"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

21 February 2012

Lenten Reading

I'm going back through the collection of Mother Teresa's writings and commentary on them in Come Be My Light this year. The following quotations have caught my eye, for conviction and for encouragement.

Another nun, in the convent where Mother Teresa first served (as a teacher, among other duties) shortly after taking her final vows, wrote of her: "I notice that every day she tries to please Jesus in everything. She is very busy but she does not spare herself. [. . .] Admittedly, her deeds are entirely simple, but the perfection with which she does them, is just what Jesus asks of us."

Mother Teresa tells the sisters under her care: "Don't look for big things, just do small things with great love. . . . The smaller the thing, the greater must be our love."

On her willingness to wait for the Calcutta mission to come into being despite her longing to start the work right away: "[B]ecause she had consecrated her life to God through a vow of obedience, she could proceed only with the approval of her superiors. To her their blessing was not a mere formality but a protection and assurance that God's hand was in her undertaking. Only their permission would give her the certainty that this call was indeed God's will and not some delusion."

On her own abilities for the work she was called to: "I feel sometimes afraid, for I have nothing, no brains, no learning, no qualities required for such a work, and yet I tell Him that my heart is free from everything, and so it belongs to Him, and Him alone. He can use me just as it will please Him best. To please Him only is the joy I seek."


Sabbatical update: I am a much slower writer than I realized! Two essays ready to be set aside for awhile, and an interest in one for publication (have not received a deadline yet). Thanks to all for your encouragement and prayers.