How might Mother Teresa have been flawed? Find out right here!

Mother Teresa  (1910-1997)

     Gonxha Bojaxhiu was 15 when she told her mother she wanted to help the poor. But as a nun. And not as a nun in Macedonia but as a nun in India. Mama was stricken. Didn't Gonxha know nuns didn't get to travel about? Mama would never see her little 'flower bud' again! Mama lurched into her bedroom and didn't come out until the next day. She looked drained.
     Mama's voice was a whisper. "If you must help the poor, leave with my blessing…"
     Arriving in India in 1929 the little 'flower bud' became Sister Teresa. She learned English, Hindi and Bengali. At the Loreto convent in Calcutta she was a superb teacher and administrator at their St. Mary's school for girls. By 1937 she was Mother Teresa. Sisters worked for her but none worked harder than she did. None was more compassionate. So she was jolted by a letter from Mama. Instead of elaborate praise for her new position as Mother Superior, Mama chided her and reminded her of a poor woman Filé the two of them had cared for near their home in Macedonia:

Mother Teresa

          Dear child, do not forget that you went out to India for the sake of the poor.
          Do you not remember our Filé? She was covered in sores, but what made her
          suffer much more was the knowledge that she was alone in the world. We did
          what we could for her. But the worst thing was not the sores, it was the fact
          that she had been forgotten by her family...
     Mother Teresa did not like to be reminded of her debt to the poor, let alone how abandoned they felt. It was very comfortable within the convent. The grounds were beautiful. The slums around the convent were an abomination of filth. But should she complain the grounds inside the convent were too beautiful? And yes her girls were not from poor families. Many of their families were quite wealthy. But should she begrudge them opportunities? Of course she realized that the children in the slums around the convent had little food, no sense whatever of hygiene and were illiterate. But what could she do? She was not allowed out of the convent. She did send her students into the slums to help here and there. But how much could young girls do? Besides, they had to go to school.
     Yes, practically speaking there just seemed nothing Mother Teresa herself could do for the poor.
     Over the years Mama's letters kept reminding Mother Teresa of her calling to the poor but Mother Teresa kept insisting that nothing could be done. Then in 1946 - after 17 years in India - above the roar of a train Mother Teresa heard God remind her of her calling to help the poor!

Mother Teresa: The Early Years by David Porter, 1986]

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Wed. 27. -- I took horse at half an hour past three. There was no moon, or stars, but a thick mist; so that I could see neither road, nor any thing else; but I went as right as if it had been noon day. When I drew nigh Penruddock Moor, the mist vanished, the stars appeared, and the morning dawned; so I imagined all the danger was past; but when I was on the middle of the moor, the mist fell again on every side, and I quickly lost my way. I lifted up my heart. Immediately it cleared up, and I soon recovered the high road. On Alstone Moor I missed my way again; and what, I believe, no stranger has done lately, rode through all the bogs, without any stop, till I came to the vale, and thence to Hinely Hill.

John Wesley's journal for September 27, 1749.
His 'wild ride' to Hinley Hill was in pursuit of Charles!

John Wesley (1703-1791)

     John Wesley led several women to believe he was courting them. At Oxford he flirted extravagantly with young Sally Kirkham, then later with the worldly widow Mrs. Pendarves. In America he was enamored with Sophy Hopkey. Later he was infatuated with Grace Murray. In each case he dallied and stalled and deliberated until the woman finally gave up on him in exasperation. Still, he might have married Grace Murray if his brother Charles had not interfered. But Charles was furious over John's hypocrisy. The whole Grace Murray episode and John Wesley's hypocrisy began at a Methodist conference in 1748. Neither Wesley brother was young - John was 46, Charles was 41. Neither by then had much time for women. Both were inclined never to marry. But at that conference other ministers spoke boldly.
     "If the Wesleys were to wed at last, it would certainly put to rest the endless longing of many of the sisters," concluded one minister bluntly.
     John was about to reprimand the insolence, but stopped. He had to admit the man was truthful. Many of the sisters did flutter around him and Charles, needlessly, flirtatiously. He often admonished their lack of discipline. How could he have been so blind to the fact that he and Charles were considered available bachelors? The Wesleys left the conference changed men. But being methodical they quickly devised safe-guards. The marriage choice of any Methodist leader had to meet the scrutiny of his peers. So John and Charles agreed between themselves that neither would marry without the other's 'knowledge and consent'.
     John certainly enforced the agreement with Charles. Compliant Charles soon had three candidates in mind. With John's participation he picked Sally Gwynn. John even nudged Charles on when he hesitated. In April 1749 John performed the ceremony that wed Charles to Sally at her father's estate in Wales. Then Charles took his new wife and her sister to Bristol to live. In the meantime John had made up his mind to marry Grace Murray. Having left Charles out of the decision he did not know how to inform Charles of his choice. But ever methodical, John was polishing a 46-page evaluation of Grace's spiritual qualities that he intended to take around to the societies. But this effort was slowed considerably because he had to prepare for the 1749 summer conference.
     After the conference John devoted himself to Grace again. But by this time Charles had heard rumors about John and Grace. Charles stormed on horseback to Whitehaven on the northwest coast of England. He barged in on John September 27, 1749. John had never seen Charles so breathless, so upset, so livid. Methodical John told Charles he would prepare a list of all the reasons why he should marry Grace. He would give it to Charles the next day. Charles left, seemingly calmed. The next day John, quite pleased with his list of 32 reasons, was unable to find Charles. Days later he found out Charles had not been calmed at all but had stormed off to find Grace. Charles exhorted her to marry another Methodist minister who had been wooing her too - and quickly. An ardent Methodist herself Grace certainly did not want to be the woman who broke up the Wesley brothers. So marry him she did.

A Tale of Two Brothers: John & Charles Wesley by Mabel R. Brailsford, 1954]

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