Is Mother Teresa in heaven? And if


#1

Is Mother Teresa in heaven?

If Mother Teresa lived her exact same life but she were a Protestant, would that change your opinion? (Please don’t go into techicalities about being a nun, etc.)

If Mother Teresa lived her exact same life but she were a Jew, would that change your opinion? (Please don’t go into techicalities about loving Jesus as her raison d’etre, etc.)

If Mother Teresa lived her exact same life but she were a Jehovah’s Witness, would that change your opinion?

If Mother Teresa lived her exact same life but she were a Hindu, would that change your opinion?

If Mother Teresa lived her exact same life but she were an atheist, would that change your opinion?


#2

We don’t know whether MT is in heaven.

And, I would give you the same answer regardless of her religion.

If MT is canonized, then yes she is in heaven. If she were any other religion, she would not be canonized, and I would tell you that we don’t know whether she is in heaven.


#3

Yes, she is in Heaven; her canonization assures us of this.

As for her “location” had she not been a Catholic, you cannot leave out of that equation the interior life that formed her into an image of Christ and that life was formed precisely through her immersion into Him and her union with Him through transformative prayer and the sacramental life of the Church which gave her the graces to do all that she accomplished both interiorly and exteriorly. It was not the good things that she did in themselves, but rather the sanctity of her person united to Christ that brought her to the Beatific Vision.

This is not to say that those in the other “categories” cannot be saved, but not simply for doing the good works that St. Mother Teresa did.


#4

Is Mother Teresa in heaven? We cannot know unless God reveals it to us through His Spirit via a definitive canonization through the holy Catholic Church. Until that declaration comes forth, if ever, we cannot know. We can only speculate. Such speculation is useful if her example of charity inclines us to imitate her charity and above all, to be charitable not for reasons of ‘looking good’ or ‘feeling godly’ but to do so purely for love of God and desire to do His Will. Such speculation can be harmful if one assumes that heaven is all about ‘looking godly’, or even doing good with the idea only that “if I’m good, I’ve earned heaven.” Nobody EARNS Heaven.

If Mother Teresa lived her exact same life but she were a Protestant, would that change your opinion? (Please don’t go into techicalities about being a nun, etc.) See above. Until and unless we have an authentic revelation from God as to Mother Teresa being a saint–and yes, said revelation could theoretically come about for a non-Catholic Christian as God can do anything He chooses–our ‘opinion’ regarding her (or any other non-canonized person’s) saintliness remains only our opinion. Please also be advised that ‘mere’ works, even marvelously GOOD works, even works which are SPOKEN OF as being offered to God, do not ‘entitle’ a person to heaven. IOW, please do not even attempt to imply that Mother Teresa ‘earned’ heaven, should be in heaven, or that ANY person of whatever ‘affiliation’ who ‘does good’ should be admittted to heaven based on the good appearance of his/her life. Any non-Catholic Christian who is saved is saved through the Catholic Church which is the Church Christ established, He by whose Name alone we can be saved.

If Mother Teresa lived her exact same life but she were a Jew, would that change your opinion? (Please don’t go into techicalities about loving Jesus as her raison d’etre, etc.) See above. Since Abraham and Moses, among others, were Jewish and we know are in heaven, living according to the covenant before Christ, God loved them and they are in heaven. Any Jewish person who is saved now is saved through the Catholic Church which is the Church Christ established, He by whose Name alone we can be saved…

If Mother Teresa lived her exact same life but she were a Jehovah’s Witness, would that change your opinion? See above. Any JW who is saved is saved through the Catholic Church which is the Church Christ established, He by whose Name alone we can be saved.

If Mother Teresa lived her exact same life but she were a Hindu, would that change your opinion? See above. Any Hindu who is saved is saved through the Catholic Church which is the Church Christ established, He by whose Name alone we can be saved.

If Mother Teresa lived her exact same life but she were an atheist, would that change your opinion? See above. Any atheist who is saved is saved through the Catholic Church which is the Church Christ established, He by whose Name alone we can be saved.


#5

Mother Teresa has been beatified, but NOT canonized yet.


#6

Great and appropriate answer.


#7

Oh, of course! :doh2:

I live in expectation. :wink:


#8

Thanks for this — and all the other — responses. I understand the role of canonization, but my intent was to provoke a discussion of opinion, not Church rulings.

I understand Catholic teaching that ‘‘even works which are SPOKEN OF as being offered to God, do not ‘entitle’ a person to heaven’’. I hope we can please posit the ‘‘entitlement’’ tangent in this thread.

When you say: ‘‘the Church Christ established, He by whose Name alone we can be saved’’ you are getting to my primary point of interest.

As I understand Church teaching, Baptism of Desire is recognized as a substitute for traditional Baptism. Is this right?

I would prefer to avoid discussion of the Baptizee’s ‘‘opportunity’’ for or ‘‘knowledge’’ of Christian/Catholic Baptism.

Who here is not convinced in his/her heart’s personal beliefs that if Mother Teresa were an atheist who still humbly did all the loving and good works she is acknowledged to have done, that she would certainly be damned for eternity for the lack of a formal Baptism?

Doesn’t Christ say that they will know we are Christians by our love?


#9

She would not *certainly *be damned. Neither would she *certainly *be saved. She would *certainly *be judged. We cannot know the outcome of that.

It does not follow that everyone who shows love is a Christian.


#10

So then we cannot be certain that the only way to heaven is Baptism?


#11

I would find it unusual for a Protestant, Jew, JW, Hindu or atheist to spend an hour each day before the eucharist in prayer. So I guess one part of clarification is: if she lived her exact same life, it would be a Catholic Sister or it would not be exact. Since we are asking about less than exact, are you asking if the Social Worker aspects would induce me to believe she may be in heaven?


#12

It would depend on why she was an atheist.


#13

I believe she is in heaven, but how can we really be assured of anything?


#14

We don’t know the state of our soul at death in advance but objectively we can be sure that if a Catholic dies in a state of unrepented mortal sin they will go to Hell but if they die in a state of grace they will be saved. However, only God knows the state of your soul at death.


#15

Indeed! How many bloodthirsty drug dealing murderous people have ones they love? Even Hitler had love for his girlfriend and maybe even one or two of his cohorts. He probably even claimed to be a Christian. However, we all know he was not.

trob


#16

We can be certain that it is the *ordinary *means of Salvation. Baptism is ordinarily necessary for Salvation.

We cannot say with certainty whether God allows *extraordinary *means for Salvation. We can hope.


#17

:stuck_out_tongue:

Frankly this is more in line with the ‘‘exact’’ or legalistic response I was hoping to avoid in my OP. Obviously if one is not Catholic it is illogical that one would do the purely ‘‘Catholic things’’.

My question is really whether one who does as many unselfish loving acts as Mother Teresa would be turned away from heaven for the lack of water and the sign of the cross.

Do you think she would be?


#18

My question is really whether one who does as many unselfish loving acts as Mother Teresa would be turned away from heaven for the lack of water and the sign of the cross.

Do you think she would be?

With respect, it is not the ‘unselfish loving acts’ which ‘fit us’ for heaven. Many people do great works which ‘appear’ charitable but which are done for the ‘building up of the person doing them’. Jesus noted this in Scripture. Remember the pharisee who “gave tithes on ALL he possessed?” I’m sure that on the outside he looked wonderful. . .yet was he?

As far as the ‘turned away from heaven for the lack of water and the sign of the cross’

I believe you have been told that baptism, the ordinary means for salvation, is not ‘solely’ through water (ordinary) but through God’s mercy can be through blood or through desire. So ‘limiting’ your comment to a very specific and slightly derogatory notation of ‘lack of water and sign of cross’ shows you either haven’t considered or known of the other options, or that you are trying to turn baptism into a ‘legalism’ ploy in which to fault the church. It’s a strawman. The Church isn’t ‘legalistic’ but that does not mean that it abrogates all law.

A person who through no fault of his own did not KNOW the Catholic Church, who does God’s will (which is written on the human heart) to the best of his knowledge and capacity, LACKING knowledge of Christ and/or His Church, MAY be saved, and the way that person is saved is through the Catholic Church. It is a mystery, but that is what God has revealed. It has nothing to do with how ‘pious’ the person appears, or how many ‘good deeds’ a person does as if ‘good deeds’ were the sole criterion for heaven. It has everything to do with the person’s heart and soul, and with God’s judgment and mercy and teachings.

IOW, GOD decides who is saved, how and why. Not us.


#19

It seems my intent was not put well. I am and have been a practicing Roman Catholic. I intend no disrespect for the Church or its members.

I understood these boards to be a place for serious questions that delve into a better understanding of the Bible and religion. No?

So, to be clearer, I understand that God has the final judgment over Heaven. I am pretty sure I understand Mother Teresa’s love of Christ that drove her caritas.

What I would like to hear discussed is whether a person who lives a life as unselfish and loving — and yes I am aware that there are some whose love is selfish rather than unselfish, which I specifically exclude ---- as that led by Mother Teresa, would be excluded from eternal life in the Beatific vision because they had not acknowledged a love of Christ, per se.

Yes, I believe I earlier posited the specific language of Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Fire as cited loopholes, and that my hypothetical MT alter ego would obviously have been aware of Christ and thus technically inelligible.

Does anyone else on this board see God as so loving that He would not exclude such a Teresesque lover, or am I alone?


#20

I seek not certainty but thoughtful opinion.


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