Today is the feast of Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997).
A year before she died I visited my uncle Joe S.J. in India. He has been a missionary working mostly with the Santal Tribal People since 1957.
When I arrived on that particular occasion he told me that the following morning we were visiting the mother house of Mother Teresa’s sisters.
The following morning, it was still dark, we left Xavier College where we were staying for 6 am mass.
When we arrived I noticed a number of concelebrating priests. They told me that they had voted for me to be main celebrant and that I was to preach!
I was rather startled, I was to preach to Mother Teresa?? I felt that this Holy woman would see right through me! I should have been listening to her preach!
So I preached and actually gave her Holy Communion.
After mass I was invited to have breakfast with her. Just three of us and herself!
She was most gracious. She would have been a very sick woman then (she died not long afterwards). She was also going through spiritual darkness at the time. She was not experiencing and spiritual ‘Highs’ and was feeling flat spiritually.
It is a common experience of many Holy people to go through this purification of LOVE.
It is a growing into loving for LOVE”S sake and not to look for getting anything back.
I knew nothing of what she was experiencing at the time. I discovered all that after she had died.
What I saw was this little old woman full of energy and love. She talked about a number of new projects that her sisters were going to undertake. I was deeply impressed!
Mother Teresa reached our to the poorest of the poor.
Here are some of her quotes
Peace begins with a smile.
There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow not yet come; we have only today. – Let us begin.