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Mother Teresa reminds us of three spiritual realities - NC Catholics Bishop's Column, Sept. 2016


As the universal Church prepares to celebrate the canonization of Mother Teresa of Kolkata, we give thanks to God for her example of faithful and generous service to the Lord and His people, especially the poor and the needy. We are also reminded that as we continue to our earthly journey, we share the same goal: to become a saint so that we will live with God forever.

If we are to be prepared to meet the Lord, then we must realize what truly matters here and now. Few people understood this truth more than Mother Teresa of Kolkata. Her canonization on September 4, 2016, illuminates the call we all share through our baptism to become saints and to live with God forever. That is a daily and ongoing process.

Her life serves as a reminder of three spiritual realities.

“Prayer is a joy.  Prayer is the sunshine of God’s love; prayer is hope of eternal happiness; prayer is the burning flame of God’s love for you and for me” – Mother Teresa

Life is not simply about doing; it is about being.

The chaos of life can be consuming. If in our day-to-day activities we become so busy that we lose focus, then our priorities are misplaced. The only remedy is by being with the Lord in prayer.

Prayer reflects our trust in God’s abiding presence in our lives. Prayer also provides us the opportunity to ask for the grace and strength the Lord so freely offers and to give thanks for the abundant blessings that surround us each day, which we can so easily miss if we are too busy ‘doing.’ May we be renewed in our commitment to daily and fervent prayer.

“Love, to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self” – Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa was the embodiment of love to all those she served, especially the poor, the naked, the hungry, the homeless and all those in need. In imitation of Jesus, she loved without counting the cost.

Her witness proved that love is not about gaining, it is about giving. True love involves sacrifice. Through her powerful and inspirational witness, Mother Teresa showed the world what real love looks like. May all those we encounter each day see that love reflected in each one of us.

“Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway” – Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa never sought the attention she received. Her influence never came from her title; it came from her testimony. Her witness is what drew people closer to her. While she acknowledged her limitations and weaknesses, she believed in the power of God to work in and through her. Thus, she gave the Lord her very best and entrusted that with what she offered, He would work miracles. May we also be convinced that God will use us as His instruments of love and mercy.

Inspired by Mother Teresa of Kolkata, and through the intercession of Mary and Joseph, may their Son give us the grace we need to remember that, as we continue this journey of faith here on earth, it is not about keeping busy, it is about being; it is not about gaining, it is about giving; and it is not about titles, it is about testimony. In this way, and with God’s help, we will be prepared to meet the Lord and live with Him and all the angels and saints, forever and ever. 

Mother Teresa of Kolkata, pray for us.