In this episode of the First Things Podcast:
Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be canonized on Sunday. Why is her service to the poor so much more inspiring—to the religious and the irreligious—than the “effective altruism” of secular humanitarians? Editor Rusty Reno and literary editor Matthew Schmitz explain their takes. Associate editor Julia Yost quotes Christopher Hitchens semi-approvingly, and elicits puzzlement and horror.
Then it’s on to France, where the burkini is inspiring a debate about the public square that will seem strangely familiar to friends of First Things. Rusty and Matthew each favor banning the burkini, though for different reasons. “This is the soul of France that is in question,” blogs Marine Le Pen. But does France have a secular soul, or a Christian one?
Finally, Julia reads a famous passage from literature, containing a prediction about saints named Teresa. Her colleagues try to source it. Maybe you can beat them!