RECENT FRONT-PAGE NEWS ABOUT MOTHER TERESA'S LOST OF FAITH
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I wrote the editor the following item:
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Regarding your front-page story (Saturday, August 25) about mother Teresa's
self-confessed lack of faith, which is only now coming to the light of
day:

Keep in mind that, despite the billions of prayers offered by her, the
Pope, and the millions of Christians and other religions, we all
continue to be surrounded by much poverty, pain, suffering and death.
No wonder she developed feelings of despair. It is quite
understandable. For similar reasons, I , the seventh child in a family
of eight (five boys and three girls) went through a similar crisis of
faith, in my early teens.

THE CAUSE OF MY CRISIS OF FAITH
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The cause? By the time I was five, I had experienced the death of my
eldest brother, my sister, her husband, her two children and my
mother. My father died when I was fourteen,, leaving my younger
sister and I in the care of four older siblings. Many other families
in our mining town, of over ten thousand people, suffered similar
losses. I remember that one mine-explosion killed twenty miners. It
seems that none of the many prayers offered in the many funeral
services, and church services, petitioning God for help did much good.

In addition to the above, Bell Island was directly involved in World
War II. In 1942, enemy U Boats attacked our island, twice, and sank
four ore carriers, causing a heavy loss of life. In addition, the
church-operated school, which I attended, burned to the ground when I
was fifteen; Even when, in 1945, an uncertain peace finally came,
stories of the holocaust, and other dreadful stories of what went on
during the war came to the surface. There was also the fear of more
wars breaking out.

As I matured enough to ask questions, the above, plus the knowledge
which I was got from my high school studies, influenced me to question
the teachings I got about there being an all-powerful and all-loving
God and Heavenly Father ready and willing to answer all our prayers
for help and "deliver us from evil". I kept asking, when?

Looking back, I remember that for a short time I almost did become an
atheist. I ask myself: What was it that prevented me from doing so? My
explanation is this: Around the time I was old enough to think, I came
under the influence of a caring minister, teachers at the school, and
a wise Sunday-school teacher. When I expressed my concerns, not one
ever told us to fear God and keep silent. All encouraged me and others
to think for ourselves, keep on asking questions and to accept that
there is nothing wrong with honest doubt, as long as we did not give
in to a bitter cynicism. It was with this frame of mind that I went
off to university at seventeen.

I LEARNED TO BE FREE TO BELIEVE THAT WHICH IS RATIONAL
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Again, in university I, fortunately, met some wise teachers. In the
major studies of philosophy, psychology, theology, etc., we were
taught that it was not necessary to have a blind, fixed and dogmatic
faith in a human-like God dwelling in a distant Heavenly Kingdom.
Instead, we were encouraged to have a pragmatic, science-based and
sighted faith--one which, while it may go beyond reason, need never go
contrary to it. I learned that a blind faith is not worth believing;
that it is possible to think of God, not as a three-dimensional being,
but as that which is in and through all things, including the
microcosm (atoms and molecules) and the macrocosm (the cosmos).

BEYOND THEISM and ON TO PROCESS THEOLOGY
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Later research led me to the discover process philosophy and theology.
It was the work of the great mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead
(1861 - 1947). http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/
His theology led me to what some thinkers call 'panentheism' (not to
be confused with pantheism).

GØD AS GOODNESS, ORDER AND DESIGN
To avoid confusion, I like to call it 'unitheism', which sees GØD
(Note the way I spell God.) not as a being, but as the oneness of all
being--total, universal and all-encompassing, in which all that is,
including us, exists. We may not understand it all; but how can we
doubt our own being within being itself? Emulating Descartes: We
think, therefore, we are.

THE CAUSE OF MOTHER TERESA'S DESPAIR WAS A BAD THEOLOGY
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I suspect that Mother Teresa's despair was no fault of hers. It was
the result of her being taught a bad theology--one that dogmatically
advocated she have a blind faith in traditional theism. She was enough
of a thinker not to accept the belief in an objective,
three-dimensional and personal god with a subjective mind. The despair
came because there was a conflict between her desire to please he
"superiors" and, at the same time, use her rational mind.

In the light of the above, what can we hope? As one who accepts the
principles of process theology, I believe that it is possible that
there is life beyond the physical death of the body. Because of this,
I also believe there will be the opportunity for all of us, including
people like Mother Teresa, to, sooner or later, develop a rational and
sighted faith and live with peace of mind. I am very thankful that my
opportunity came sooner.

Rev. L. G. King
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PS ABOUT, Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith:
Check out http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1655415,00.html?cnn=yes
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G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org