Since we are now three days away from the Canonization of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, soon-to-be, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, I feel the need to use the next five days to write about the many wonderful things she said over her lifetime. It would be hard for me to think that there are individuals in this world that are not familiar with Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity, since they are in nearly every country around the globe. The work they do on daily basis is incomprehensible to many of us, and yet, they have their critics that hate them, but as Christ said to us, “if the world hates you, realize that it hated me first” (Jn 15:18).
For my first post on Mother Teresa, I would like to focus on the things she said about service, work, and evangelization, since these are there things that I do, along with my co-workers and many friends across the world on a daily basis, often to people who barely know Jesus Christ and to places he has never been. She regularly speaks of the material poor, but the people many of the people we serve endure the poverty of the spiritual life.
As evangelists and catechists, we bring Jesus Christ to the people we serve, for many of us, that is in the life of the parish or in Catholic schools. Although we are far from perfect, and our sinful natures can get the best of us, we strive to be like the saints that came before us who brought the message of Jesus Christ and His Church to the world. It is only through the grace of the Sacraments, instituted by Christ himself, that we have the ability to overcome our struggles and be little Christ’s to the world.
So with this being said, let’s read through 7 quotes on the aforementioned topics from the soon-to-be Albanian saint –
1. “If I had to start all over again, I would do the same thing. I have experienced many human weaknesses, many human frailties, and I still experience them. But we need to use them. We need to work for Christ with a humble heart, with the humility of Christ. He comes and uses us to be his love and compassion in the world in spite of our weaknesses and frailties.”
2. “We must work in great faith, steadily, efficiently, and above all with great love and cheerfulness, for without this our work will be only the work of slaves, serving a hard master…When you go out for your task, spread all around you the joy of belonging to God, of living with God, of being his own.
3. “Never do the work carelessly because you wish to hide your gifts. Remember, the work is his. You are his co-worker. Therefore, he depends on you for that special work. Do the work with him, and the work will be done for him. The talents God has given you are not yours – they have been given to you for your use, for the glory of God. There can be no half-measures in the work. You may feel very bad, but feelings are not the measure of our love for Christ. It is our will and our work that matters. Be great and use everything in you for the good Master.”
4. “When we do ‘our work,’ visiting the families, teaching the children, nursing the sick, helping the dying, gathering the little children for church, we should do it with one aim in view: ‘the salvation of the poor.’ We want to bring them to Jesus and bring Jesus to them.”
5. “What is the good news? The good news is that God still loves the world through each one of you. You are God’s good news, you are God’s love in action. Through you, God is still loving the world.”
6. “We have to carry our Lord to places where he has not walked before. Therefore the sisters must be consumed with one desire: Jesus. Speak of no one but him crucified. We must not be afraid to do the things he did – to go fearless thoroughly death and danger with him and for him.”
7. “To be a co-worker means to work along with someone, to share together in tiredness, humiliations, and shame, not only in success. Those who share everything are partners, giving love for love, suffering for suffering. Jesus, you have died, you have given everything, you lifeblood, all. Now it is my turn. I put everything into the field also. The common soldier fights in the way, but the devoted one tries to be near the captain to share his fate. This is the only truth…the only thing that matters – for it is the spirit of Christ.”
I hope that you can take these quotes and reflect upon them, whatever your state in life is. Those of us that serve the Catholic Church, although imperfectly, must permit these quotes to stir in our hearts, even on the toughest days.
To conclude, I ask that you please pray for all the pilgrims that are making their way to Rome for the Canonization of Mother Teresa – pray for their safety. Pray for all those people who through vile words disapprove of Christ, His Mother, His Church, His Saints, and the particular works of the Missionaries of Charity. The devil is working overtime; so must we.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta…Pray for Us.
This blog post is dedicated to my fellow staff members at the parish of Saint Mary Magdalene. We all do the work of Christ each day.
Check back tomorrow for another blog post on a different topic associated with Mother Teresa.