Sept 05th - Teresa of Calcutta
In the trenches, we understand the struggle of everyday spirituality and we understand that it is different from the desire to do God's will. The knowledge that God's will must be done is what drives us even if we do not understand what God's will for us is. So many want to make problems, obstacles, doubt, human weakness, and other road-blocks in spirituality into mountains which mean loss of faith, or that the times when we feel empty as proof that there is no God.
The Church has a long history and Teresa is not the first saint to experience the Dark Night of the Soul, nor will she be the last. It is no worse than the times I look up at the Eucharist and see and feel nothing. But I also understand that my inability to feel God's presence at any time is not an indication that God is not there - He is because the Eucharist is there and I have confidence in the promises of Christ. Take comfort in the fact that we can still do God's will, still be willing vessels of His love, even though we are poor clay vessels.
I know this is getting long, but I want to end my reflection by sharing part of the reflection on Teresa from the Universalis web site:
"Mother Teresa’s widespread appeal comes from the directness of her inspiration, and her direct response to it. She went out and did things where they were needed. When we think of big problems we inevitably think that they can only be solved by a big campaign. Perhaps that is true, perhaps not; but while the campaign is getting going, why not go out and help one person in the name of Mother Teresa? If there are 1,000 hungry people in your city, why not make it 999? If each of us did that – well, in most countries where this is being read, there are more Catholics than there are people in need." (www.universalis.com, Sept 5th)
And this is what I mean, I want you to love the poor, and never turn your back to the poor, for in turning your back to the poor, you are turning it to Christ. For he had made himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, so that you and I have an opportunity to love him, because where is God? How can we love God? It is not enough to say to my God I love you, but my God, I love you here. I can enjoy this, but I give up. I could eat that sugar, but I give that sugar. If I stay here the whole day and the whole night, you would be surprised of the beautiful things that people do, to share the joy of giving. And so, my prayer for you is that truth will bring prayer in our homes, and from the foot of prayer will be that we believe that in the poor it is Christ. And we will really believe, we will begin to love. And we will love naturally, we will try to do something. First in our own home, next door neighbor in the country we live, in the whole world. And let us all join in that one prayer, God give us courage to protect the unborn child, for the child is the greatest gift of God to a family, to a nation and to the whole world.
-- Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
(and you should read the whole thing: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1979/teresa/26200-mother-teresa-acceptance-speech-1979/ )
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