So….lucky you….I am letting my brain run free and empty out beauty that was given me through a soul so unrelentingly focused on Christ that she changed the world through love.
I slowly worked my way through the book, Mother Teresa: Come be my Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta and can honestly say I am better for it. Not by any doing of my own, but simply by a woman so passionate about her love of Christ that she gave everything, even her intimacy and joy of Christ, over in a trust that justice will come.
There were so many things she said and did that flooded my heart with passion and pain, laughter and love, hardship and darkness, all to make it anew in the hope of Christ and His love for each one of us.
I think the purpose statement of The Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Charity is an outline of a book full of beautiful sketches that tell a story of love, sacrifice and passion for EVERY person in this world. It is as follows:
To quench the thirst of Our Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls by the observance of the three Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, and of an additional fourth Vow to devote themselves with abnegation to the care of the poor and needy who, crushed by want and destitution, live in conditions unworthy of the human dignity. Those who join this Institute, therefore, are resolved to spend themselves unremittingly in seeking out, in towns and villages, even amid squalid surroundings, the poorer, the abandoned, the sick, the infirm, the dying; in taking care of them, rendering help to them, visiting them assiduously and instructing them in the Christian Doctrine, in endeavoring to the utmost to bring about their conversion and sanctification…AND in performing any other similar apostolic works and services, however lowly and mean they may appear.
This book reveals secrets of darkness and abandonment that Mother Teresa pleaded to be kept quiet but, alas, have been published for the world to see. I suppose I could get on a soapbox about how regrettable this is, but then again I am guilty of taking pleasure in its availability.
Through her ministry, Christ’s love was revealed to ‘the least of these’ and she gave such beautiful wisdom as to how this is fulfilled. She stated that, ‘the light you give must be pure, the love you love with must be so burning– the faith you believe with must be so convincing– that in seeing you they really see only Him.’
Are we living this way?
She hated injustice and fought to lighten its grip on the world. “Terrible is hatred when it starts touching human beings.” She saw the sanctity of human life and prayed fervently for the love of Christ to reach those disregarded by society.
Her letter to President George Bush and Saddam Hussein pleading against a war that would create the most destruction for the poor who have no means of escape is as equally moving and breathtaking as Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail.
I could go on for hours about her profound heart but that, in and of itself, would be a disgrace because her entire life on earth was devoted to the veneration of Christ and rejection of herself.
I will end with a challenge to you and me. One that reflects the work of Mother Teresa and so many other beautiful, compassion-filled individuals around the world.
‘And today God keeps on loving the world. He keeps on sending you and me to prove that He loves the world, that He still has compassion for the world. It is we who have to be His love, His compassion in the world of today. But to be able to love we must have faith, for faith in action is love, and love in action is service.’
Amen and Amen.