Mother Teresa: How to Love God
Today is the Feast Day of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. I honor her today as a convert to Catholicism who, after finding Jesus in the Catholic Church, was eager to find people in the Church who were good models for me in these troubling times that we live in. Back then, in 1991, good models of Christian virtue were easy to find in Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.
It was Mother Teresa who taught me what authentic social justice is. Get up. Do something. Work for those who have need. Stand up and do something yourself. Be active yourself. No matter who you are, reach out to those around you in need and help. Open the door for the elderly woman. Help the poor mother struggling to care for her children. Wipe the brow of the dying man.
Mother Teresa lived a dark night.
The Dark Night. Throughout 1946 and 1947, Mother Teresa experienced a profound union with Christ. But soon after she left the convent and began her work among the destitute and dying on the street, the visions and locutions ceased, and she experienced a spiritual darkness that would remain with her until her death.
Many of us experience dark nights. I have myself. I am in awe of what she did with her life while enduring this dark night for so many years.
In her life, Mother Teresa devoted herself to showing Jesus to us. How could she do this in the midst of a dark night? The answer is love. She was so in love with Jesus that she hungered for Him. By ministering to those who are naked and hungry, she was able to be as close to Him as she possibly could be. It truly is in giving that we receive. In giving of ourselves, we receive Jesus. By feeding the hungry, our own hunger for Jesus is filled.
These are not just words that sound nice. They are a spiritual reality that becomes manifest within us when we truly hunger for Jesus and minister to others by offering ourselves to fill their hunger.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.