."

In her closing remarks at her last prayer breakfast visit, she noted, "Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or sovereign. ... You must weep that your own government, at present, seems blind to this truth."

The media and consumer obsessions with the glitterati — such as the recent demise of John Kennedy — leave no room for special broadcasts or editions dedicated to the memory of humble servants like this gallant lady.

At the time of their deaths, Bill Clinton spoke of Mother Teresa and Princess Diana in equal terms: "Their lives were very different but ultimately bound together by a common concern for, and commitment to, the dignity and worth of every human being, especially those too often overlooked, the desperately poor and abandoned, the sick and dying." As with most Clinton soundbites, this one greatly distorted and thus, devalued the truth. Celebrity causes are not analogous to the quiet works of a woman destined for sainthood. Drawing such parallels obfuscates the significant differences between "cause celeb" and humanitarian service, a distinction that celebrities invariably disregard.

This is not to say that self-congratulatory gestures are always empty. For example, Diana's involvement in the movement to ban landmines, while seriously misguided, did provide real assistance to children wounded by landmines in war-torn parts of the world.

Perhaps the best way to distinguish between celebrity causes and humanitarian service is not so much in the media-driven perception of how Diana and Mother Teresa lived, but the reality of how they died. Princess Diana died in a chauffeur-driven Mercedes Benz after a night of celebration at the Ritz Hotel in Paris with her romantic interest, Dodi Al Fayed, son of the billionaire owner of the Ritz. She had flown into France the previous day by private jet, to sun on Al Fayed's luxury yacht in the Mediterranean.

Mother Teresa died, surrounded by members of her Catholic order in a barren room in Calcutta, leaving a personal estate of three blue-bordered saris in the colors of her Missionaries of Charity.

But, in one respect, they were indeed equal. As Mother Teresa often said, "We are all equal in death."

Before her death on September 5th, 1997, Mother Teresa said, "God will find another person, more humble, more devoted, more obedient to Him, and the society will go on." God willing, we should be so blessed.


TYSK eagle

News Depts Articles Library
Lite Stuff Links Credits Home



4 September 1999