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All this is not to deny Mother Teresa's particular claims to goodness and holiness. Nor is it to question the sincerity of those who believe that her intercession can result in the cure of the incurable. But it is to remind us that we should be wary of uncritical endorsement of claims to the miraculous. Religious belief of any sort can be a motivation to perfect goodness, as it is in many religions. As we are unfortunately all too currently aware, it can just as easily inspire appalling acts of evil.

And granted that God does have the capacity to act in the world, it does often look as if he is not paying the sort of attention to what's going on that he should be.

Originally published in The Conversation. Topics: religion-and-beliefs , women-religious , catholic , holy-see-vatican-city-state. First posted September 03, If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC. ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content. Read about our editorial guiding principles and the standards ABC journalists and content makers follow.

Learn more. Follow Annabel Crabb and Waleed Aly as they take you through the most surprising and exciting insights into modern Australia, revealing the issues Aussies are talking about. After coming up with a business idea that earned her more than a career in science, Sarah Andrews "can't see why anybody would work these days". The Conversation. Photo: Mother Teresa at a ceremony in Paray-le-Monial.

AFP: Gerard Cerles. AFP: Raveendran.

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Miracles, Saints, and healing for both body and mind | National Catholic Reporter

About Saint Teresa Born Gonxha Agnes Bojaxhiu to ethnic Albanian parents on August 26, , in Skopje Became a nun at the age of 16, joining the Loreto abbey in Ireland In early she moved to Kolkata where she became a teacher In she received "a call within a call" to found the Missionaries of Charity Opened her first home for the dying in , and in her first mobile leprosy clinic In , Pope granted the Decree of Praise to her order, bringing it directly under Vatican jurisdiction In awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work for the world's destitute.

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Questioning the 'miracles' of Mother Teresa

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Sarah's business idea earns her five figures a month After coming up with a business idea that earned her more than a career in science, Sarah Andrews "can't see why anybody would work these days".

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Can Hartzer survive Westpac's epic money-laundering fail There's no way Prince Andrew can continue public life 'Bombshell' impeachment testimony terrible for Donald Trump. Site Map. Media Video Audio Photos. Subscribe Podcasts Newsletters. Like the better-known Oskar Schindler , Sendlerowa has been recognised by Israel's Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous among the Nations , a term used to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to help save Jews from the Nazis.

About Saint Teresa

But just like Schindler, Sendlerowa will probably never be granted sainthood by the Catholic church, because despite her selfless bravery and her willingness to put the lives and safety of others before her own, Sendlerowa's motivation in acting as she did was a love of people, not a love of God. And because, despite her admirable and amazing achievement in saving so many in the face of such adversity, Sendlerowa didn't perform any magical hocus-pocus: in other words, she failed to perform any miracles.

And this is where the whole notion of sainthood falls down for me, because while I do believe that some people deserve to be recognised and honoured for the awe-inspiring lives they have led, I don't believe those honours should only fall to those who profess a commitment to their God or their religion, or to those whose selfless acts are a manifestation of their unwavering belief that something better awaits them at the end.

In fact I think it takes a lot more bravery to do such things without faith, and without the satisfaction of knowing that any suffering and sacrifice endured on earth will lead to some reward in the afterlife. For me it is these people who are the true saints, people who are prepared to do whatever it takes to help others, even if that means risking their own lives in the process; and people who are spurred on by a simple belief in doing what's right rather than by any desire to be crowned in glory at the end.

As an atheist, I don't believe in saints and miracles anyway. That doesn't mean to say that I don't believe there are genuinely good people out there deserving of both my respect and my admiration. Call them saints, call them heroes, the label really doesn't matter; what does matter is that as long as we recognise that no one is capable of being perfect, and that even the best among us have their human flaws, there are some people who really do lead by example, and who can help us all aspire to be much better than we are.

Proof of the Supernatural & Miracles - Catholic Miracles

So along with both Schindler and Sendlerowa my own list of heroes or icons would also include Gandhi , Nelson Mandela , Harriet Tubman and Aung San Suu Kyi , as well as all those, some still yet unnamed, who have stuck their heads above the parapet and refused to go along with acts of genocide, torture or war. These are some of the people I test myself against and against whom I often find myself wanting, but who continue to inspire me nonetheless. Obviously everyone's list is going to be different, and I'm pretty sure there are those who will take issue with at least some that I've named.

But I do think it's important that our heroes are real people not religious saints or mythical characters, those who perform feats we can never hope to emulate. After all, if we only have saints and superheroes to compare ourselves to we'll always be failures, whereas other people's acts of generosity and sacrifice help us to know that ultimately we can be capable of the same.