It hasn't taken long for the Catholic ephemerists of the internet to sing the praises of the newly-canonized Mother Teresa. Fr. Zuhl, for instance, has invoked the newly minted saint for the purpose of converting sinners:
In particular I ask St. Teresa of Calcutta to intercede with God for the conversion, or the failure, of Fishwrap. I ask St. Teresa to intercede with God for the conversion, or the failure, of the dems’ presidential candidate. I ask St. Teresa to intercede with God for the conversion, or the utter failure, of Islamic terrorists. (source)I, for one, can't imagine a worse reason to ask for St. T of C's intercession than the hope of conversion. She had no use for such nonsense, as she said repeatedly:
We never try to convert those who receive [our aid] to Christianity but in our work we bear witness to the love of God's presence and if Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, or agnostics become for this better men -- simply better -- we will be satisfied.And,
Of course I convert. I convert you to be a better Hindu or a better Muslim or a better Protestant. Once you’ve found God, it’s up to you to decide how to worship him.It is endlessly depressing to list the reasons why modern canonizations are increasingly occasions of scandal. For all of the very real and tangible good that Mother Teresa and her order has done in impoverished countries, her thoughtless comments were doubtless enough to convince many non-Catholic admirers that they needn't convert to her religion. They were even a serious consideration in my own early temptations towards apostasy.
On the other hand, perhaps God will indeed assign her the task of converting the hearts of infidels as a way of balancing out her earthly missteps. I cannot help but think of her as inhabiting the sphere of the moon in Dante's Paradiso, where inconstant religious women spent their eternity.
"And we are to be found within a sphere
this low, because we have neglected vows,
so that in some respect we were deficient."