"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

08 October 2007

Come Be My Light

The title of Mother Teresa's book Come Be My Light, is not a prayer of hers to Jesus; it is His call to her in a vision -- a call to be His light to the poorest and most undesirable in India. From her writings:

"If God who owes nothing to us is ready to impart to us no less than Himself, shall we answer with just a fraction of ourselves? To give ourselves fully to God is a means of receiving God Himself."

"To the good God nothing is little because He is so great and we so small -- that is why He stoops down and takes the trouble to make those little things for us -- to give us a chance to prove our love for Him. Because He makes them, they are very great. He cannot make anything small; they are infinite. Yes my dear children [her sister nuns], be faithful in little practices of love, of little sacrifices -- of the little interior mortification -- of little fidelities to Rule, which will build in you the life of holiness -- make you Christ-like. [. . .] Don't look for big things, just do small things with great love . . . The smaller the thing, the greater must be our love."

She could say this and live this way because, as the editor says, "she trusted that His will for her would always be an expression of [His] unfailing love, however difficult or even impossible it might be at times to fathom His designs"; and elsewhere, "She entrusted herself to His providential intervention and her trust was rewarded."


predictablepoet said...

All the 'me's in my day just loomed up in an overwhelming mass of selfishness. Thanks for passing on conviction...oh how it burns.

The greatest sadness of this alum's Homecoming trip was not seeing you!

alaiyo said...

Oh, I missed you too, miss poet! Thanks for your note; it made a lovely spark to open a new week.

I was talking to a colleague at lunch who is reading the book also. She said, "I am reading very slowly and keep putting it down -- because how can I walk away from it unchanged?" I could only say, "Me, too."