Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a well-known figure from recent history. How much do you know about her life and ministry? After reading this book, I know a bit more and would like to share some of the things I gleaned from this book. Father Leo Maasburg, from Austria, was Mother Teresa’s close companion for many years, beginning when he was new to the Priesthood. She always wanted a Priest handy to give the sacraments as she travelled and ministered, and Father Leo accompanied her often.
Although I do not agree with all Catholic church doctrines, I do agree with the core of Mother Teresa’s ministry, the first of which is: we are all created to love and to be loved. She ministered with her Sisters of Compassion to the poorest of the poor, seeing Jesus in the most decrepit and caring for them without any desire for recompense. She believed that you learn humility by being humbled. If she sensed pride creeping in, she would clean toilets; the dirtier the better! Her three rules:
*Loving trust (in God)
*Total surrender (to God)
*Cheerfulness (due to the first two)
We all seem to ask God to fill us, but she said, “Even God cannot fill someone already full!” And what’s the problem with the church today? You and Me! Our selfishness and lack of love bring divisions. Her view of abortion was the topic for her Nobel Peace Prize speech as well as the one for the National Prayer Breakfast. Abortion means the mother and/or father hating the baby, trying to dispose of “a problem” creating ‘A Problem’. She offered to take any baby that wasn’t wanted and supported adoption.
Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
This was one woman showing what being bold as a lion, wise as serpents, and harmless as doves looks like. She would walk up to a communist leader flanked by armed guards, soften his heart by loving on him, and secure permission to open a House of Mercy in their area. One account is told of a couple of her Sisters of Charity who walked up to a man with a gun and killed him with kindness, displaying no fear!
When finding a new place for the Sisters of Charity to have a house, the first room she designed was the sacristy so they could have their prayer and devotion times. She hung a crucifix and under Jesus’ arm she had “I thirst!” which she saw as the humility of God displayed on the cross. Mother Teresa’s goal was to fill Jesus’ thirst by humbly bringing people to their knees and to love whomever they could love for Jesus. “We are only pencils in God’s hand.” And again, “You don’t need to come to Calcutta at all to discover Jesus in the poorest of the poor. The poor are right there where you are, very often in your own families. Look for them, find them and put your love for Jesus into a living action for them.” [page 145]
What about us? The two laws Jesus left us with: love God with all your heart soul and strength, love your neighbor as you love yourself. When you give a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name, you are ministering to Him. I’m reminded of the old song: “I don’t like spiders & snakes, but that ain’t what it takes to love you!” We live in a hurting world, and we have the solution. Jesus left us with all we need to love the unlovable. Let us draw on the treasure He has put inside each of us who believe and be His hands, feet, mouth… even ‘God’s pencil’!
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
I leave you with a final Mother Teresa quote to ponder from Page 157: “… our witness for Christ must always be of such a kind that people cannot decide against Him by mistake!”