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My family has totally broken apart. I’ve been divorced for twelve years and have tried to remain civil. I’ve been praying the rosary for years for family healing but the relationship between myself and my daughters is steadily getting worse. My older daughter doesn’t even talk to me. Both of them are addicted to alcohol. My ex-husband is addicted alcohol, possibly drugs as well and probably porn. I feel like I’ve dedicated my life to my family only to be left in solitude and financially overburdened. I need divine help and guidance. I have come to credit Mother Theresa with my growing devotion to Jesus through Mary. There was quite a time when I was afraid to have her intercede for me because I was afraid of her darkness. I was afraid of a God that would keep such a devoted person in darkness for so long. When I was 15 years old , a girl from New Jersey going to boarding school in India, I met Mother Theresa. I was at that time un baptized, even possibly anti Christian, addicted to various ways of getting stoned, involved in random sexual relationships and I didn’t really think all that much of the meeting with her. Throughout the years though her spirituality has periodically penetrated my darkness and I have come to see that although I was raised in a middle class family: I never really wanted for anything material: I was truly one of Mother Theresa’s “poorest of the poor.” I have come to see that she suffered her darkness for people like me. I became Catholic 12 years after meeting her and have been infused with a hunger and thirst to know Jesus, Mary, the church, the saints, Heaven more and more. Unfortunately for me my family has not and it has been a great source of suffering for me even now maybe to much to bear. Mother Theresa pray for me.
I had not thought about the beautiful, simple worship hymn, Amazing Grace, for a long time, until one glorious day, I had the opportunity to visit St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, NY seventeen years ago, to witness what turned out to be a living saint, Mother Teresa. I knew little about her except that she was famous and she had won the Nobel Prize. I wanted to see what was special about a nun who had been given such notoriety. There she was, a tiny figure in white--and in my spirit’s eye--I saw a young, vibrant woman. She caught my stare and held it for a long time and I was immediately humbled and childlike, just like the little boy, my son, standing next to me. I was instantly thrown back in time when I was a six year old first grader in Catholic school, the only Catholic grade I had attended. Public school transition was a difficult one for me when my family moved from the city to the suburbs. Little did I know I was to catch up on the Catholic school education I had missed and go to the head of the class in one afternoon from a brief encounter, years after high school graduation, and as a happily married mother of two young sons. There was much hustle and bustle in the cathedral that beautiful summer day with television crews and cameras and thousands of people spilling onto the grounds to hear her speak on loudspeakers set up for that purpose. At last, she appeared. And the commotion silenced. My first thought was _Be still and know that I am God_. She relayed anecdotes about her experiences with people she helped and urged us all to do _small things with great love_. I felt a sisterhood with her and an urgency to help her in helping others. She impressed me as a woman greatly in love with her betrothed, Jesus Christ, and He was with her. She was a walking tabernacle of grace and left me feeling as though I had received a sacrament. For days, I felt enveloped in a rapture of love and warmth that I could barely articulate but I knew I’d never be the same again. My little boy gave her an envelope I had prepared for her with a small donation. She bent down, looked him in the eye so tenderly, and patted his head. She touched the fruit of my womb, I thought. At the time, I was publicity officer for the Make A Wish Foundation of Greater New York. We desperately needed funds to grant wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses, who were increasing. The organization was worried that we wouldn’t have enough money to accommodate all the children who were coming to us. I enclosed a small article in a local paper, pleading for donations from the public on behalf of Make a Wish Foundation. My soul instinctively _knew_ she was praying for me in the days and weeks that followed and I walked around in a cocoon of love. I thought I had died and went to Heaven. I told a friend that Mother Teresa seemed to be _swimming in God_ and that I felt like a light switch had been turned on in my heart. My doing the most mundane of chores around the house suddenly seemed to alight with joy and I felt nothing but simple love for everyone and that no sorrow or tragedy could harm me. Because I am inquisitive, I went to my local library to pick up some books on her to better understand who this person was. I thumbed and leafed through one small book that caught my eye, one narrated by her, called, LIFE IN THE SPIRIT. _Consider yourself to be swimming in God, she said. And, on the next page, she spoke about electrical wires and currents likened to God’s love for us! I was profoundly impacted. My God, she left my presence the day before and here she was, talking to me! Three weeks later, I received a message in the mail from Mother Teresa’s sisters on her behalf, thanking me and that she was praying for me, my family and all those I help in my work. The letter was a technicality. I had already gotten the “call”, a message received loud and clear. Around the same time, the Make A Wish Foundation was preparing a Chinese Auction and program book with silver and gold pages as a major fundraiser. I received a telephone call from a woman in New York City who wanted to buy 55 gold pages. She was affiliated with a major construction developer. She and her colleagues later joined the organization. We doubled our till that year. Every child had his or her wish fulfilled! When the board of directors asked where I found this woman and how did I get hold of her, I smiled and pointed skyward. Divine Intervention, I told them. Years later, when Mother Teresa was taken ill in San Francisco, California, I sent her a get well card in the hospital there. I wanted to go and comfort her. She finally recuperated and emerged from the hospital with television cameras and crowds all around her. I watched her on the news that evening. She was giving out Miraculous Medals of the Blessed Mother that she had kissed, to eager, frenzied people in the crowds. I remember thinking, boy, I’d sure love one of those medals. The very next day, there was a letter in my mailbox from her, thanking me for my get well wishes, and filled with thanks and praise for her doctors and everyone. And there it was a Miraculous Medal, kissed by Mother, for me. I wear it everyday. When Mother left this world suddenly on September 5, 1997, a local parish, Holy Redeemer in Freeport, NY, held a Memorial Mass for her. I called the pastor and friend of Mother Teresa’s, Father Figliozzi, and asked him if I could say a few words about Mother Teresa, since I had met her. He gladly obliged. It so happened that my own mother, Mary, also passed away, suddenly, six days later. Despite both mothers, the earthly one and the spiritual one gone, I felt poised and peaceful at a time that should have been devastating. Earlier the year before, my father passed away around the time Mother Teresa fell seriously ill and was ailing. I felt like she was going to be assisting my father in the next world. Once again, she rallied and wrote me that she prayed for my father to see _the vision of the face of God. After I spoke in church about both mothers_ passing coinciding, I told the congregation that it pays to have friends in high places. I felt as though Mother Teresa was escorting my own mother with her to Heaven. I felt like a Cinderella of sorts, when I encountered Mother Teresa many years before. I came away a rich woman with a deep conviction of the existence of God and clear view of Heaven. I felt as if I had been given the keys to the universe! As the months wore on after that encounter, I realized, with a husband and two little kids, I wasn’t about to go off to Calcutta, though, spiritually I imagined it often. As a hungry human, I longed to see her once more, realizing it was probably an impossibility. I desperately wanted my son, Ryan, and husband, Fred, to experience what Erik and I already had. But I persevered and tracked her down like a detective. She has a Missionaries of Charity house in the Bronx, New York and I found her there! There she was; once again, at 7 am Mass that my husband and two sons attended with me. And there I was, after Mass, in front of her, face-to-face with my spiritual champion and guide! She blessed my boys_ foreheads. I hugged her and gave her gifts for her sisters and the poor. I got to thank her personally for all she had done for me, as calmly and eloquently as I could. She blessed me and told me to _be humble like Mary and Jesus_. I left quickly because I wanted to share her with all the other people there that morning. I was content to go because a part of her would be with me always.
Mother Teresa Center
524 West Calle Primera,
San Ysidro, CA 92173