Celebrating the Life of St. Teresa of Calcutta
“I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus.” St. Teresa of Calcutta
St. Teresa of Calcutta addresses the crowd of thousands by video in 1993 at the opening mass
of the 25th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae in Omaha, Neb. transcript.
Your grace, Archbishop Dan Sheehan, the brothers and sisters in Jesus, at the invitation of the Pope Paul VI Institute, you have gathered in thousands in Omaha Nebraska in the International conference celebrating the 25th anniversary of the papal encyclical letter Humanae Vitae. I am thankful to Dr. Thomas Hilgers for inviting me to share your joy and your hope. I cannot be with you physically, but through television, and through prayer, I am very much here with you to greet you, to thank you, to tell you of Jesus’ love for you. He, better than I, is with you.
After 25 years, of Humanae Vitae, I hope we have grown stronger in our conviction that to listen to the church is to listen to Jesus Himself. Humanae Vitae clearly expresses the mind and will of God about marriage. It reminds us of the beauty of married love in God’s plan as an expression of total self-giving and helps us to accept the child as the fruit of that love. The child is a birth gift of God to the family. Contraception can not be an expression of total self-giving because in contraception, something is done to one’s self to destroy the bar to conceive a child. Contraception is “yes” to selfishness and “no” to true love because contraception is something done to one’s self, turns the attention to one’s self. The same selfishness that wants to prevent the child by contraception will grow until it wants to kill the child already conceived. We must fight selfishness with the true generous and self-sacrificing love. Every child at his very conception is created for greater things: to love and to be loved. That is why we must protect life. To destroy the life of the child is to destroy the presence of God in the world. The greatest destroyer of peace in the world today is abortion.
But to love like this in our families, we need much prayer. It is very important to bring prayer back into our families. That daily rosary, that daily adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, that consecration of the family to the sacred heart, because the family that prays together will stay together. And if you stay together, you will love each other as God loves each one of you. For there is love, there is peace, there is unity, there is joy. Therefore, let us pray for the child, let us pray for the family, let us pray for the church. Keep the joy of love in God in your hearts, and share this joy with all your need, especially your family.
My prayer for you is that you grow in that tender love for each other by praying together by loving each other by helping each other to grow in Holiness. Holiness is not the luxury of the few. It is the simple beauty for you and for me that Jesus has said “Be ye holy, like the father in heaven is holy.” God bless you.
first published by the Pope Paul VI Institute