I’ve read some very critical essays on Mother Teresa that call her a hypocrite and a fraud for having doubts in her faith during some dark times in her life. What the skeptics don’t understand is that her doubts, her human reaction, only made her a stronger example of her faith. That through her doubts, she remained faithful to her convictions is exactly why she is to be cherished. You don’t make a commitment to work with the poorest of the world and not have doubts. Remaining steadfast to your commitment to God through doubt is exactly what is to be admired.
Faith is a commitment beyond our doubts and our skepticism. Dictionary.com defines faith this way:
A confidence or trust in a person or thing; belief that is not based on proof (He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact); belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.; the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement.
As humans, it is in our nature to doubt things. The older we get the more skeptical we become. The loss of innocence primarily comes from the fact that many things have happened to us that have lead to our doubt in the first place. We doubt because our experiences tell us we know better. To have faith in something is to stare those doubts down and tell ourselves that even though our experiences tell us not to believe – we do it anyway.
It doesn’t take a mass of brain superiority to be skeptical. Taking a stand against something easy to doubt isn’t empowering. I’d actually argue people’s skepticism is far more about fear and pride than anything else and that is arguable and inferior trait.
What is far more superior in my opinion is to look at what is doubtful and believe anyway. Faith is not easy. It’s a difficult process that goes against what our own human nature tells us. We can easily talk ourselves out of most things. It takes commitment and absolute devotion to remain faithful. It’s practically a supernatural response to remain faithful in the sight of all that tells us not to be and that is what made Mother Teresa someone to admire.
I’m extremely tired of hearing both celebrities and pundits qualify that religion is for the stupid. This idea that it is far more intelligent to not believe in God simply because doubt is prevalent really isn’t that mind-blowing of an idea. Just because something can’t be determined by science or fact or reason or rational (however you want to call it) doesn’t mean it isn’t true. I can rationalize that I am handsome. I could even conduct a survey to show that my handsomeness is factual. It would then be a proven fact by scientific research that I am handsome therefore it is reasonable to believe it. What this example proves is you can pretty much prove or disprove just about anything with the right combination of “facts”. Believing beyond proof and doubt is what makes faith such a dynamic principle. Something some people just can’t comprehend.