There is a new documentary called Mother Teresa – For the Love of God? Has anyone else watched this? We have it here in Australia on Stan (an Aussie streaming service). I will share my thoughts on the programme and hopefully you can comment if you have also seen it or plan to watch in the near future.
Personally I didn’t know all that much about Mother Teresa. I remember her dying in 1997 when I was 14 years old. I remember it being significant as she passed not that long after Princess Diana and that had made a big impact on my memory. So when Mother Teresa died, I recall people feeling extra sad. I knew she was a good woman who helped the sick and poor and she was a very spiritual person. So when I spotted a new documentary about her life, I thought it could be interesting, especially as the title states, For the Love of God? The question mark made me think, are we to question that her life was or wasn’t for the love of God? Or was the help she provided for the love of God? I wasn’t sure but I was intrigued.
I don’t want to spoil the documentary for anyone so I will just make some vague points but personally, I found it to be very interesting. It begins with telling you the history of Mother Teresa, that she was born in Macedonia and how/why she ended up in Calcutta, India. It shows how she helped the poor, sick and most vulnerable members of society and how her legacy grew. Many women joined her to become nuns and assist with her quest to look after the most downtrodden. There are a lot of positives shown about Mother Teresa and the amazing work carried out by her and her team, for example, giving temporary homes to those who had been orphaned.
However, interestingly, it does show aspects of her work from another point of view. The documentary shows how she became so well known and adored by millions. The Catholic Church embraced Mother Teresa and often utilised her to create a positive image for the church (specifically to cover up the issue with Priests and sexual abuse). She also gained A LOT of money that was given to the church. The controversy being that much of the money was given to the church and not necessarily to those people that needed it the most. The money was not used to treat the sick and dying. Medical professionals who had worked with Mother Teresa initially, were horrified at the lack of proper treatment and facilities and ended up leaving to work elsewhere. Mother Teresa was about bringing the word of God to people whilst they were coming to the end of their lives and providing them with a place to stay, rather than helping them medically or offering any pain relief from their suffering. I think in the eyes of Mother Teresa, pain was seen almost as a necessity when dying, like Jesus was in pain when he died on the cross. This part did make me feel uncomfortable, although I was not that surprised that she was used by the church for financial and popular gain, sadly.
Having watched the documentary, I still believe Mother Teresa to be an amazing woman, who gave up her life to devote herself to God and look after those in need. However, I do think it is sad that much of the money acquired through charity and donations, never reached those who really needed it and very tragic that the church had used her kindness and time to their own advantage.
What are your thoughts if you have watched it? Would this blog post make you want to watch it? I believe Mother Teresa’s life was for the Love of God and I believe her help was for the Love of God. I just think maybe more could have been done to treat the sick and offer them pain relief. Also saddened that she became so popular and maybe lost track of her initial mission, with a focus more on the church rather than the people. However, it’s easy for me to say that sitting at home. I wasn’t there to know the facts and I’m sure we are not seeing the whole picture.
I hope I do not cause any upset to anyone with writing about this documentary. It’s just one take on her story and I’m sure there are many other points of view. However, I did really find the show interesting and gripping, albeit rather sad.
Take care and thanks for reading my Tuesday thoughts.