To comfort than to be comforted


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To comfort than to be comforted

 

 

 

The Church … also needs men and women who, through the consecration of their lives to Christ, will grow daily and with generous devotion in the charitable service of others. She needs contemplative souls who will obtain from God grace and mercy for his people. Everyone has the duty to respond each day to Jesus' gentle yet insistent invitation to implore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest (cf. Mt 9:38). And those who are called have the duty to respond in freedom and in a profound spirit of self-sacrifice to the humble and challenging voice of Christ who says, today, as yesterday, as always: Come, follow me! (Message of the Holy Father John Paul II to the young people of Cuba Camagüey, 23 January 1998)

 

 

 

 

Some years ago, impelled by the love of Christ and a desire to serve him in those suffering the greatest distress and pain, [Mother Teresa of Calcutta] went forth from one of the educational institutions to establish the Missionaries of Charity. This type of evangelical service to the poorest of the poor fulfils in a concrete way the Messianic programme of Jesus, to bring "good news to the poor”. It has given the world a compelling lesson in compassion and genuine love of our neighbour in need. It has shown the power of the Redemption to inspire men and women to heroic service and to sustain them in it year after year. Such charity and self-sacrifice, done out of love for Christ, challenges the world, a world which is all too familiar with selfishness and hedonism, with greed for money, prestige and power. In the face of the evils of our modern age, this testimony proclaims not with words but by deeds and sacrifice the preeminent value of love, the love of Christ our Redeemer. It calls the sinner to conversion and invites him to follow the example of Christ, "to preach good news to the poor".

(Mass for Catholic people of West Bengal, homily of his Holiness John Paul II Brigade Parade Grounds Park of Calcutta Tuesday, 4 February 1986)

 

 

 

Holy Father's Words Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 1 


<<<Wallpapers with Scripture:

 


Again I saw the oppressions that are practiced under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! (Eccles 4:1).

 

 

“There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead’” (Luke 16:19-31).

 

 

<<<Wallpapers with Mother Teresa's Words:

 

By nature I am sensitive, love beautiful and nice things, comfort and all the comfort can give—to be loved and love.—I know that the life of a Missionary of Charity—will be minus all these. The complete poverty, the Indian life, the life of the poorest will mean a hard toil against my great self love. Yet, Your Grace, I am longing with a true, sincere heart to begin to lead this kind of life—so as to bring joy to the suffering Heart of Jesus. (CBML, p. 66)

 

 

Today I learned a good lesson—the poverty of the poor must be often so hard for them. When I went rounding looking for a home—I walked & walked till my legs & my arms ached.—I thought how they must also ache in body and soul looking for home—food—help.—Then the temptation grew strong—the palace buildings of Loreto came rushing into my mind—all the beautiful things & comforts—the people they mix with—in a word everything.—“You have only to say a word and all that will be yours again”—the tempter kept on saying. Of [my] free choice My God and out of love for you—I desire to remain and do what ever be Your Holy Will in my regard.—I did not let a single tear come.—Even if I suffer more than now—I still want to do Your Holy Will.—This is the dark night of the birth of the Society.—My God give me courage now—this moment—to persevere in following your call. (CBML, p. 133-134)

 

 

In the call You said that I would have to suffer much.—Ten years—my Jesus, You have done to me according to Your will—“My God, How Painful Is This Unknown Pain” and Jesus hear my prayer—if this pleases You—if my pain and suffering—my darkness and separation gives You a drop of consolation—my own Jesus, do with me as You wish—as long as You wish, without a single glance at my feelings and pain. I am Your own.—Imprint on my soul and life the sufferings of Your Heart. Don’t mind my feelings.—Don’t mind even, my pain. If my separation from You—brings others to You and in their love and company You find joy and pleasure—why Jesus, I am willing with all my heart to suffer all that I suffer—not only now—but for all eternity—if this was possible. Your happiness is all that I want. (CBML, p. 192-193)

 

 

 

Copyright © Mother Teresa Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 2

 

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Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do no say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you (Proverbs 3:27-28).

 

 

The apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. Now many saw them going, and knew them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns, and got there ahead of them. As he landed he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a lonely place, and the hour is now late; send them away, to go into the country and village round about and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat. And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?” and he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five and two fish.” Then he commanded them all to sit down by companies upon the green grass. So they sat down in groups by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples to set before the people; and he divided the fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied” (Mark 6:30-42).

 

 

 

 

 

 

<<<Wallpapers with Mother Teresa's Words:

 

 

 

This is what our sisters and brothers have consecrated their life to God, have given their word of honor to God that they will take care of the hungry, of the naked, of the homeless, of the sick, of the mental, of the alcoholic, of the leper and feed them, clothe them, give them a home in tenderness and love. And to be able to do that, the sisters must have a very deep life of prayer. And that’s why Jesus made Himself Bread of Life to give us that love, to give us that strength, to give us that joy of loving and then to satisfy our hunger for His love, He makes Himself Bread of Life and 37 then He becomes himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one so that you and I can satisfy His hunger for our human love in the poor we serve, in the poor that we contact. What a beautiful opportunity we have to really, really grow in the love of God by loving one another as God loves us.

 

 

 

 

To me the greatest injustice done to the poor is not so much that we have deprived them of material things but that we have deprived them of that dignity of the child of God, of the respect we owe to a person who think they are good for nothing, they’re lazy, they’re this, they’re that – so many adjectives we add. To me, that is the greatest injustice.… and I always tell them “What would you do if you were in their place? If you have an empty stomach day after day and saw your children dying of hunger, cold,” … we have not experienced that. None of us experienced. I never forget once I picked up a child six or seven years old from the street and to see the face of the child – hunger, real hunger. So I gave her bread and she started eating the bread crumb by crumb like this. And I said, “Eat the bread, you are hungry. Eat the bread.” And she said, “I’m afraid that when the bread is finished, I will be hungry again.” So small, she was afraid of being hungry again. She has already experienced the pain of hunger. This … that’s why it’s easy for us with a full stomach to pass those adjectives. And that is the greatest injustice. We talk much about the poor but very little to the poor. There is so much talk about the hunger and all that, that we’ll have food after ten years so much food – in the meantime, somebody’s dying for a piece of bread and we don’t even look at that person. When they were having a very, very big conference . . . and they were calculating in 15 years’ time, how much more food they’ll have and right in front of the house, there was a man about 25, 26 years old dying actually of hunger. So I took him, put him in the car with me. By the time I reached our house, he died and he died purely of hunger. . . . This opened my eyes – they are calculating for tomorrow and the meantime, today, many people are dying for a piece of bread. I have never experienced to say to the people, “I don’t have, I can’t give you.” There’s never been that when we didn’t have one more plate of rice, one more bed, one more medicine, and say for example, sometime ago, a sister came one Friday morning and told, Mother there’s no food. Today we’ll have to tell the people there’s no food. And then that morning by 9:00 government closed all the schools, nobody knew why the schools were closed but all the bread was brought to us. So our people ate bread. God closed the schools that … that’s the tender love of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 3

 

 

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Stretch forth your hand to the poor, so that your blessing may be complete. Give graciously to all the living, and withhold not kindness from the dead. Do not fail those who weep, but mourn with those who mourn. Do not shrink from visiting a sick man, because for such deeds you will be loved (Sirach 7: 32-35).

 

 

 

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love of the brethren, a tender heart and a humble mind. Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing (1 Peter 3:8-9).

 

 

 

 

 

 

<<<Wallpapers with Mother Teresa's Words:

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Today God loves the world so much that He gives you, He gives me, to love the world, to be His love, His compassion. It is such a beautiful thought for us—and a conviction—that you and I can be that love and compassion. Do we know who our own poor are? Do we know our neighbor, the poor of our own area? It is so easy for us to talk and talk about the poor of other places. Very often we have the suffering, we have the lonely, we have the people—old, unwanted, feeling miserable—and they are near us and we don’t even know them. We have no time even to smile at them. Tuberculosis and cancer [are] not the great diseases. I think a much greater disease is to be unwanted, unloved. The pain that these people suffer is very difficult to understand, to penetrate. I think this is what our people all over the world are going through, in every family, in every home. This suffering is being repeated in every man, woman and child. I think Christ is undergoing his Passion again. And it is for you and for me to help them—to be Veronica, to be Simon to them. (CBML, p. 296)

 

 

Your hands are feeding the hungry Christ, your hands are clothing the naked Christ, your hands are giving home to the homeless Christ in some part of the work. So, do your work well, and do it with great love. Otherwise it is not worth doing it. . . That is the means for you to become holy because Jesus our God is there.

 

 

 

Maybe there is my brother, my sister, my wife, my husband, who feels unwanted, unloved, exhausted, looking for [a] little compassion, [a] little sympathy, and I have no time. Love begins at home. This is the great poverty and I think unless and until we begin to love at home, we begin to love in our communities, that love for one another as Jesus has loved us, as He was loved by His Father, we cannot hope for peace.

 

 

 

Copyright © Mother Teresa Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 4

 

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Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good (1 Cor 12:4-7).

 

 

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. (2 Cor. 1:3-7).2-23).

 

 


 

 

<<<Wallpapers with Mother Teresa's Words:

 

 

Jesus . . . sent the Holy Spirit among His apostles, and He gave them the wonderful word, “Go.” . . . Go and preach the news that God is love, and God loves you.

 

 

Go in haste to give the joy of loving, the joy of sharing, for you have received not to keep but to share.

 

 

 

Maybe in our own family we have somebody who is feeling lonely, who is feeling sick, who is feeling worried. Are we there? Are we willing to give until it hurts in order to be with our families, or do we put our own interests first?

 

 

 

I think this is what we all learn from Our Lady – that compassion of Our Lady and if you and I would only use what God has given to us, for what He has created us. He has created us for greater things – to love and to give love, to have that deep compassion for the world as she had for the world. And to give Jesus to others. People are not hungry for us, they are hungry for God, they are hungry for Jesus, for the Eucharist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 5

 

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And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible. And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeting Elizabeth…. And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home (Luke 1:36-40, 56).

 

 

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, 39 your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home (John 19:25-27).

 


 

 

 

 

 

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Our Lady, the most beautiful of all women, the greatest, the humblest, the most pure, the most holy, the moment she felt that she was full of grace, full of Jesus, she went in haste and this is I feel . . . why God picked a woman to be able to show His love and compassion for the world. And, again, it is she, the woman, who shows her compassion by sharing immediately what she has received – the breaking of the Eucharist, so to say. And we know what happened to St. John – he leaped with joy at the presence of Christ. This is what we as women have got, this is what we have been created for – to be the heart in the home and as Little Flower had said, “I will be heart in the Mother Church, I will love.” And you and I have been created for the same purpose – to love and to spread that compassion as Mary did everywhere she went. . . . And it was she, again, that wonderful compassion in her when she went to that marriage feast. It hurt her to see the young people to be exposed to the humiliation of not having wine and she told Jesus, “They have no wine”. And, I think this is that beautiful compassion of a woman’s heart to feel the hurt of others and to do something as she did. You and I in our hearts have that compassion. Do we really use it? Do we have the eyes of Mary to see the needs of others – maybe in our home, do we know the needs of our parents, of our husband, of our children. . . . And, again, we know what happened to Our Lady – the wonderful compassionate Mother full of love. She was not ashamed to claim Jesus as her Son. Everybody left Him, she was alone with Him. She was not ashamed that Jesus was scourged, was spat upon, that He had become like a leper unwanted, unloved, hated by all, that He was her Son, Jesus. There, too, that deep compassion of her heart. Do we stand by our own people when they suffer? When they are humiliated? When the husband loses his job? What am I to him then? Am I full of compassion to him? Do I understand his pain? And the children are led away and misled – do I have that deep compassion to search for them, to find them, to stand by them, to welcome them home, to love them with deep loving heart? Am I like Mary to my sisters in my community? Do I recognize their pain, their suffering? If I’m a priest, the priest has the heart of Mary, that compassion to be the forgiveness, to bring that forgiveness of God to the suffering sinner in front of him, that deep compassion of Mary. She was not ashamed. She claimed Jesus as her own Son.

 

 

Tell Jesus, “I will be the one.” I will comfort, encourage and love Him. . . . Be with Jesus. He prayed and prayed, and then He went to look for consolation, but there was none. . . . I always write that sentence, “I looked for one to comfort Me, but I found no one.” Then I write, “Be the one.” So now you be that one. Try to be the one to share with Him, to comfort Him, to console Him. So let us ask Our Lady to help us understand (CBML, p. 260)

 

Copyright © Mother Teresa Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

<<<Wallpapers with Prayer for the month:

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you showed us the beauty of a life lived in and for love and you never stop reminding us that we are all “created for greater things, to love and be loved." Help us to live, like you, a life of love that is worthy of our calling as children of God. Amen.

 

 

Lord, make me a channel of your peace,

grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted.

 

 

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!

 


Copyright © Mother Teresa Center

Holy Fathers Words Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana 

 

 

Additional passages for reflection:

 

 

Convegno

 

 

WEEK 1 

 

 


 

 

WEEK 2  

 

 


 

 

 

WEEK 3  

 

 


 

 

 

WEEK 4  

 


 

 

WEEK 5  

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

Andrew Johnston's debut album 'One Voice'


 

 

 

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Where there is hatred, I may bring love

Prayer for the month:

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you showed us the beauty of a life lived in and for love and you never stop reminding us that we are all “created for greater things, to love and be loved." Help us to live, like you, a life of love that is worthy of our calling as children of God. Amen.

 

Lord, make me a channel of your peace, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted.  

 

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!

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Where there is hatred, I may bring love

Prayer for the month:

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you showed us the beauty of a life lived in and for love and you never stop reminding us that we are all “created for greater things, to love and be loved." Help us to live, like you, a life of love that is worthy of our calling as children of God. Amen.

 

Lord, make me a channel of your peace, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted.  

 

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!


 

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Where there is hatred, I may bring love

Prayer for the month:

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you showed us the beauty of a life lived in and for love and you never stop reminding us that we are all “created for greater things, to love and be loved." Help us to live, like you, a life of love that is worthy of our calling as children of God. Amen.

 

Lord, make me a channel of your peace, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted.  

 

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!

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Where there is hatred, I may bring love

Prayer for the month:

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you showed us the beauty of a life lived in and for love and you never stop reminding us that we are all “created for greater things, to love and be loved." Help us to live, like you, a life of love that is worthy of our calling as children of God. Amen.

 

Lord, make me a channel of your peace, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted.  

 

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!

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Where there is hatred, I may bring love

Prayer for the month:

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you showed us the beauty of a life lived in and for love and you never stop reminding us that we are all “created for greater things, to love and be loved." Help us to live, like you, a life of love that is worthy of our calling as children of God. Amen.

 

Lord, make me a channel of your peace, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted.  

 

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!

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Where there is hatred, I may bring love

Prayer for the month:

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you showed us the beauty of a life lived in and for love and you never stop reminding us that we are all “created for greater things, to love and be loved." Help us to live, like you, a life of love that is worthy of our calling as children of God. Amen.

 

Lord, make me a channel of your peace, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted.  

 

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!

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