Sunday Thought: Mother Teresa’s Crisis of Faith

Preface

Apologies to my regular financial readers, I am indulging my spiritual side this Sunday, my regular Personal Finance discussions will begin again Monday Morning.

Crisis of Faith?

So a very interesting set of writings have been published by the late Mother Teresa which is causing some folks great consternation. The TIME headline on their web site starts with the following quote:


Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.

— Mother Teresa to the Rev. Michael Van Der Peet, September 1979

The Rev. Michael van der Peet was Mother Teresa’s spiritual confidant, and he has published a book about Mother Teresa, where he quotes many of these types of letters from Mother Teresa to him. The book is entitled: Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light from Double Day.

These letters show that Mother Teresa had inner doubts about God and Christ while working as “The Saint of the Gutter”. Evidently Catholic scholars are appalled by her lack of faith in God and Christ.

What is amazing is that these scholars think she didn’t have these thoughts. This woman worked tirelessly in places and for people who the world had completely turned their back on, she was a human being. Her works speak volumes about what was in her heart, and her works are truly God’s work on earth, in my humble opinion.

She wrote these letters most likely as a way to cope with the absolute unhappiness and sadness she saw every minute of every day, and people wonder why?

I think this article puts a human face on a woman who before (to me) was a bit of a mystery, and I frankly don’t see what the fuss is about.

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New Canadian Blogger

An interesting new blogger on the scene that I enjoy reading called Loonies and Sense . A very good posting for our American cousins doing some Canadian fiscal and financial translations for you in case you were curious what we were talking about when we say things like RRSP and RESP. This blogger is always brave enough to publish her goals and plans for financial security, which I just don’t have the guts to do (I have these goals, I just don’t feel right putting them out in the public eye).

It’s not easy for we Canadian Financial Bloggers because at times we are segregating our subject matter from two of the largest Financial subscribers out there in the United States and Europe, however, for most of us, it is a labor of “love” (or we are gluttons for punishment).

Related Canadian Financial Bloggers

There are other great non financial blogs in my right column in the very fine print that you can have a look at as well. We Canadians are an entertaining group of folk, once you get to know us.

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Statistics, Smoking and some Friday Random Thoughts

A busy week for me at work, which is always a good thing, so let’s just bounce around to some thoughts on my mind and some ideas.

  1. Let me state that I am NOT in favor of the Government banning smoking in some one’s house. I never meant to imply that should be the case, however, I am all over parents who ban smoking from their house (even their spouses) when there are kids involved. To paraphrase a famous (infamous) Canadian, The Government has no place in the bedrooms of Canadians (kind of creepy to think of my MP hanging out in my bedroom).
  2. TD announces amazing profits yesterday after last week’s DOOM and GLOOM statements, so what does this mean? You should have bought TD last week? That’s about my only view on this, whether there are still more ramifications from the below prime fiasco in the states, we shall see. My DRIP keeps dripping along happily.
  3. The back to school insanity continues in my financial world, with that sucking sound you hear my kids going back to school.
  4. My visit to the Passport office this week was not the horror I expected, it took me 20 minutes once I was in the door and I paid only $2 parking at 240 Sparks Street, amazing. I didn’t see Lotta Hitchmanova anywhere around however. Just go after 9:00 AM on a Wednesday before the Lunch rush.
  5. My company (my real job remember) just changed their parental leave benefits (naturally lowering it’s top up (was 75% after first 9 weeks are at full pay, now is only 55%) ), which has caused a great deal of discussion internally, with one side crying FOUL and the other pointing out that a great deal of companies do not offer any “top up” of the EI benefits and we are lucky to still have them. Given I am not planning on having any more kids, I am not part of the discussion.

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Smoking Bans are a good thing?

Stats Canada put out an interesting study that seems to support the claim that bans on smoking in the workplace and public places (as well as banning it in homes), has had a positive effect on folks quitting smoking, which I think is great (as a reformed smoker).

Smoking bans: Influence on smoking prevalence and it has a very good synopsis of the findings:


Since 2000, Canadians smokers have faced a growing number of restrictions on where they can smoke. Bans at home and at work were associated with a reduced likelihood of being in the initial “stages of change,” and an increased likelihood of being in the latter stages. Smokers who reported newly smoke-free homes or workplaces were more likely to quit over the next two years, compared with those who did not encounter such restrictions at home or at work.

My dislike of smoking is not purely a health issue it is also a financial issue. How can folks afford the $10-$15 a day for their smokes, when I get all flustered spending my $1.59 for my Tim’s coffee? I realize this is a physical addiction, but the way I ended up really quitting was realizing just how much of my money was going up in smoke (no not the Cheech and Chong movie).

Will my kids smoke? Certainly hope not, and I most certainly will not subsidize it either. Will I smoke again? I don’t think so.

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Inflation and CPI Under Control For July

Stats Canada posted the Consumer Price Index on Tuesday and the numbers are similar to previous months inflation numbers with a year over year price increase of 2.2% (July 2006-07).

No change is a good thing, since the price index seems to be still at a moderate level, given the astronomical gas price roller coaster that we have all been living with in the past 2 years (see the gas price index graph for details there).

The Food portion of the index is up 2.8% (year over year) down from 3.1% (year over year) last month, so that is a good thing to see (since I have noticed the increased prices in food, having very hungry children).

The complete table of areas and their increases month to month and year over year are included at the bottom of this posting as well (read this over and maybe you can see where your money HAS been going. I include the Gas Price Index graph as an interesting anecdote to check and see how gas prices have been running this year as compared to last year.

This hopefully will mean a settling of the interest rate increases seen lately, and easing of the credit tightening that has been seen, but then again, I have been wrong before as well.

Consumer Price Index and major components
(2002=100)
Relative importance1 July 2007 June 2007 July 2006 June to July 2007 July 2006 to July 2007
Unadjusted
% change
All-items 100.002 112.0 111.9 109.6 0.1 2.2
Food 17.04 112.3 112.6 109.2 -0.3 2.8
Shelter 26.62 117.0 116.8 113.2 0.2 3.4
Household operations and furnishings 11.10 103.2 103.0 101.4 0.2 1.8
Clothing and footwear 5.36 94.6 93.1 93.5 1.6 1.2
Transportation 19.88 118.5 119.2 118.3 -0.6 0.2
Health and personal care 4.73 107.5 107.9 105.7 -0.4 1.7
Recreation, education and reading 12.20 103.0 102.5 101.3 0.5 1.7
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products 3.07 126.0 125.7 121.5 0.2 3.7
All-items (1992=100) 133.3 133.2 130.5 0.1 2.1
Special aggregates
Goods 48.78 108.6 108.9 108.1 -0.3 0.5
Services 51.22 115.3 114.8 111.2 0.4 3.7
All-items excluding food and energy 73.57 109.1 109.0 106.5 0.1 2.4
Energy 9.38 139.6 140.1 142.0 -0.4 -1.7
Core index3 82.71 110.0 109.9 107.5 0.1 2.3
1. 2005 CPI basket weights at April 2007 prices, Canada , effective May 2007. Detailed weights are available under the Documentation section of survey 2301 (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/english/sdds/index.htm).
2. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
3. The measure of the core Consumer Price Index (CPI) excludes from the all-items CPI the effect of changes in indirect taxes and eight of the most volatile components identified by the Bank of Canada: fruit, fruit preparations and nuts; vegetables and vegetable preparations; mortgage interest cost; natural gas; fuel oil and other fuel; gasoline; inter-city transportation; and tobacco products and smokers’ supplies. For additional information on the core CPI, consult the Bank of Canada website (www.bankofcanada.ca/en/inflation/index.htm).

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