Blessed Teresa of Calcutta One saint in this modern age who lived a life of compassion towards everyone, no matter what race, religion, or ethnicity they were, was Mother Teresa. She reached out to the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, and devoted her life to treating them with dignity, no matter how the society she lived in disapproved.
Of course, that didn’t mean that she was a doormat, either. There’s a story where she tried asking a baker for some charity for a hungry child, only for the baker to spit in her face.
She responded thusly
“Thank you for that gift to me. Do you have anything for the child?”
Mother Teresa also spoke out against abortion, calling it
“the greatest destroyer of peace.”
Her speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC on February 5, 1994 is a shocking one in its brutal honesty. However, she advises people to approach those contemplating abortion with compassion.
“ How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.”
Something that I love about Mother Teresa is that she always relied on the Lord to provide for her, even when she struggled with the darkness inside of herself. Like the daughters of Jerusalem, Mother Teresa was united with the Lord’s despair, feeling God as being so distant from her, he felt nonexistent.
In spite of how she felt, though, she continued doing God’s work. Her legacy continues on through the Missionaries of Charity. I’ll admit that whenever I see a sister dressed in the blue and white habits indicative of the Missionaries of Charity, I smile and feel as if the presence of Mother Teresa is with them.
Out of the long list of saints that I admire, Mother Teresa is the saint that I want to emulate the most.
How can we, as ordinary women, follow Mother Teresa’s example? Practice compassion
on a daily basis. “Love until it hurts,” as she said. Find ways to stand up for the unborn, but do so with love towards those involved as well. Trust that God will provide for what you need and stay faithful, even during times of spiritual dryness.
How do you identify with Mother Teresa? What parts of her life are you drawn to the most?
- How do you think we can apply Mother Teresa’s philosophy of compassion and today’s passage from Matthew into our lives? Who do you think is in need of the most love right now?