One of my heroes of the faith is Mother Teresa. Ever since I became a Christian (age 13) I have been encouraged, challenged, and spurred on in Christ through her life and her recorded words. When I was in high school I did research on her and then had to dress the part and present my findings. So for a whole 15 minutes, I was a nun!
I find her so intriguing and kindred, if you will, because what she had opportunities to do, I long to do. Whenever I come across the passages in the Bible where Jesus is touching and healing the lepers or where he is engaging in the lives of the poor, my heart just screams out “Here I am Lord, use me!” Nevertheless, my husband (and I do believe it’s in his wisdom and love) has asked, unless pushed by the Spirit, for me to wait to do my work with the lepers, but I pray that God will not forget my dreams in this area (He won’t!) and that during this time He will prepare me for that day. And until then may my eyes, heart, mind, and arms be open to the poor and hurting around me now.
So here are some of my favorite quotes by M. Teresa. I’ve commented on a few; maybe you can record them in your journal and make comments about how they speak to you.
“Holiness does not consist in doing extraordinary things. It consists in accepting, with a smile, what Jesus sends us. It consists in accepting and following the will of God.”
-I hope you see me smile more and more! I hope to see you, my friends, do the same!
“We should go out to meet people. Meet the people who live afar and those who live very close by. Meet the materially poor or the spiritually poor.”
“To sometimes experience disgust is something quite natural. The virtue, which at times is of heroic proportions, consists in being able to overcome disgust, for the love of Jesus. This is the secret we discover in the lives of some saints: the ability to go beyond what is merely natural.”
-Being a mom sure helps you push through disgust on many levels :), but I have found that many times my “disgust” is not with the physical messes. I tend to shy away from someone’s spiritual state or her/his emotional state or their “differentness” than me. I have to really fight that voice that says “you’ve worked hard to get away from that place you grew up in, stay away”. There’s the rawness of my heart. I can go into a TB clinic in the Ukraine (which I did) and hug those patients till the sun goes down on any day of the week, but ask me to put my whole self back in the circumstances of how I grew up just to “meet people” and I stay on the side lines. It’s not a lack of love for them or my God, but my timidness (which God did not give us) and lack of faith (nor did he give that) that God could get me through emotions that may arrise through remembrances of my past and actually use me there. Hopefully I’ll be willing to get uncomfortable for God – to get past my disgust and “go beyond what is merely natural” for me.