Quote/s of the Day – 18 September – Today’s Gospel: Luke 7:11–17, Tuesday of the Twenty-fourth week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of St Juan Macias O.P. (1585-1645) and St Joseph of Cupertino O.F.M. Conv. (1603-1663)
Speaking of: Living the Word
“The Christian should be an ‘alleluia’ from head to foot.
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church
“It is no use walking somewhere to preach, unless our walking is our preaching.”
St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)
“To convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Church
“Cook the truth in charity, until it tastes sweet.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church
“We must speak to them with our hands before we try to speak with our lips.”
St Peter Claver (1580-1654)
“Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses, than to teachers and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”
Blessed Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)
“The only way to win audiences, is to tell people about the life and death of Christ. Every other approach is a waste.”
Ven Archbishop Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)
“Stay where you are – find your own Calcutta.”
St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
“Your faith will grow, only in the measure, that you give it away.”
Thought for the Day – 5 September – The Memorial of St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defence of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded. She was committed to defending life, ceaselessly proclaiming that “the unborn are the weakest, the smallest, the most vulnerable”. She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity, she made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognise their guilt for the crime – the crimes! – of poverty they created. For Mother Teresa, mercy was the “salt” which gave flavour to her work, it was the “light” which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering.
Her mission to the urban and existential peripheries remains for us today an eloquent witness to God’s closeness to the poorest of the poor. Today, I pass on this emblematic figure of womanhood and of consecrated life to the whole world of volunteers, may she be your model of holiness! I think, perhaps, we may have some difficult in calling her “Saint Teresa”, her holiness is so near to us, so tender and so fruitful that we continual to spontaneously call her “Mother Teresa”.
May this tireless worker of mercy help us increasingly to understand that our only criterion for action is gratuitous love, free from every ideology and all obligations, offered freely to everyone without distinction of language, culture, race or religion. Mother Teresa loved to say, “Perhaps I don’t speak their language, but I can smile”. Let us carry her smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey, especially those who suffer. In this way, we will open up opportunities of joy and hope for our many brothers and sisters who are discouraged and who stand in need of understanding and tenderness…… Excerpt from the Homily of His Holiness, Pope Francis on the Canonisation of St Teresa of Calcutta, Sunday, 4 September 2016 (it was also the Jubilee of Workers of Mercy and Volunteers)
Virgin Mary, Queen of all the Saints, help us to be gentle and humble of heart like this fearless messenger of Love. Help us to serve every person we meet with joy and a smile. Help us to be missionaries of Christ, our peace and our hope. Amen!…
One Minute Reflection – 5 September – Today’s Gospel: Luke 4:38-44 – Wednesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to him and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them….Luke 4:40
REFLECTION – “Having come to earth to proclaim and to realise the salvation of the whole man and of all people, Jesus shows a particular predilection for those who are wounded in body and in spirit: the poor, the sinners, the possessed, the sick, the marginalised. Thus, He reveals Himself as a doctor both of souls and of bodies, the Good Samaritan of man. He is the true Saviour: Jesus saves, Jesus cures, Jesus heals. Each one of us is called to bear the light of the Word of God and the power of grace to those who suffer and to those who assist them — family, doctors, nurses — so that the service to the sick might always be better accomplished with more humanity, with generous dedication, with evangelical love, with tenderness.”… Pope Francis – Angelus, 8 February 2015
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love…..God doesn’t require us to succeed, He only requires that we try…….I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” ….St Mother Teresa of Calcutta
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help us to be holy in the way that You have laid out for all of us. Let us carry out the duties of our state in life to the full and so attain the holiness proper to each one. May the prayers of St Mother Teresa assist us in using the gifts You have been given us, for the Glory of God. We make our prayer through our Lord, Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 5 September – The Memorial of St Mother Teresa of Calcutta M.C. (1910-1997) This is a very appropriate prayer as the Church focuses on Family Life.
Nazareth Prayer for the Family By St Mother Teresa(1910-1997)
You have given us the model of life
in the Holy Family of Nazareth.
Help us, O Loving Father,
to make our family another Nazareth
where love, peace and joy reign.
May it be deeply contemplative,
intensely eucharistic, received with joy.
Help us to stay together in joy
and sorrow in family prayer.
Teach us to see Jesus
in the members of our families,
especially in their distressing disguise.
May the Eucharistic heart of Jesus
make our hearts humble like His
and help us to carry out our family duties
in a holy way.
May we love one another
as God loves each one of us,
more and more each day,
and forgive each others faults
as You forgive our sins.
Help us, O Loving Father,
to take whatever You give
and give whatever You take with a big smile.
Immaculate Heart of Mary,
cause of our joy, pray for us.
St Joseph, pray for us.
Holy Guardian Angels,
be always with us,
guide and protect us.
Saint of the Day – 5 September – St Teresa of Calcutta M.C. (1910-1997) (born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) – Consecrated Religious Nun, Founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, Apostle of Charity, Missionary, Nobel Peace Prize Winner 1978, Anti-Abortion Activist – (26 August 1910 in Skopje, Albania (modern Macedonia) – 5 September 1997 in Calcutta, West Bengal, India of natural causes). She was Beatified on 19 October 2003 by St John Paul and Canonised on 4 September 2016 by Pope Francis. Patronages – World Youth Day, Missionaries of Charity, co-Patron of the Archdiocese of Calcutta.
“By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.” Small of stature, rocklike in faith, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was entrusted with the mission of proclaiming God’s thirsting love for humanity, especially for the poorest of the poor. “God still loves the world and He sends you and me to be His love and His compassion to the poor.” She was a soul filled with the light of Christ, on fire with love for Him and burning with one desire.
This luminous messenger of God’s love was born on 26 August 1910 in Skopje, a city situated at the crossroads of Balkan history. The youngest of the children born to Nikola and Drane Bojaxhiu, she was baptised Gonxha Agnes, received her First Communion at the age of five and a half and was confirmed in November 1916. From the day of her First Holy Communion, a love for souls was within her. Her father’s sudden death when Gonxha was about eight years old left in the family in financial straits. Drane raised her children firmly and lovingly, greatly influencing her daughter’s character and vocation. Gonxha’s religious formation was further assisted by the vibrant Jesuit parish of the Sacred Heart in which she was much involved.
At the age of eighteen, moved by a desire to become a missionary, Gonxha left her home in September 1928 to join the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as the Sisters of Loreto, in Ireland. There she received the name Sister Mary Teresa after St Thérèse of Lisieux. In December, she departed for India, arriving in Calcutta on 6 January 1929. After making her First Profession of Vows in May 1931, Sister Teresa was assigned to the Loreto Entally community in Calcutta and taught at St Mary’s School for girls. On 24 May 1937, Sister Teresa made her Final Profession of Vows, becoming, as she said, the “spouse of Jesus” for “all eternity.” From that time on she was called Mother Teresa. She continued teaching at St Mary’s and in 1944 became the school’s principal. A person of profound prayer and deep love for her religious sisters and her students, Mother Teresa’s twenty years in Loreto were filled with profound happiness. Noted for her charity, unselfishness and courage, her capacity for hard work and a natural talent for organisation, she lived out her consecration to Jesus, in the midst of her companions, with fidelity and joy.
On 10 September 1946 during the train ride from Calcutta to Darjeeling for her annual retreat, Mother Teresa received her “inspiration,” her “call within a call.” On that day, in a way she would never explain, Jesus’ thirst for love and for souls took hold of her heart and the desire to satiate His thirst became the driving force of her life. Over the course of the next weeks and months, by means of interior locutions and visions, Jesus revealed to her the desire of His heart for “victims of love” who would “radiate His love on souls.”“Come be My light,” He begged her. “I cannot go alone.” He revealed His pain at the neglect of the poor, His sorrow at their ignorance of Him and His longing for their love. He asked Mother Teresa to establish a religious community, Missionaries of Charity, dedicated to the service of the poorest of the poor. Nearly two years of testing and discernment passed before Mother Teresa received permission to begin. On 17 August 1948, she dressed for the first time in a white, blue-bordered sari and passed through the gates of her beloved Loreto convent to enter the world of the poor.
After a short course with the Medical Mission Sisters in Patna, Mother Teresa returned to Calcutta and found temporary lodging with the Little Sisters of the Poor. On 21 December she went for the first time to the slums. She visited families, washed the sores of some children, cared for an old man lying sick on the road and nursed a woman dying of hunger and TB. She started each day in communion with Jesus in the Eucharist and then went out, rosary in her hand, to find and serve Him in “the unwanted, the unloved, the uncared for.”After some months, she was joined, one by one, by her former students.
On 7 October 1950 the new congregation of the Missionaries of Charity was officially established in the Archdiocese of Calcutta. By the early 1960s, Mother Teresa began to send her Sisters to other parts of India. The Decree of Praise granted to the Congregation by Pope Paul VI in February 1965 encouraged her to open a house in Venezuela. It was soon followed by foundations in Rome and Tanzania and, eventually, on every continent. Starting in 1980 and continuing through the 1990s, Mother Teresa opened houses in almost all of the communist countries, including the former Soviet Union, Albania and Cuba.
In order to respond better to both the physical and spiritual needs of the poor, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity Brothers in 1963, in 1976 the contemplative branch of the Sisters, in 1979 the Contemplative Brothers and in 1984 the Missionaries of Charity Fathers. Yet her inspiration was not limited to those with religious vocations. She formed the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa and the Sick and Suffering Co-Workers, people of many faiths and nationalities with whom she shared her spirit of prayer, simplicity, sacrifice and her apostolate of humble works of love. This spirit later inspired the Lay Missionaries of Charity. In answer to the requests of many priests, in 1981 Mother Teresa also began the Corpus Christi Movement for Priests as a “little way of holiness” for those who desire to share in her charism and spirit.
During the years of rapid growth the world began to turn its eyes towards Mother Teresa and the work she had started. Numerous awards, beginning with the Indian Padmashri Award in 1962 and notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, honoured her work, while an increasingly interested media began to follow her activities. She received both prizes and attention “for the glory of God and in the name of the poor.”
The whole of Mother Teresa’s life and labour bore witness to the joy of loving, the greatness and dignity of every human person, the value of little things done faithfully and with love and the surpassing worth of friendship with God. But there was another heroic side of this great woman that was revealed only after her death. Hidden from all eyes, hidden even from those closest to her, was her interior life marked by an experience of a deep, painful and abiding feeling of being separated from God, even rejected by Him, along with an ever-increasing longing for His love. She called her inner experience, “the darkness.” The “painful night” of her soul, which began around the time she started her work for the poor and continued to the end of her life, led Mother Teresa to an ever more profound union with God. Through the darkness she mystically participated in the thirst of Jesus, in His painful and burning longing for love and she shared in the interior desolation of the poor.
During the last years of her life, despite increasingly severe health problems, Mother Teresa continued to govern her Society and respond to the needs of the poor and the Church. By 1997, Mother Teresa’s Sisters numbered nearly 4,000 members and were established in 610 foundations in 123 countries of the world. In March 1997 she blessed her newly-elected successor as Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity and then made one more trip abroad. After meeting Pope John Paul II for the last time, she returned to Calcutta and spent her final weeks receiving visitors and instructing her Sisters. On 5 September Mother Teresa’s earthly life came to an end. She was given the honour of a state funeral by the Government of India and her body was buried in the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity. Her tomb quickly became a place of pilgrimage and prayer for people of all faiths, rich and poor alike. Mother Teresa left a testament of unshakable faith, invincible hope and extraordinary charity. Her response to Jesus’ plea, “Come be My light,”made her a Missionary of Charity, a “mother to the poor,”a symbol of compassion to the world and a living witness to the thirsting love of God.
Less than two years after her death, in view of Mother Teresa’s widespread reputation of holiness and the favours being reported, Pope John Paul II permitted the opening of her Cause of Canonisation. On 20 December 2002 he approved the decrees of her heroic virtues and miracles.”…vatican.va
Mother Teresa was Beatified on Sunday, 19 October 2003 by St Pope John Paul II and Canonised by Pope Francis on 4 September 2016.
Little weekly reflections from those ‘minds alive’, our friends and intercessors waiting on our arrival.
Mother, how do we live by example?
Thomas Malcolm Muggeridge was a British journalist and media celebrity who did not care much about God and religion. But…he saw compassion actualised before his very eyes through the person of Mother Teresa and that made him do something he had sworn he would never do – he became a Catholic!
Muggeridge had an assignment to write about Mother Teresa. Travelling to India, he thought the trip was just the usual work but the amazing thing was, in the course of his talks and days of observation of the little nun, he experienced a complete conversion of his heart, his mind, his soul, his very being.
He confessed: “Words cannot express how much I owe her, she showed me Christianity in action. She showed me the power of love. She showed me how one loving person can start a tidal wave of love that can spread to the entire world!”
“You must first learn to forget yourself
so that you can dedicate yourself to God and to neighbour alike!”
Our Morning Offering – 30 August – The Memorial of St Jeanne Jugan L.S.P. (Mary of the Cross) (1792 – 1879)
Radiating Christ St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
Dear Jesus, help us to spread Your fragrance
everywhere we go.
Flood our souls with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly
that our lives may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through us and be so in us
that every soul we come in contact with
may feel Your presence in our soul.
Let them look up and see no longer us
but only Jesus.
Stay with us
and then we shall begin to shine as You shine,
so to shine as to be light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from You.
None of it will be ours.
It will be You shining on others through us.
Let us thus praise You in the way You love best
by shining on those around us.
Let us preach You without preaching,
not by words but by our example;
by the catching force –
the sympathetic influence of what we do,
the evident fullness of the love
our hearts bear to You.