A spiritual journey with Mother Teresa
“COME, BE MY LIGHT”
With these words the Lord Jesus drew Mother Teresa to Himself in a special way, immersing her deep into the mystery of His hidden and sacred presence in the poorest of the poor. “In your love for Me,” Jesus told her further, “they will see Me, know Me, want Me.”
- The invitation of Jesus will resound in St. Peter Square on October 19 as the Holy Father proclaims her “Blessed”.
- “Be my light” is the constant call of the Heart of Jesus to each one of us as we hear it echoed today in the voice of the Church: “A new century, a new millennium are opening in the Light of Christ, but not everyone can see this Light. Ours is the wonderful and demanding task of becoming its “reflection”… Christ Himself …asked His disciples to be the light of the world. (Mt 5:14)” (N.M.I. 64)
- Each Christian is called to be the radiance of God’s love in the darkness of today’s poverty and pain, or as Mother Teresa would say, to be “carriers of God’s love.”
- Everywhere she went, she used to distribute to the people she met her “business card”, on which were printed in a few sentences, a simple program of life. We will take those words as simple steps for our spiritual journey for these few months in preparation for the Beatification.
“The fruit of Silence is Prayer
The fruit of Prayer is Faith
The fruit of Faith is Love
The fruit of Love is Service
The fruit of Service is Peace.”
Let us allow Mother Teresa to inspire us and lead us to give our wholehearted response to Jesus’ invitation “Come be my light”, that we too may be His love, His compassion, His presence in all the daily circumstances of our life as challenging and demanding as they may be.
The fruit of Silence is Prayer
Mother Teresa saw silence as a basic need for the Christian life.
As each one of us experiences a deep longing for God in our heart, we will feel the need to create that atmosphere of silence in our life, that will enable us to be one with Him and communicate intimately with Him in prayer.
Our life of oneness with God will be best realized and constantly nourished by the Eucharist. Holy Communion is in fact the best moment of intimate union with Jesus, and the means to help us to remain united to Him throughout the daily activities.
“We need to find God and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness.” Mother Teresa
The fruit of Prayer is Faith
For Mother Teresa our faith is deepened in prayer and our heart purified so that we are able to perceive God’s presence everywhere and in everyone.
In prayer not only do we receive the light to see everything with a new vision of faith but we also receive the strength to respond in faith to the different situations of life, even the most challenging. For Mother Teresa there were no “problems” but only “gifts of God,” chances to grow in union with Him by putting our faith in action.
It is important to cultivate this attitude: to seek and see always God’s loving hand at work in each circumstance of our daily life and to learn to recognize the signs of His tender care and concern for us personally in all events, be they joyful or painful.
One of Mother Teresa’s favorite quotations from Scripture was from the prophet Isaiah, “See, I will not forget you, I have carved you in the palm of my hand. You are precious to me. I love you.” (Is 49:15)
So when we are put to the test, we turn to God so that our faith and confidence may not waver but in all trials and difficulties we may be able to overcome fear, anxiety and discouragement with a child-like trust and surrender to His Fatherly love and providence.
“We will allow the Good God to make plans for the future, for yesterday has gone, tomorrow has not yet come and we have only today to make Him known, loved and served.” Mother Teresa
The fruit of Faith is Love
By that daily encounter in faith with God - in our hearts, in the Eucharist, in our brothers and sisters - we come to experience more and more the depth of His love for us.
Like Mother Teresa we will perceive His tremendous longing, His Thirst for us and for each of His children. Jesus’ words on the Cross “I Thirst” will begin to re-echo powerfully in our heart and create in us the desire to respond to His Infinite Love.
As He pours His Love into our hearts, we will begin to experience an ardent longing to be able to love Him in return and bring others to know and love Him, too.
Contemplating the depth of His Love “unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8 ) we will also come to realize that, as Mother Teresa constantly reminded us, we too must be willing to “love until it hurts.”
More than her words, Mother Teresa’s whole life, her every action was a constant example of that readiness to give her life for God and for others. Her joy was to make little sacrifices to “grab the chance” so as to prove her love for God.
To be able to live this life of total self-giving, Mother Teresa would constantly turn to Mary, asking her to give her, her Heart so as to be able to receive and respond to Jesus’ cry of Thirst, to love Him as she loved Him and so satiate with her His Thirst for love and for souls.
“He still keeps looking for one to console Him:
- Hungry for love He looks at you,
- Thirsty for kindness He begs from you,
- Homeless for shelter in your heart He asks of you.
Will you be that “one” to Him?” Mother Teresa
The fruit of Love is Service, the fruit of Service is Peace
Mother Teresa looked up to Mary, especially in her Visitation to her kinswoman Elizabeth, as her model of going in haste to serve and bring Jesus to others.
The thirsting Love of God burning in her heart was incarnated into a living action of service with a great zeal for souls, an urgency to bring His Love to those most in need.
Mother Teresa would remind us that “love begins at home,” and this love is shown by little acts of kindness and thoughtfulness towards those who are closer to us, - our family, our neighbors, the people with whom we work. Whatever we do to them, we do it to Jesus.
Mother Teresa also stressed the importance of doing “small things with great love”. She would encourage us not to look for great things but to be aware of the little opportunities that we meet at every moment. For each one of us holiness is possible through fidelity to the ordinary duties of daily life, by doing everything for Jesus, with Jesus and to Jesus.
Everything then becomes a means of bringing “His Presence, His Love, His Compassion” to all, especially those who live in darkness and despair.
Mother Teresa’s life has been a living proof of how a Christian life lived to the full can be a true light for all the world. Her smiling presence has been a beacon of God’s light radiating to all corners of the earth, bringing Joy, Peace, Understanding and Unity among all people of the most different creeds and cultures, drawing them closer to God and to each other.
“If you really love Jesus in the Eucharist,
you will naturally want to put that love into action
by serving Him in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor.
We cannot separate these two things:
the Eucharist and the Poor.” Mother Teresa