"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

04 March 2012

More from Mother Teresa

The remarkable trust of Mother Teresa can only awe. How many of us "trust Him blindly" ever, much less continually? Certainly I don't. How many of us can accept suffering as making us like Jesus, as being a sharing in His suffering for us? Yet how else can we live honestly?

On requesting permission for her work in Calcutta: "I trust the good God blindly and I know He will not let me down, even though I may make a mistake."

In a letter thanking one of her superiors for his help: "Please pray. I have very little courage -- but I trust Him blindly, in spite of all feelings."

And another request: "Please pray for me that I may keep looking up at him cheerfully."

One of her prayers: "O Jesus, only love of my heart, I wish to suffer what I suffer and all Thou wilt have me suffer, for Thy pure love not because of the merits I may acquire, nor for the rewards Thou hast promised me but only to please Thee, to praise Thee, to bless Thee as well in sorrow as in joy."

To a friend: "In my meditations and prayers, which are so full of distractions nowadays -- there stands one thing very clear -- my weakness and His Greatness. I fear all things from my weakness -- but I trust blindly His Greatness."

A comment by the editor: "The aim of the new institute was being realized not in spite of the difficulties and sufferings but precisely through them. Mother Teresa did not want to avoid sacrifice or eliminate it from her life or the lives of her followers. 'Grab the chance to offer something to Jesus,' she would insistently counsel her sisters. She knew their sufferings would bear fruit."

Many people who were so physically disabled or ill that they could not be part of the work in India joined the Society as "second selves" to the Sisters, committing themselves to prayer and encouragement. Writing to one such suffering friend, Mother Teresa tells her, "How the good God loves you [. . .]. You suffer much and your soul is crucified in pain -- but is it not that He is living His life in His Jacqueline? [. . .] You have learned much. You have tasted the chalice of His agony -- and what will be your reward my dear sister? More suffering and a deeper likeness to Him on the Cross. I feel unworthy to be your sister. [. . .] Be brave and keep smiling. You know He loves you with a tender, eternal love."